Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crazy Artist


Have you ever just frozen up when you found yourself in the spotlight?  Have you ever had a project or an experiment be such an unexpectedly wild success that you genuinely didn't know what to do next?  Anyone?

Well, that's what happened to me, and where I've been for April and May.  Having the dealers' room table at Norwescon succeeded well beyond my wildest imaginings, and I had no idea what to do next.  My plans covered a range of abject failure to moderate success, but completely failed to account for the possibility of doing unbelievably well.  So I came home form Norwescon, did my accounting, passed out for a couple of weeks (this is fairly normal for me, as I'm an introvert and that level/intensity of social interaction is immensely draining), got up and had no idea what to do next.  My original plans for the summer included a lot of R&D, a few personally significant projects, and some experimentation with my marketing strategy (including reworking the website and ArtFire/Etsy shops).  These are all things that aren't expected to have immediate, huge payoffs.  In the wake of the immediate, huge payoffs of Norwescon I started feeling pressure to find a way to continue making that kind of money, to prove that it wasn't just a fluke. Unfortunately, getting in to other convention dealers' rooms is something that I would have to have sorted out 6-10 months ago, so just staying on that path isn't an option.
I've finally come to the conclusion that I can't really depend on shows like Norwescon for my living.  Even if I could find enough of those shows, that level of constant social engagement would probably kill me, never mind always being on the road.  I'm not going to have a hope of reproducing the particular success of Norwescon until at least Orycon in November. Because of that, the plan I originally had for summer is still valid.  The very best thing I could possibly do in order to have more sales would be to get my online sales/marketing act together.  I also need to determine what, exactly, I need in order to have something to present to boutiques, and what sort of boutiques I'm going to present to (there are a few different options here).  I need to do the R&D, because it will answer important questions about the nature of the materials available to me and may expand the range of things I can do.  And, I need to do more illustration pieces because that's what feeds my soul.

OK, so as a reward for putting up with the inside of my head for that long, here are some photos of some of the production that got done while I was panicking about business matters

First, formal portraits of finished pieces that will be available in the ArtFire shop soon if not already:
Fallout #1 enamel pendant

Fragments #1 enamel pendant

another Autumn Leaf

Next, a few not-so-great cell phone shots of experimental pieces:
Luminescence #1 
While this one could easily be the luminescence of the stars, it was actually inspired by bio-luminescence as observed in the wake of a sailboat.

Mosaic #1 Pendant
 Recycling at its best! I had a large illustration piece turn out not so well, and had to disassemble it so I could re-use the copper base plate. Enamel dis-assembly is done with a hammer, which left me with all these chunks and shards of glass, some with silver foil still embedded.  It couldn't be sorted back into component colors, but it wasn't un-usably contaminated, so I fired a little bit in a concave pendant and put a layer of clear on top of it to make a completely unique piece.  All the scrap from this illustration piece will have these blue/green/brown tones, but other large pieces I have to take apart will have other color combinations.

tinted faux "ivory" acrylic serpent hair pin

I think this guy's just cute, and the eyes are very tiny crystal rhinestones.  Serpents are a very Victorian motif, and I freehanded this hairpin on a whim, mostly to do strength tests on a thinner plastic.  It's held up well so far.

And finally, a couple of pics form Norwescon:

Booth setup

Me! Costumed, wearing my corset underneath, with my linen vest and fancy tentacle buttons.

The bronze hair pins sold out! This nice lady put hers to good use.