Never Any Time to Blog

It seems that work has taken over most of my time and the dedication to my blog and followers has taken a back seat,in order to get my work done, take a new directions in the combination of illustration and ceramics and I now realize that the the words that I once wrote which were the basis for my thought process, are now dedicated to other social media platforms.

For this I am sorry to my followers and hope to have better discipline in balancing between visual imagery and written words….

My creative efforts have taken off and my next steps are how to bring into reality of a bigger audience,online store and all that it takes, to make a business more lucrative. The down side is the incredible amount of back office, shipping and commission work that comes with the growing business.

My thoughts are still not clear on which option suits my needs at the moment and how to proceed and rationalize what is right for me as a maker, and who I can grow the business without all getting out of control. Will keep you all posted just need more than 24 hours a day to even start to get the list of the things that I need to get done…..

the Sound of Online Silence

pen&ink drawing "pullman 90"

Sorry to all for the long silence from my blog for the last several months but have had to deal with a lot of my family issues which have kept me from having a clear mind to sit down and write to all of my followers. My Instagram has been getting more dedicated time as I try and deal with work,getting my mindset back into a proper mode to work on the many aspects of the business both online and off.

As I use my state of mind, the emotions to drive my work ,I sometimes feel that as if all is growing a bit too fast and my mind is split in more directions than before. Yes, media presence is growing to be more important with our creative process, but too many spend their energies in this direction and less in a more creative sense of artistic development of style, product and imagery to help expand our horizons and business…

For myself, I have decided to sit back and place only essential information and inspiration on my blog to those of you that follow and use the visual imagery of Instagram (@the_horny_potter) to fulfill the day to day updates of what I am working on at the moment.

As the holidays near,and commissions continue to be knocked out one after the other, I am fortunate to say that my following has grown and sales have been good. I am concentrating on making new prototypes, and using new materials to keep my followers interested in what I do and continue to inspire the followers with new products at an affordable price. Prices has gone up due to increase in shipping and gas prices so my prices out of consequence have risen slightly.

My aim is to make affordable handmade items for what I deem is affordable price. I am going back into my illustrations in black and white (see image above) to make original small format pieces for the holidays. My apprehension in making reproductions has kept me on the fence for too long. I see, as many of my fellow artisans have chosen to follow the reproduction route, that after a while this is all that they sell and the originals remain in their studios or stores. I have decided that artistic integrity and original art is: my road to follow. And will pursue this route of original art work though it is more difficult road to follow. We all want to inspire and have our work bought and hung in the home or studios of our followers, I hope to  concentrate a smaller group of artistic followers that crave original art versus artistic” reproductions”. Less sales maybe from the start ,but I am able to attract a group of individuals where original art and handmade is important aspect to their creative choices.

This is the road that I have chosen and maybe not for everyone,To each is own,we all are different and based on what we create and the affordability of our creative efforts need to make decisions are best for our business . All for now, sorry once again that it has been to long since my last entry……

Creative Food for Thought

It has been a while since my last blog entry and seeing that it is cold outside, and that I have had a couple of productive days in the studio painting these little bud vases  with micro designs and loading myself with caffeine and focus, I think that it is time to blog about where the creative process takes an artisan when selling to the public and about one’s ability as an artist to change or alter direction of art object in order to drive commerce and thrive.

Many creative spirits seem less determined to to bending to the rules of Supply and Demand,in order to turn a profit or make a sale. In this generation of online stores popping up on the Web, the Creative community needs to take note of the way people make and sell “Handmade” works of art,design in the digital age.

Those of us that choose the brick and mortar method of having a physical shop, studio or atelier, need to do a bit of research on how the new technology has altered and increased the  competitive way people buy art and handmade items.

Your presence, online is vital where people, followers and possible patrons can catch a glimpse of your artistic endeavors via social networks, websites or other online platforms.

I am a bit “old school” as for my own operation, I prefer to sell out of my studio but use all the tools available for a limited glimpse of  my endeavors to the online audience and focus on the direct approach to selling face 2 face with clients,art lovers and patrons.

You might think that it is it enough? This is a question that we all have to ask ourselves when putting our work out there. How much do you really want to produce? What are the personal limits that set you up to making hand made goods without the quality starts to suffer, less then your personal potential to create.

All good questions but the answer is different for each one of us in an artistic community of creatives.  Sure, everyone feels great when they make a sale, but at what point do you compromise, what you do in order to make a sale……

This is a common dilemma for many and the  reality of this dilemma has many answers depending on :

  • what you make
  • your price point
  • your competition and competitors
  • willingness to compromise your style or format in order to make a sale
  • unwillingness to change you artistic direction in regards to format, style or more

We as creative individuals, have to make serious decisions on how our products can compete with others in order to drive sales and financial security. Trial and error is part of putting yourself out there to learn the ropes of commerce and good or bad decision making.

In the art studios where I work, I often time go around and see what other artists have done to make more affordable art and the decisions they have made have been surprising.

They are divided into the following groups:

  • HARDCORE artisans: do what they want and try to dictate their style, color and format to their public with a take it or leave it attitude.
  • Wannabe Artisans: makers of an mediocre work and worst of all make bad decisions of art reproduction that has its limits on taste, quality or style. This is a growing group of middle-road artists that are trying to compete with many online stores and chains that have made sketchy choices on how to reproduce their art relying on online vendors to cheaply reproduce their work on phone case,mugs, etc.etc.etc.
  • Freestyle Artisans: Those selected few that have done their research online, in their workplace, to scout out what competitors do, at what price point? and at what quality level. Artisans that know who they compete with, and who are willing to compromise in order to stay competitive…..

Which group are you part of ?

Simple question but hard to answer depending on your artistic medium.

Economically, these are hard times, I do not think that we will see the glory days of the 60’s- 90’s ever again. With the costs to make art, the prices of materials, rents, technical assistance, can we make something that will not leave us in debt? A question we all need to ask ourselves as we create and when we consider the price of our artistic products.

Sorry, this blog seems to stir up a lot of questions, and does not provide a lot of answers, we must all ponder in thought to come to what is the right conclusions for our work.

Think about these points and reflect.

Art for Art’s sake seems to take on a whole different meaning in these times. With all the political and social unrest, I see that the ability to create and defy is greater than ever. The art that is coming out of these times is quite inspiring to me, with a strong sense of purpose to creatively produce as a way to speak out about our world now, what we want and do not tolerate. An artistic approach to protest,resist and ridicule…..

I am stirring up a lot of thoughts to encourage all of us as an artistic community to speak through our work and hope that the questions that are put forth in this blog have given you all some food for thought….