You've probably already seen "An Artist's Guide to Pricing" by Brandi Hussey on Art Bead Scene's blog last week. If you have not, it is a wonderful free resource certain to be indispensable to those starting out in the jewelry-making (or any craft) business. It definitely opened my eyes.
The second thing is that I have always been extremely self-conscious. Doubts about one's self can definitely effect and be transferred down to how one thinks about one's work. I've always believed my artwork to be inferior for some reason. (When I was in school, no teacher I ever had approved of what I wanted to draw or paint. I have a sneaking suspicion that that had something to do with it...) Anyway, I've felt the same way about my jewelry. Even now, I struggle with it. No one likes me, no one will want my jewelry. When I give people drawings, paintings, or jewelry, I bet they imagine I'm too cheap to get them a real gift. My work is something they'll shove into a nook of a bookshelf or something and never look at again. It's just paper and ink, it's just acrylic paint, it's just beads and string. It's worthless in the real world. People buy things from me because they feel sorry for me. And so on, and so forth. This is a real battle. It happens daily. Brandi Hussey says we must separate this sensitive artist part of ourselves from the pragmatic business part of ourselves in order to succeed. I am really starting to feel like she is correct.
I will have to revise the way that I do the business side of my business, especially if I want to continue making mostly one-of-a-kind pieces. I've put my Etsy shop into vacation mode and am going over my inventory.
To all you folks out there living the life of the artist, I'm so sorry. I certainly never meant to offend you or cause uneven competition between us. I hope you can forgive this newbie.
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