Daily Draw September 17th, 2009
I am back to planning work and am going to make up some beads, a 20-hour process that I usually love but I’m still getting a “what’s the point” feeling. It’s amazing how little people want to pay for handmade things. Someone asked me to do the local Christmas show this year and I am hesitating because two years ago I participated and found that people are really looking for things under $10. I can’t make anything for under $10 due to material costs and the time required to fashion something.
I sold some bookmarks for $7 the last time and they required 14 hours to make with 4 coats of varnish, printing on photo paper, gluing, pressing, and cost about $3 in materials. Oh wow, after paying for my supplies, I made $0.29 cents an hour, lucky me. There is no sense to that. So people tell me, “Just make cheap stuff.” What would be the point? Who wants to make cheap gimcracks for $3 apiece anyway? What would be the point of making something by hand then?
Once I start focusing on selling things, the joy goes out of it because I know I will not be paid. Anyone can string glass beads on wire, but I do bead embroidery and I make my own beads. It takes hours and hours to make something original up. I make a little story with each necklace, they are individuals after all.
I started a really neat necklace last year with impasto beads based on a paper doll dress that Zelda Fitzgerald painted for her daughter. It has a bead-embroidered pendant with silk ribbon embroidery, an image transfer cabochon from a gardening catalogue that says “Scott’s Flowers” which echoes that Zelda and her daughter were Scott Fitzgerald’s flowers, and sewn beads and these wild handmade beads on the strung part, like Zelda herself and Zelda’s fabulous paintings. It was a real concept and is taking hours, but the secret delight I hold in the inspiration never goes away. It is delicious.
Until I get to putting it up for sale. Then I stop working, because someone will say “Isn’t that cute” and want to pay $25 for it. I had a customer at an art show dicker around like that with one of my embroidered necklaces. This wasn’t cheaply done, it had a very fine finish, tiny stitches and expensive beads, all backstitched and solidly sewn, plus my own handmade beads, and silk, but you would have thought he was bargaining for a battery-operated penlight at the dollar store the way he was sneering at me about the price. It was humiliating.
I need a goal in life and creativity. So I’m doing a botanical theme with things today. After that I’ll get to the discouragement and humiliation part, but for today I will try to suspend that and enjoy the colours and creating. There is simply nothing on earth like making something beautiful.
My message from Cilla Conway and the Intuitive Tarot today is:
TWO OF CUPS
Love, companionship, friendship. It is like reaching the “flow” part of the brain in creating: everything fits and the world disappears in the union of idea and process, a partnership of the work I enjoy and my mind. I will accomplish more with this kind of harmony than thinking that there is no point to doing anything. Creativity, like grapes, will ripen on the vine, and bring its scent to life.
Mmmmm, smell the purple, feel the tender kiss of inspiration.