Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Bit of Cleaning Up, Clearing Out, and Conceptualization

I've taken a step back and contemplated some things.

First, I took a good hard look at what I was making and selling in my wearable art business.  I pondered my strong response to the Steampunk convention I went to, my anti-fashion sensibilities, my attraction to period/retro attire, my love of nostalgia, my curiosity regarding primitive art and assemblage as well as folk art and naive art, and then finally my future.

I've come to some strong conclusions--the least of which is a partial "redesign" of my blog...  I decided to clean up the side bar, create a header for myself in Photoshop (big personal accomplishment, thankyouverymuch--completely from SCRATCH), and contemplate new and better ways to express my business identity and interests...

This has been a long time coming.  And it was prompted by some events that I'm still trying to process...  First off, I came to a point where I was actively deciding "what I was going to make next", which is never a good point to be at...  For an artist, I was waiting for something to stimulate me or tell me what I was supposed to do--I had a small handful of dolls, and I was waiting for something to tell me what to clothe them in.  I have a box full of lace, and I was waiting for a sign to tell me how to decorate it.  I have a box full of polymer clay, and cup full of newly made clay cabochons and tiles, waiting for the mosaic to use them in.  I have a box full of patterns patiently anticipating my next plan of attack...

Secondly, I got some beautiful hand-painted porcelain china pieces from my aunt in Iowa.  Some of them were her work, some of them were from my great grandmother.  She told me to use them on my collars and other art pieces... And that made me really step back and go--"Whoa--these are precious to me, and I'm going to sell them...  I need to make sure that what I'm making is worthy of them."

This made me step back and consider the culmination of everything I was working on, and something hit me...  My work has a heightened reality about it... It's theatrical in nature--it's not what you would normally wear if you didn't want to make a statement or draw attention.  From the hand-painted vests with rose scrollwork to the mosaic velvet wrap,  from the Poiret coats to the Neck Laces,  from the art dolls to the vintage fabric swallowtail vests, none of them are exactly "normal".  They're all a little askew, a little dramatic, a little "festive".

Finally, I had a long talk with my partner.  He was none too thrilled--I've had a tendency to flit from one fascinating project to another and rarely settle on anything for long...  When I told him I wanted to change my brand a bit, he expressed a deep concern that this was a waste of effort on my part.  He thought is was yet another shiny object in my plethora of distractions...  To be quite honest, I do tend to dive into things and become totally absorbed in whatever is the "craft of the moment"...

He still thinks that way a bit... But I'm plunging forward anyway. I want to develop this idea before I dive into art fairs and festivals, before I purchase a tent and invest in the equipment I need for a properly working set up.

So I started to formulate a thought, and a plan.

Changing my blog's look, my Etsy and Artfire studio's appearances, and providing myself some "delimitations" that will focus my efforts within parameters on a specific look and feel is all part of this shift toward something a bit more clarifying.I'm a little frustrated that I hadn't really thought of this before... But it's been like a bolt of lightening. I can't believe I didn't see it.

So I've added a bar of links across the top in the form of "pseudo-tabs", and shifted a lot of my gadgets to different pages, and intensified the colors a bit to make things easier to read.  There will be a more dramatic shift coming soon, but not yet.

I'm very excited.  More soon.  Live Life with Relish!


  1. I'm liking the change. Its refining your narrative= narrowing down what works. Good for you.

  2. Hey Corey, fantastic! I am so impressed with your new header, great job ... alot of thought and hard work constantly goes into all this but it will be worth it. Just keep listening to your heart and keep creating and stay excited!
    Wishing you all the best, my friend.

  3. Oh, Don, thank goodness it's coming across that way... I was really worried it was going to be mud and complicate things further with more confusion... Knowing that it's actually refining things is a HUGE boost. Thank you so much! If you have any other observations or words of advice, I could really use them! Thank you!!

  4. Susan, thank you so much!! Yeah, a lot of work went into that header, but in the process I was able to ponder what it was that I was doing... Little choices were affecting big ones, and each tiny little click of the mouse made me feel a bit more confident. I'm actually very excited about things like tags and all the "accoutrement" of the "corporate identity" now... Wheee!

  5. Corey! I love love love the new header! It has a nice bit of whimsey to it, great job. I too get distracted by shiny things often, but it seems like you are dedicated to this newest turn in your projects. Best of luck with your new directions!

  6. Megan!! Woohooo! I'm tickled pink that you stopped by! : )

    "Distracted by shiney things..." Hard not to be when you work with rhinestones like you do!! Haha!! I hope your new experiences on Etsy and with your blog are going well! : )

    And I'm hoping this is a bit different than the pathways I went down before... This feels like a "wrapper", a kind of re-casting of what I'm already doing but with a different mold... It's all the same stuff, just a different way of looking at it. A different frame in a way... And I feel like it holds so much more potential than I had before, simply by providing a definition I didn't have before...

    I think you nailed it--it's about whimsey, and daring, evoking nostalgia and being contemporary all at the same time... It's a pastiche and yet it's individual... I think I'll be able to articulate Relished ARtistry better because I can more actively "package" what I'm doing in a way that's clearer to more people... Ah, we'll see. : )

    Thanks for checkin' in, Megan! Hopefully I'll see you soon! : )


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