Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is it Wednesday???

I'm totally lost this week!

It's been a very beady few weeks and I'm really thankful for that. I worked for a couple of hours last night making more baby beads. I don't think I can say that I have my mojo back, but I definitely have my color mojo back and have my HANDS back and that's a wonderful thing. I also haven't had any life things that made me have tremors, so that's a good thing too and definitely helps with the beadmaking thing!!!

Being plugged into bead-world again has its good and bad points, however. I'm going to have to really limit the information I allow myself to read online because some of it really irks me. This is my blog and I really can say anything here, so I'm going to...

warning: You might as well fast forward if you don't care to hear my opinions or if you're not a beadmaker...or are only here to see how much money I'm making (none) or spending on coffee (none)...this isn't going to interest you.

Here goes....

To all you beadmakers who are upset for various reasons dealing with economy and voicing it on the forums...

please use your time more constructively. (I originally had stronger words here, but I don't want to be one of the complainers... I truly want to make people see the unfortunate power of their words) In using those forums to voice your negativity, it really spreads and hurts the art of beadmaking. We're such an emotional bunch, we artists, and hashing and rehashing this stuff is so NOT beneficial.

So...stop questioning whether beads are worth the money they were getting before, whether one person's beads are worth more than someone else's, etc. Beads are worth not only what someone is willing to pay for them (as e-bay reinforces) but ALSO what the beadmaker is willing to sell them for. It is not up to anyone but the artist to decide at what price they are willing to part with their treasures. What is a valid price to one person, might not be to another and it really isn't up to any of us to judge that.

I TRULY doubt that people would feel confident walking up to one of the "big name" beadmakers and saying "well, there's only 70 cents worth of glass in that bead... that's a bit of a markup you've got there" Whether "big name" or not, an artist is an artist and their work is theirs to price. Art is not about the cost of the materials... no one ever said it was. We aren't shoe factories... we're artists.

And on that note... Stop complaining about how much prices are going down... I know it's hard... especially if it's something that you depend on for a living, but no one should EVER become an artist because the money is great. That's not what art is about. It's easy to get lost in that (and I'm preaching to myself here). To value your worth by what people are willing to pay for it, but it's NOT the reason to become an artist. Artists have a need to create... whether someone is willing to pay for it or not... we HAVE to create. The term "starving artist" wasn't created in vain... there is something to it... there isn't always going to be a buyer for EVERY artist. A lot of people's work isn't even financially valued in their lifetime (if ever)... but art isn't about that.

Spend your time making ART and stop being negative. We were lucky to have the years that we had and hopefully we will again some day, but no one ever promised us anything. How many other art forms do people go into in order to make money?..... waiting...... anyone? anyone?.....


As of this month, I've been making beads for 13 years. This medium has come a LONG way in that time period and I don't know that the "new"people appreciate that the way they should. I'm not going to go into a long "when I was your age, we had it rough" kind of speech, but maybe some people need to hear it, so I'll go on a SMALL rant (ha!).

Not that long ago there weren't online venues for selling your work. period. All of the people who have been enjoying making a living making beads from the comfort of their own homes... that wasn't what it was like even 10 ? years ago. Those of us who wanted to sell beads had to go to where the bead buyers were. NO ONE came to us.... it cost a LOT of money to sell beads back then...not just a listing fee and a final value fee on ebay or etsy. Let's talk $100-$1000 per show PLUS travel to sell maybe $2000 of beads???? (if I was lucky) And there were no guarantees that you'd sell anything (there were shows where I didn't)... it was always a risk.

I flew to the west coast at least once a month, and drove to other places in between because there were no beadshows in my yard and that was the only way to sell my work. SO you've invested a few dollars on a listing fee and didn't sell the work??? Remind yourself that you've risked very little compared to what you would have years ago.

I took a HUGE risk and became the first glass beadmaker to advertise in Bead and Button (to those people who judged me back then saying "well she thinks she's all that" time to eat some crow...) I did it because I was pregnant and couldn't travel to all the shows. It was a practical decision... but a decision with a lot of fore-sight and a smart one!!! So... maybe I should be added to the list of people you should thank??? (naw!) But back then, I had to make a catalog, and send it out IN THE MAIL (gasp!) to people for them to order beads.

We were SO lucky that online sales became possible... and yes, they've gone down... but hey... it's keeping you all at home with your families. Trust me... you are SO much better off right now.

Just think... you have classes to take! glass readily available! great books/magazines/tutorials! TOOLS out the wazoo!!! (although that might hurt) And daily access to people who talk about making beads!! The only time most people got to do that was in-person at the Gathering or Bead Shows!!! It is SUCH a different ball game right now than it was in 1996 and any of you that were not around to see those changes needs to thank everyone who made that possible and spend your time being grateful instead of wallowing in self-pity or judgement on others. You are SO lucky to have people to share in your joy of making beads, so use that forum for just that... and STOP the other crap.

Anyways... all you complainers...get to making art or GET OUT!!! I truly am hoping for a culling of the beadmakers. I'm hoping that this period of economic uncertainty pushes anyone who is not making beads for the love of beadmaking OUT THE DOOR (because they are usually the biggest whiners). And yes, that's how I really feel about it. Flame away. This is MY blog and I'm totally comfortable saying what I think right here in my space.

tiny blah blah blah...

Today's coffee is again brought to you by one of my FYV students. Merci beaucoup!!! :) I love being thanked in coffee!!!!! (hint hint... please send more gift cards ASAP. LOL)

coffee - CDL which is SO yummy on this cold day!

music - my long long mellow list. I think I need to change things up, it's getting a little draggy. Right now is Clapton's Wonderful Tonight and I'm fast-forwarding because it's too slow. Maroon 5 - Sunday Morning is a little more upbeat. I'll let them stay. :)

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