Friday, June 27, 2008

Fake it 'till you make it.

This post is about attitude adjustment. Is your glass half empty or half full? How you present yourself is how others will see you. You have to promote yourself and talk yourself up, even if you don't believe a word of it.

Let me give you a real life example.

For the first year or so of my business, things were going pretty slow for me. People would ask me how things were going, and I'd say "Meh. I'm waiting for sales to pick up." or something to that effect. My realtor is also a good friend of mine, and he has my business card, but he had never even looked at my shop.

One day, I got blogged by a big website and my sales picked up significantly. My realtor happened to be in the area dropping off flyers, and he stopped by. He asked me how my business was doing, and I said "Great! Sales are really going crazy!" He perked up and said "Oh really? Can I come in and take a look at your stuff?"

All this time, he never even bothered to look before, and now he was totally intrigued. He ended up buying a pair of cufflinks and two pair of earrings for his wife! He also wants to bring his wife over later to look at more of my work. He said "I had no idea you did things like this!" What was different? My attitude.

No one wants to hang out with a loser. I don't for a minute think that he had been consciously avoiding checking out my website or anything, but really, why should he want to look at stuff that no one else wanted either? People only want what other people want.

Do you ever notice that when you're single and looking for a date you can never meet anybody, but the second you start seeing someone seriously, all of a sudden people are paying more attention to you? It's the same thing here.

YOU have to create the "buzz" that you and your art are desirable, popular, and very "in the moment". If you build it, they will come. Yadda yadda yadda. The bottom line is, if YOU aren't excited about your work, why should anyone else be?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shameless Bragging!

What is "Creating Fearlessly"?

A little background information first. My mother is bi-polar, and my sister and I grew up with very different personalities and coping mechanisms. We were (and still are) like night and day. My sister is very logic driven, very controlled. She likes her life safe and predictable, because we never had that growing up. I, on the other hand, embraced my craziness a little bit too well, exploring drugs, alcohol, rock and roll and everything else a bohemian lifestyle could provide. I figured that if things were going to be a rollercoaster, then I had better learn to enjoy the ride.

My sister does beautiful needlepoint and counted cross stitch. It looks so perfect it could have been done by a machine. Not me, I prefer to draw my own embroidery designs directly onto the fabric and let my needle and thread ramble along like an overgrown garden. Patterns? We don't need no stinking patterns!

Thankfully, I can say that I've calmed down quite a bit in my *ehem* old age, but I still tap into that delirious energy when I start creating. This, is my fearless creating. Being willing to push your materials past their breaking point, using them for things they were never meant for, in combinations that usually only occur in dreams that you can't quite remember. The trance state of transcendental absinthe fuelled bliss, but without the nasty hangover.

"How does one get there?" I hear you ask. Well, that is what this blog is all about. The crazy, the mundane, and everything in between. This blog is dedicated to the creative process.

Your first assignment is to try something new. If you work in silver, take some scrap and torture it. Wrap it around everything you can find. If you are using glue, try using it on anything you can get your hands on. Combine colors that you think are absolutely hideous together, and leave them overnight - see how you feel about them in the morning. Make a beloved family recipe, and *gasp, horror* CHANGE one of the ingredients!

If you are in therapy, it would do you well to record how all of this makes you feel. You'll be amazed at some of the emotions this can bring up. If you really pay attention, there may even be memories of being told "how things were supposed to be", where you got programmed into thinking that things only had to be a certain way.

A word of warning, though. Don't try this with materials that are so expensive that it would give you fits if they got ruined. If your are on a limited budget, don't try that new technique out with 14k gold, if sterling will suffice. The idea is to push your boundaries, not give you a nervous breakdown!