Wednesday, September 15, 2010

No Maps on the Career Path

I need to move on. I need a new direction. A new horizon, a new job... but not any ol' job. I need something that will inspire me to smile or whistle while I work. Something creative. Something I can feel good about. Something that I want to do when I get up in the morning. Something that will contribute to the happiness of other people or animal's lives. I do lots and lots of things that fit these descriptions on a daily basis, but the point I am making is that I need the things I do to PAY ME!

Cleaning houses is a fine job. For someone of a heartier constitution, it may be a lifelong career. It pays well, the people are generally very happy you are there to make their lives easier, usually no one breathing down your neck so you are free to work as you please. BUT! I have been having physical issues that complicate my work. Back pain, joint pain, dizzy spells, and low blood sugar have been making work uncomfortable lately. Well, for a while actually. I just am getting fed up enough about it now that I'm whining. Audibly.

Let's brainstorm ways Melanie can make money creatively:


My etsy store has sold a whopping nada since I opened it. But that could because I've neglected it horribly since I listed my first 18 items. I hear tell that the pictures on an etsy page will make or break a store. The pictures not taken by me are just lovely. I hired a photographer friend of mine to photograph some of my work for my etsy site on trade. (I still owe her a set of gloves) The ones I took are hideous and don't show the products in good detail. My camera gives me a case of the "goddammit"s. I just can't get the lighting right. So, I haven't listed anything else since because I have only gotten crappy photos. I think my crafty things are better appreciated when held in your hand anyway.

I think the whole etsy thing is not for me. I spent more time online than making things to put online when I started it. That's not really productive. I'll keep it up and probably will add things here or there, but it's not going to be a full time pursuit.

Craft Markets

My husband has suggested I take my creative vomitings to the local arts and crafts markets on Saturdays throughout summer. I suppose it's a start, but it's hardly a full time job. I mean we just bought a house! I need a regular income! Once a week for 20 or so weeks is not going to feed us year round. I may give it a shot next weekend... but what would I sell? There's my knitting, quilting, stuffed critters, dyed fabric, paintings, drawings... where do I focus? That's like asking an amphibian to pick land or water!

I'm not a very fast knitter, which makes keeping a full inventory difficult. Though, people do really like the things I make. I've had numerous requests for my gloves and hats. Sideline maybe? But not my main focus... I just wouldn't make enough off of it.

I've not been doing much in the way of painting or drawing lately. The "good stuff" comes in spurts of creative genius (HA!) with lots of crap in between. Not good for making me rich either. No one wants crap.

I LOVE making my little tater stuffies! They are so fun. I really just want to keep them when I make them. And set them on my bed. And talk to them. But I've yet to sell a single one... I don't know if anyone else is as crazy as I am about armless furry things. Maybe I'll push them for a while and see where it takes me. Maybe.

Art quilts are fun. They are fantabulous to make. I really enjoy the process of dyeing, printing, hand sewing, and touching all that fabric! But I don't know if there's really a market for them. I seem to have a ton of them on display around town and have sold 2 in the last year. I suppose that's better than the big fat zero etsy sales.

Something Completely New

I've recently toyed with the idea of doing something new. Daring even. Like opening a gallery/studio space for other artists ala the Ceretana. I have ideas on how to run things in a more professional way than how they were run at the Ceretana. Things there didn't run all that smoothly at times... but that's another story. There are many open store fronts downtown and a ton of artists in this community who need space to work and exhibit on the cheap. With maybe a small modest shop for selling arty/crafty things too. I think I'd focus on mixed media and sculpture since that is a niche that seems not overly full in this town.

This all takes money though. And I am not exactly rolling in it. I could share responsibility with other like minded artist types or business folk. But do I want it to be a co-op or a profit driven environment? Do I want to let other people have a full share? I'm not really sure I'm that trusting or giving. But then, if it were a co-op and it failed... it's not JUST my fault and it's not JUST me who loses. I'm not thinking failure right now though. I want to succeed!

Fact of the matter: I must start something. Soon. I can't wait forever.

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