Dec 29, 2008
Dec 18, 2008
This is where I say no. I could make it, but I won't. The reason I work in beach glass is I like the hunt. I love the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand and rocks as I dig and the magical moment when I find a really cool piece. I would loose that if I simply used a tumbler.
In your business, if an opportunity knocks but it doesn't feel right what do you do? Do you answer the door or simply say "Not now, I'm busy doing what I love to do?"
Dec 15, 2008
Dec 4, 2008
And on that note, I'm off to start setting up the Fort for the Gift Giving Show. Hope to see you there - shopping locally...
Dec 1, 2008
Nov 27, 2008
Nov 24, 2008
Nov 18, 2008
The answer is yes it is important for any business but especially for artists. It comes down to people buy from people; especially in the art world. If customers just needed a picture for the wall they would go to a superstore, but if they're buying art, they want the story. Your blog is a perfect place to tell your story. It's a way for customers to connect with you and feel they have a personal relationship with you.
Another important purpose of blogs is authenticity. In Trendwatch's report for 2008, authenticity was rated as the number #2 influencer in buyer trends. People want to know who you are and they want it to be believable, so traditional, biased information like brochures and websites just won't cut it anymore.
So if you don't have a blog - get one! Then let me know and we can connect in the blogsphere! Happy Blogging!
Nov 10, 2008
Oct 31, 2008
Oct 27, 2008
Oct 8, 2008
Oct 3, 2008
So, just for fun, here's my latest design by oops. And the story...
You can really tell by the photo, but the band is twisted slightly, it kind of spirals up the finger. It was supposed to be flat, but it adds an neat touch. The beach glass was supposed to sit straight up and down on the finger, but because of the twist it actually sits on a slight angle, again a neat touch.
Sep 26, 2008
At my core, my most basic level of inspiration comes directly from my family. I have an over-active need to make them proud. I remember when I was in college out west and stumbling across a really old hand carved tomb stone that said his name, years and in quotes "..and he was a damn good Irishman." I think that sums it up, he made people proud of who he was. Now I may not want mine to read the same thing (since I'm not Irish) but I hope it will have the same impact.
When I moved passed my core I thought about my art. Why do I create? Why do I choose beach glass? I started jotting notes down and then I realized I was basically re-writing my artist statement. I remember when I first wrote my artist statement it seemed so daunting and difficult, but putting it in the context of inspiration it was all of a sudden easy.
So the next time you're asked to submit an artist statement, start with the question 'where does my inspiration come from?' You may even be surprised with your answer!
Sep 16, 2008
When my customers buy a piece of jewellery from me, it is often their very first piece of beach glass jewellery. Which means they don't know how to take care of it; how to wash it, how often it can be worn, what if it tarnishes, etc. So I need to make sure to give them some sort of an orientation. Do you do this for your customers? Maybe with an FAQ page on your website, a little tip sheet given with each sale, or just by showing them during the sale?
The second thing it reminded me about was language barriers. In most cases, the challenge may not be as significant as Japanese to English; but often I hear artists (and other business owners for that matter) getting too technical when they talk to clients. Remember, you know the intricate details and 'lingo' associated with your industry but your customers may not, they may not know what those acronyms mean. You may just get the same crossed-eyed, squished up nose look I got from Shizuka when I said it was 'muggy out on the weekend'. So make sure you are speaking the same language as your customers, they'll appreciate it, Shizuka does.
Sep 5, 2008
Aug 21, 2008
Aug 18, 2008
The next Bead 'n' Bitch is tomorrow night.
Aug 15, 2008
I started using my tiger wire and some crimps, some silver wire and voila... a new beautiful, little bit whimsical, style earring was born. In fact I love this new design so much that I made several pairs with the same concept. I can't wait to show them off this weekend at the festival! (that's why I didn't include a picture, come to the festival to get a peak!).
So what I learned from what started out as a frustrating situation is that sometimes it's good to shake things up a bit, put yourself in an adverse conditions and you'll be surprised with what you come up with...I sure was pleasantly surprised!
Aug 6, 2008
Jul 31, 2008
My mother-in-law and I went together and got talking. Earlier in the day she was meeting some of her friends and trying to describe the type of jewellery I make and what beach glass is. (I've found either people are avid collectors themselves or have no idea whatsoever what beach glass is). They told her that she should wear a piece or at least have a sample in her purse. Good idea... I'll get back to this comment in a moment, but back to the show last night.
So I looked around the gallery and noticed that none of the artists in attendance, including the goldsmiths were wearing their own work. Carolyn was at least carrying a sweater and given the heat it made sense that she wasn't wearing it.
We spend so much money and effort on promoting our work that I think sometimes we often overlook the simple ideas. Your new mantra should be 'don't leave home without it'. Whether it's a small business card size portfolio in your pocket, a piece on (if you're a jeweller) or a sample in your purse (if you carry one). And take that step further, like in my mother-in-laws case, make sure your family and close friends that are willing do the same. Talk about cheap labour! So remember, next time I see you, you better not have left it at home!
Jul 21, 2008
Bead 'n' Bitch
July 22, 2008
Come once or sign up for all 4 nights. Each night complete a new jewellery project or bring your own projects in progress and get help completing it. Time to hang out with fabulously fun women, share some drinks and create beautiful ( or at least unique :-) ) jewellery!$15 per night or $50 for all 4 (Aug 5, 19, Sept 9, 23). Includes beverages, most project materials and coaching.
