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Sunday, June 15, 2014

It Seemed Like...

a good idea at the time.  I make stuff, that people like, admire, enthuse about.  So I would sell it, and offer workshops, and go to quilt shows and teach classes, and write books.  That way, I could make some money to cover the cost of making the stuff that people like, admire etc...  Seemed reasonable.

Sadly, however reasonable it was, it didn't work.  Other than the books, I've not managed to do much in the way of selling, either stuff or workshops.  It's hard to come to any conclusion other than, people don't actually want to buy what I offer.  So, I'm going to stop.  I've just withdrawn from the last few quilt shows I had planned to do; I can't afford the inevitable financial loss that I would make by doing them.  It's great to meet people and show people stuff, but at the end of the day, I have to eat, too.  I'll keep on my Etsy shop, for the books and such, but probably gradually fade that out too, though I do have more books in my head.

As for the work, well... I have no choice but to continue.  I'll still pop up here from time to time to show you what I'm up to.  But I'm tired of beating myself up by constantly offering things that nobody seems to want.  Some people would say I just didn't work hard enough; that's possible. Others might say the work is Just Too Weird; that's also possible.  But it's what I do, and who I am.  I tried; I failed. Now I get to Move Swiftly On.

A very great thank you to everyone who has bought stuff, been encouraging, told me I'm inspirational, all that nice stuff.  I really appreciated it, and appreciate it still.


7 comments:

Julie said...

It's sad when you have to make a big decision like this Marion. At least you will be free now to focus on your own work and to follow your own path. You will probably find you have more energy too when your head isn't full of planning for Shows and workshops. I hope you'll still blog and keep in touch on Facebook.

Heidi Rand said...

As I said on facebook, Marion, I've found pretty much the same things as you. Shows are more work than they're worth for me. People rarely buy my larger art pieces, and it's hard to make a living selling cards and other small pieces. But I would strongly say that I hope you don't take the message away that people don't want what you have to offer. I think people love your work (as I do), but it's very very hard and time-consuming to do the marketing to get to enough people who love and can afford this kind of work. As one commenter on facebook said, it's partly the economy. I think that's true, and that at least here in the US most people are used to buying only cheap imported goods and can't comprehend the prices that your work is worth.

AltheaP said...

As Heidi said, it's hard to reach a large market -- you'd use all your time marketing. And with the economy as it is, I find myself asking, "Just how many silk scarves does a person need?" But you must keep working for the creative hygiene, to keep the black dog at bay, so what to do with all this stuff?

marion barnett said...

Thank you guys. Althea, you're not kidding... what do you do with all this stuff...?

Felicity said...

hugs, lovely. I'm in exactly the same position - it feels terrible at first but it gets better. I found this quote from Kurt Vonnegut really helpful

Kurt Vonnegut Drawings Chapter 5: People: Untitled, no date
'Both my grown daughters make pictures and sell them. But they wish they could keep them. It is the third player who forces them to put them up for adoption. And that player is full of vehement advice about how to make their pictures more adopt-able, how to run a successful baby factory, so to speak.'

Bossymamma said...

Marion, you DID NOT fail! OK, it didn't work but that doesn't mean that you failed. Please, please remember that. Sending hugs ((((())))) to you to remind you that you did not fail.

Lis Harwood said...

I second that, please don't use the F*** word, you didn't. Your work is creative and fun and inspiring, you just need to find a way to make it work in your life. Onwards and upwards, and HUGS.