Monday, August 31, 2009

Creative Scrap Heap

I came across some articles in Handeye Magazine which set me to procrastination, and feelings of inadequacy- I am not good at marketing, I do hone my skills but to what end, to make a barely sustainable living?

From an article entitled Rites of Spring from Handeye Magazine Li Edelkoort comments on the global consumer economy: “The world is now a market, governed by mega-mergers and mega-brands. Suddenly, almost naturally, men and women are looking again at handmade, man-mastered, artisan arts, as a refuge from mega-monotony. In terms of economy, employment strategies, and social development, we believe that quality arts and crafts will have a very important revival.”
There is room in this world for broader thinking about societies near and far, and for what products are needed by makers and consumers alike. Just ask any Parisian wearing handmade indigo."

LI Edelkoort has a airy light studio in Paris, is a trendsetter and forecaster in trends and colour.

And from another article:Madeline Weinrib's Own Voice and interview with Madeleine Wienrib
MW: Find ways to understand the aesthetic of the market you want to enter. There are real differences in what people perceive and appreciate. The challenge for artisans is to see what people who are not artisans and who live in another culture will value highly enough to purchase. “How do I make what I do seem beautiful to these customers at this moment in time?” Linking with designers can be a big help, as they are, on a visual level, professional translators.

I like to work in isolation, but when all the other aspects of your life fall away as in divorce and the dismantling of a dream, that isolation can of itself be a shackle, because there is nowhere to turn. The isolation also makes it difficult to market yourself-I am not part of any mainstream let alone any stream in art textile or design sense. Yes I make and I do exhibit, but it all seems to be in a vacumm- what strategies do I have to market what I make- because I do have to sell in order to make a living.I do aspire to make beautiful things or at least decorative things, but I know very little of the market place in terms of trends or forecasts- should I know more?If I did, how would it influence what I make- is this just a bad dose of angst? So the photo is a little of how I feel- a heap of scraps that once emerged at the behest of a creative urge that suddenly lost its impetus.....


Aussie Jo said...

Hi Dijanne, It is very natural to feel discouraged when working in isolation, and really, unless you are in a creative partnership or group, this is what you have to do.
In Melbourne it is much easier for creative workers to network, get out of the studio for a coffee with like minded friends to recharge, get some feedback etc.
I guess, from where you are working the internet is the answer, both for marketing and networking.

I think your on-line shop is well set up and very easy to navigate and when I get some spare money, I would love to buy one of your pieces. Perhaps you need to get this site out there in the market, maybe some of the Melbourne arty mags, Craft Victoria exhibition/hatch, local papers, a Lorne gallery over the summer. Really, networking equals sales.

Looking forward to your dyeing workshop in September

Pat said...

I think you spoke the angst of so many artists/artisans who by choice, and of necessity, work alone.

Your work is beautiful. Envigorating.
Unique. and uniquely your's.
It speaks your voice and your's alone.

And, I believe, it is not dependent on 'market trends'.

However, the trick does seem to be how one gets word of the work out to the world.

And then the essential question remains: how can you find the afficionados who will desire, afford and cherish your lovely work?

jude said...

loved this post. i worked in the fashion industry for years as a woven fabric designer and i was in charge of trend forecasting especially in the area of color. it is such bullshit. in the end i don't really think it has any bearing. it is a tool to lead the customer into a pit of no conscious choice. it works when combined with extreme marketing but it actually has nothing to do with reality. the question in my mind is always does art have to be marketed to be appreciated? and then, is it still art?

LC said...

I've just started reading your blog so do not know you very well, but I do know the sense of 'what is the use' and how debilitating it can be. This too shall pass. Artists such as yourself will take their eyes off their work now and then and feel like this, but that emotional angst is part of what makes your work sing. It is in being fully human (and sometimes seeing ourselves as failures and the work we do as nothing) that enables us to connect with others - who go through exactly the same thing. One day soon you will again look out (and up) - this too shall pass.

Margaret Ball said...

Your work is brilliant - I'm a long-time fan of it - and in a society that supported and believed in art no marketing strategies would be necessary.

I don't think you should pay attention to "trends" or "forecasts" - this would just get in the way of your wonderfully creative spirit. Yes, it's important to get your art seen by potential buyers, but there are other ways to do that. (I read about them but don't do them. "Social media marketing" seems to be the buzzword these days.)

Margeeth said...

Dijanne, you make beautifull things, which are very reasonably priced (perhaps even a bit low). I guess the problem is not what you make, but that people just don't perceive textile art that isn't framed as art. I once visited a galery that sold (among a lot of paintings) two real simple fabric collages. They were framed so they sold.

catsmum said...

given how very well known and highly thought of you are, I found this post a little disturbing in terms of what it said about and to me as a textile hermit buried in the wilds of central vic.
One door has closed and the next hasn't quite opened yet. I think a level of angst should be seen as normal. If you didn't have a level of panic at the moment you wouldn't be human.
Be well and do well sweety!

Joy V said...

I love your work Dijanne, please don't go 'commercial'. Working in isolation can seem in itself, at times to be out of the loop in the mainstream side of art. But I think that is what makes your work unique. Your name is held in high regard among those who know your work and I think that is what 'sells' you. Keep doing what you are doing, especially what you love. Look forward to the dyeing workshop in Sept.

woolywoman said...

I hate networking, promoting, and socializing. I like dyeing fabric and making quilts. It is a conundrum, for sure.