When I was in college, I worked at a high-end dress store, owned by a tiny little Italian lady who was a cross between Olympia Dukakis's character in Moonstruck and the tiny ghost-communicating lady from Poltergeist with a dose of Sophia Loren and Mr. Magoo thrown in for good measure. The store carried a huge variety of cocktail/formal dresses.... and some of them, made my eyes hurt because they were over-the-top mother-of-the-bride tacky and I was in my early 20s and "way too cool" to sell stuff like that. (where is she going with this you wonder????)
There were times I'd make a comment about a dress just not being something I could sell... it seemed to sit on the rack forever. Mrs. C would remind me, in her thick NY/Miami accent "There's an ass for every dress!!" She recognized that not everyone has the same taste and that is a lesson that I'm having to remind myself a lot lately.
My stuff is bright and colorful and happy and my customers like it that way. My customers aren't everyone's customer.... in fact, they've often commented that there are not enough whimsical choices for them when taking classes.... but honestly, we whimsical sorts are in the minority in bead-world.... not everywhere, but definitely in bead world. The things I make don't appeal to people who need to wear serious jewelry... people who want jewelry that looks like they bought vintage recreations or contemporary elegant pieces. My stuff is fun. It's happy. It's colorful and a bit wacky at times. It's not always the easy piece to wear with everything, but it's always something that makes me smile.
When I looked back at the photos of the work I sent into Bead and Button for my application to teach, I saw that the joy was missing from the pieces. I love the designs, but I subtracted one of the main elements that makes me me..... color. Sure, there might be people who like the kit colors that weren't so into them before, BUT my customers are still my customers and I was cheating them and myself by trying to squeeze my square peg butt into the round hole of bead world JUST to get a chance to teach at B&B. I might not be what B&B needs as an instructor, but I'm good at happy and whimsy and I need to just embrace who I am and try to find the places where I DO fit. (and I'm definitely still looking for those places)
Lately I fit in better at art shows. I don't have the financial success in that area yet, but I'm just starting to build a brand and a presence.... but I love what I'm making and at shows, the reaction I get is that my work makes people happy. My art glass, unlike my recent beadwork is just all out there.... colorful and happy. SO, I need to stop trying to be what I'm not in bead world and just say "SCREW IT!" and be(ad) myself.... bringing color and joy back into my work. I will be back in design mode in November and December, so I look forward to seeing what colorful things I can conjure up. In the meantime, I'm re-beading some samples that need a little kick in the color department.
So... what did Mrs. C have to do with it?? I need to just remind myself that there is a customer out there who loves beaded happiness and it's my job to design for her.
tiny blah blah blah....
music - Aca-awesomeness from Pitch Perfect
coffee - CDL... it's fall, y'all and it's PERFECT weather for a latte.