At a crossroads

Another Monday has come and (almost) gone. I must admit that it's getting harder and harder to keep up this blog. I know of many others who eventually stop blogging, take a hiatus, or move on to another form of social media. Even though I use FaceBook, I still want to keep my blog going. Since I didn't get any suggestions about what to blog about, my attendance here has slacked off a bit.
What's really on my mind lately, I hesitate to write about. It's not all sunny and positive. I feel like I'm standing at a crossroads-with my jewelry business, and my life. On the jewelry home front, I feel that business has been going down, and getting worse, especially in this last year. Sales are down, attendance at shows are down. My spirit is down. When I decided that I would do less shows this year, I at least had a couple in mind for this fall. And with the poor showing in July; 1) I cannot afford to apply to the one show, and 2) I missed the opening application for the other one, only to find out most of it is already booked/sold out, and I may not get into that one either. Such is the up and down life of an artist.
I sometimes wonder if I have what it takes to do this. I have a somewhat "thick skin", and usually have a "Never Give Up" attitude, but I'm getting so tired of the wait.

The jewelry category is so oversaturated. It becomes increasingly difficult to create "new" designs without stepping on someone's toes or being called a "copy cat". (Get over it.)
So I started to think about expanding my already developed skills (like fold forming) and go bigger. Create wall art, bowls, sculpture. It gives me a glimmer of hope creating something new in form such as this. And I really haven't seen much in terms of artists at shows or otherwise working in this style. I do know a couple, who's work I do admire.
But with this comes more expense. To go bigger means buying larger sizes and quantities of metal. I'll need new tools to work at this level too. Not to mention more studio space. And at this time, with no extra money coming in, it's just not possible. So what am I to do? The answer that comes is...... start small.
Yeah, I get that, but I'm a gotta have it now, gotta move now, type of person (type A type you say). Well, I probably rambled on long enough by now, and if you didn't get anything out of this blog post; well, at least I think I did- just a little bit anyway.

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Elksong said…
Hey Cindy, I gotta tell ya, this is almost identical to a blog post I did a couple years (I think) ago, was so disgusted with sales, over-saturation of the market, run-amuck resellers, etc. ....all I can say by way of encouragement is that sometimes there simply is no way through it, but through it. I mean, changing course is sometimes a good idea, but I've found over the years when things are just in the toilet that sheer, tick-like determination to stick it out is what I always resort to. I figure that, like they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going! Things being tough weeds out the "weaklings" and makes you pissed off enough try things that don't necessarily make sense, but you're at a point where you figure, 'what the hell, why not?' I think getting annoyed about bad sales can actually be very creatively liberating.

Stick it out, explore other expressions of your art, be the tick! There will always be people interested in your work, sometimes you just have to wait for them to find you.

Cherie "Elksong"
I'm sorry to hear about the shows not going well. I hope things work out for the fall.
The larger pieces sound really neat, but I understand the part about more/larger supplies and tools.
Do you sell any of your jewelry wholesale? You could look at local shops as well as Etsy's new wholesale program. Just a thought.
I'm at the same place with my jewelry....for some of the reasons you mentioned, and because we downsized and my studio is smaller, I need to change my art somewhat. I started doing fiber and wound up loving felting. Now I've started adding my metal designs to the fiber. It's kinda fun and I'm learning as I go. My suggestion is to cut back some and try learning some new skills, related to metal or not. You may find a new path for your designs. I wish you well.
cindy said…
Thanks for your comments you guys; they have been helpful. It's nice to know I am not alone.

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