The Art of Being Social - Web Marketing for Artists
July 30, 2008
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Social networking and marketing online are key to any successful business in today's competitive world especially for artists! These two hours will be spent going over the basics of online marketing for artists including: Facebook, YouTube, Blogging and yes even Second Life. Come learn how you can profit from the web instead of just spending on the web.
Bookkeeping Basics for Artists
August 27, 2008
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Entrepreneurs dig right into the production and sale of their product, because that's the fun part. For most, however, bookkeeping is the necessary evil. This is particularly true for artists. This workshop will show the importance of records and suggest and show simple methods specifically applicable to artists.
I have also have some kids camps listed on my website: www.lindseyfair.ca
Jul 9, 2008
Jul 7, 2008
My task list is bigger now than last week in the corporate world! And new opportunities keep presenting themselves and I'm a sucker for peer pressure I guess because I keep saying yes. It's a hard gamble sometimes to say no, because what if you're turning down a good, really good thing? Leo Babauta talks about how to get out of this dilemma in his blog - The Gentle Art of Saying No, which when I came across it was a good reminder to me that I have the 'right' to say NO.
Practice saying this before sitting down at your bench, easel, desk or studio "My time is valuable and I've figured out my priorities (and sticking to them)".
Jun 24, 2008
- running a kids camp
- teaching at the college
- grant writing for artists / organizations
- selling my own art
- facilitating workshops and presentations
- writing blogs
- online marketing consulting
A quick look at this list and some may say it is unfocused. But when you look at it closely, they are all inter-related and all within themselves focused on the work I want to do and can do. They all generate revenue and none of them conflict with the image I want to create for myself. To me if I were just the meat and potatoes with the same outcome every time, that was predictable and somewhat bland, I would lose focus and ambition. By taking that same meat and potatoes and making goulash, I get a different flavour every time - that's what will keep me focused on results and my passions.
Jun 10, 2008
As I embark down this new path, I realize that as much as I'm an independent artist and an independent business consultant, I'm not in this alone. My friends and family have played a very important role: my cheerleader. My husband, who is not a risk taker, is really going out of his comfort zone to support me and that gives me confidence and a level head to bounce my ideas off of. My friends have offered me solid advice on everything from timing, to process to financial ideas.
So, I've learned that even if you're in business by yourself, you're never in it alone. It really does take a family to raise an entrepreneur!
Jun 4, 2008
May 25, 2008
I have a good friend who is an amazing DJ and spin artist. For years we have been begging him to make us a CD. Finally after 7 years of begging we finally got one and do you know what he said? "It's not perfect so please don't share it with anyone else." So we listened and do you know what? To us it was perfect, it was fantastic!
So back to the Odessa Show, the customer wanted to buy an Inushuk that I had made out of beach glass (of course). The only thing is that in my mind it wasn't for sale because it was really just a prototype and not perfect. You could see some of the glue, the legs were too close together, etc. So when he asked to buy it I was shocked and do you know what I said? "Well it really wasn't for sale, you can see the glue." He said, he didn't care or notice and loved it anyway. He didn't pay full-pop for it, but probably would have if I asked him to.
If we wait until it's perfect, we'll never leave the studio. The point of the story is, you don't need to spend all your time making it perfect from your point of view, just perfect enough from the customers view - they love your imperfections, it's what makes it one-of-a-kind.
May 17, 2008
May 9, 2008
Pricing is one of the most common questions I get asked by artists (next to where do I get money :-) ). And pricing your art is a challenge for sure. Here are somethings to consider when trying to price your art:
- Cost of materials
- Cost of running the business (advertising, rent, website)
- Time into the piece
- Time on training this far to be able to create this piece
- And yes, personal attachment does come into play (I had a good example of this the other day. I had a very rare piece of orange beach glass with a star etched in it, I sold it within 48hrs of posting it to my website, but felt remorse right after).
Now that you've taken all that into consideration you piece is probably worth $50,000 right? Well, you have at least 2 other things to consider:
- Competitors price
- Market demand (what are consumers willing to pay for this)
The last thing to consider is the concept of premium pricing. When I first started selling my jewellery I priced things very low because for the 4 considerations where very low so I didn't think I could price them higher. As time went on I started to integrate higher pricing based on the last two consideration and WOW what a difference, sales increased by 40% and I made more profit on each piece. If premium pricing didn't work, Starbucks wouldn't still be in business!
May 6, 2008
Social networking and marketing online are key to any successful business in today's competitive world, especially for artists! These two hours will be spent going over the basics of online marketing including Facebook, Youtube, Blogging, your own website and yes even Second Life. Come learn how you can profit from the web instead of spending money on it!
May 5, 2008
Last Thursday, while having an already very hectic week, I was rushed to hang my work at the local Starbucks for a show I have on this month. When I got there I realized that I didn't have the proper hangers for their wall mount system. I thought no worries, I have duct tape and it holds anything! Now my work isn't heavy, but just in case I put lots of tape on it and made loops on the back of the canvases that would work with their hooks (or so I thought). A few hours later I got a call from Starbucks, I was hoping someone wanted to buy a piece, but no...
A piece fittingly called 'A Good De-ed' had fallen off the wall and hit a poor customer on the head. So I retrieved my work, attached the right hooks and rehung everything the following day. The morale of the story, well there's two:
1. Taking short cuts doesn't really save you anytime.
2. Duct tape doesn't hold everything, especially when you're counting on it!