Thursday, January 7, 2010

Should I list them?

These are some of the experimental components I created when deciding on the different art beads to create for each month. They have the same antiqued, enclosed freshwater pearl look of Christi Friesen. I haven't read any of her stuff yet, although I am curious about her new book Steampunkery.

I was imagining pods of some sort but was having trouble deciding which looked best. I can see them in a fringy sort of waterfall necklace. Anyway, should I list them in my etsy shop? Hoard them to myself until the day comes where I finally admit that I am not going to make time for them? I really like their mustard yellow color combined with the orange freshwater pearl.

How does everyone like the new blogger updates? I love the way we can more easily arrange our photos. That was a major pain for me and this way I can choose whether the picture gets the attention or my words.

I'll post soon of some lovely copper pieces I have been hammering and making ancient looking.
They are the focus of the next book and I have been keeping it a secret so no one could beat me to it. Turns out the publisher would like to see more of a platform - ie; people who are interested. And the only way to build that is by showing everyone.  It's a risk. I swear there is someone who has the ability to peer into my brain and take my best ideas as their own. But then again, so many times have I thought "Ah ha! This is completely original!" and started investing time, money and labor into the NEW & COMPLETELY ORIGINAL IDEA only to find someone else has done it before me. What do you do then? Scrap everything? Start over? Go ahead with the plan? I remember when I first discovered this seller on ebay who was selling these weird but pretty vintage beads, I bought a whole bunch, imagining my fresh original designs being snatched up by vintage collectors who liked the mix of collectible handmade. Hahahahahaha! I start listing them and only then do I start noticing other, already fresh, collectible handmade jewelry with vintage beads. The excitement quickly frittered out and here I am with tons of unused, vintage beads. And singed silk for layered flowers. And Tim Burton-like art dolls. And hand stamped tags. And layered transparent collages.  And silk wrapped bangles (that was heart breaking, I mean they had barely been released and then I see them being taught!).

 I felt really silly the first time I bought some czech glass buttons, I loved them and had the thought that I would re-make them into clay pendants and put different colored glazes on them. I created a bunch. I listed them on etsy. I sold some and felt brilliant. I browse the Time Machine on etsy (back when it actually showed what was newly listed and not just repeats of the same stuff over and over) and I see the same czech glass button images go by made in glazed clay! Incredulous, I look at the shop owners store and see she has been selling them months before me. Later as I am looking through old Bead and Button magazines, I see an ad by Earthenwood Studio. The ad displays all the same czech glass button images I had, plus TONS more, all created in many, many colors of glazed clay. This magazine was from 1997. 1997, people!!!!! She was running ads in a magazine waaaaay before I even thought to start selling online. I felt embarrassed. Did she see my pathetic little cheap renditions in polymer? I can't even make them any more, the joy is gone. There is no reason to make them if an experienced ceramic artist is selling them at a lower price in a bigger variety.

I am learning to research before getting excited about a new idea. Definitely before investing money. A few words in ol google would have shown me I am not that original.

Not yet.


  1. Oh man, how frustrating. I think this is part of the reason I stick to making jewelry and leave the artbead making up to the other professionals! I am wishing you luck in your newest and unseed endeavor and of course, I can't wait to see it! :)

  2. Being a family of artists, we were sitting around the dinner table just the other night talking about originality. And my husband posed the question, are any of us, really, ever thinking of something new or are we all just rehashing ideas over and over and over (by "us" I think he meant all of mankind not just our family)? I don't know how to answer this question but I do think that I will probably only ever be re-directing, re-formulating my experiences (visual and otherwise)...and trying to go farther. So I don't think we should drop ideas if someone else is doing it but rather PUSH them in a different direction. Know what I mean?

  3. Quick! List them, before someone else comes up with the same idea!
    I love your blog.
    Kris @ JBK

  4. Thank you for your encouragement, everyone.

    I think I do know what you mean, Genevieve. That's good advise to keep in mind.

    Thank you, Kristine!

  5. I agree with Genevieve, I think that it's all been done, however I think that as an artist I can put my own unique spin on the idea or execute it in a different way or take it to the next level.
    I also get discouraged to see that someone else is working on the same thing I am working on, but usually I can see that their process or result is somehow different than mine. As long as I enjoy the process of creating I continue to do it. I think that this sort of thing has always happened it is just since we are better connected with the internet that we are more aware of it. I find that a lot of the techniques I'm using are not common locally, but are easy to find online.

  6. Just make what you love Shannon. Who cares whether something similar was done before or someone makes something like yours in the future. You have one of the most original souls I have come across. It shows through your work. You can't get that from someone else and they can't get it from you. Just be yourself and none of the other stuff will matter!

  7. yes i could probably by singed silk flowers elsewhere on etsy but i have no relationship with those people:) i'm glad artists like you keep doing what inspires them and not giving up just because it's already been done before. it's never been done by YOU you and all that you do! the world is a brighter place indeed!!!

  8. I think these kinds of thoughts everyday. You can't let it slow you down Shannon - you just have to trust that your take, your 'cover' will be true to you and it will be GREAT. You have integrity, you judge your work long before anyone else sees it. Trust that judgement. To do anything else will make you crazy...

  9. Man, this was awesome encouragement I needed to hear! I do not know why it has always been so important to be "first' or "completely different". But it is, it's like an inner drive that happens on its own, like searching out water when I'm thirsty.
    All of you are such original, creative woman that your supportive comments were really calming to me, thank you!

  10. You know, it happens, and it's frustrating, but it's nothing to feel guilty about. I've used commercial texture sheets and molds to create my pendants, but I understand the risk that someone else might make the same item. When I find that someone is making the same thing, I move on; I'm usually ready anyway ;-)

    As far as offering them on Etsy, I would say go for it. Unless the materials are rare they can always be replicated, and probably improved on. Go ahead and mention that you were inspired by Friesen; it just makes you even more respectable as an artist.

  11. This happens to me ALL THE TIME!!!! I'll get excited about something I've been working on or even a thought about something and don't you know someone will blog about "our" creation or the same darn thought! So thanks for this post - I am not alone!!!!


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