Sunday, September 18, 2016

NEW PLANS

I've written a few posts.
I just haven't published them.
They seemed dull and whiny.
I need to tweak them up a bit.

I actually have a lot to write about but
just can't seem to get it together.

I've been thinking about A LOT of things.
About the future,
about maybe moving someday.
Just lots of things but I won't go into that now.

Rather, I'm going to talk about my ART.
Things I've been working on.
Mistakes that I believe I have made
and some changes I'm going to make
and just Follow my heart.

So, let's start with my photography prints.
That's kinda backfired on me.
I'm selling them at the Art and Antiques place downtown.
Well, they are for sale
But none have sold.
Seriously.
Zero.
The last two months I had to PAY for my space and made ZERO cash.
Yep.
In the hole.
Materials and time spent have not been recouped.

But...
At my work place, the vet clinic, I've sold a couple
but mostly I've sold commissioned ones of people's pets.
I don't mind it too much at first.
I would take the photos
and alter them and everyone was happy.
But then people have wanted to supply me with THEIR photos....

It's not MY photography, and I felt like a glorified photo editing person who mounts prints on canvas.
Bleh.

While I do need the dollars, I have come to realize that -
I DON"T WANT TO DO THIS!
This very afternoon, I should be working on such a project and I'm dragging my feet.
Add to the fact that I'm charging such a small amount....
Yep, I'm kinda done with it.

But my illustrations...
I need to get back to THOSE.
I want to experiment more with layered papers and things.
AND I bought a book about doing watercolor!
I'm not sure how to do it but I like the look of it so much.
Right now I do everything in Inktense pencils
or else in acrylic paint.
I'm self-taught but I really like this how-to book.
So I'm excited about figuring out watercolors!

Then there's the Art & Antique place where I have my altered photography and also my illustrations.
My sister and I meet for breakfast once a month and after breakfast last weekend
she went with me to set up my new Halloween display.
I had made several prints of my illustrations and also of some vintage Halloween photos.

I was pretty happy with my display and as I was paying up front for my last months rent
my sister milled around the place.
I joined her after I was done and we walked around looking.
My sister is very honest and would never say something just to be polite
but as she looked at the antiques and then the various Halloween displays,
she turned to me and said -
"I don't think your Art fits in this place".
She waved her hand at a display with plastic dolls and their handmade clothes that were for sale.
Then she nodded over at a booth full of antique knicky knacks.
Then she walked over to a display of various Halloween items and said -
"And obviously these things were purchased from a store and then just retagged and put in the booth space"
and she shook her head and said she had not seen one thing she would want to buy.

I told her I was rethinking it all.
Then I told her I hadn't had any sales for 2 months.
I gathered up a few of my altered prints to take back to the clinic but I gave her two of them.
They were of her own cats.
She smiled.

Later that night, I was on Facebook and I noticed that the Art and Antiques place
had posted on their page a video montage of all the Halloween displays.
I watched the video and then I text my sister with a link to it and asked for her "opinion" of the video.
She watched it and then text back -
"So she's included everyone's Halloween items but yours?!
You need to pull your stuff!?"
I told her I intended too.

The next morning I gave my notice, unfortunately it's a 60 day notice per my "contract'
but at least I'll be done by the end of November.

Then I called the place where I used to have my big booth
and sold a lot of my items that I had here at home.
I had given that up when I felt like I didn't have the time for it
and also when I got rid of my van.
A couple of weeks ago I had been thinking about that place
and I just randomly called and had them put my name on their waiting list.

So I called them and clarified to the exact size space that I wanted.
I didn't want the BIG 8" x 8' space that I had before but rather the 4' x 8' space.
I asked if there were a million people ahead of me and he laughed and said -
"Not a million but a few"
(Last time I had to wait a whole year to get in but hopefully it won't be the same again.)

So that's the other mistake I made.
Letting my space go at the big Antiques and Collectibles place.

So I text my sister that night.
Usually when I tell her a current idea, she will answer back with a single word.
Like - "OK" or "Good" or "Uh Huh"
I suppose it's exhausting to know me,
what with all my ideas.
But that night I text her and said - that I had put my name on the list at the old place and she said that she thought it was a great idea.
I told her I should have stayed with that place even if I couldn't move big things with my car.
I said I had been thinking about things I could make besides also selling things I still had in my house.

I wanted to paint Folk Art signs too,
and weather them outside.
I wanted to make weird primitive dolls like I used to make for her girls
and just really folk arty stuff like things I want to make for my own yard.
I wish I had photos of the old stuff but here are a couple cat dolls I used to make. They aren't the same as the dolls but they were also made out of cloth and painted. -



I have ideas like making peace poles
and eclectic painted fence pickets
and I said to her that I wanted to make the booth space like a "scene"  or a window display.
Kinda magical and things for the seasons.
I wanted to make one of a kind things so people would feel like they must buy it before its gone.
I  also would paint some furniture but just little pieces.

I also want to make some papier-mâché things.
I've done papier-mâché items years ago and they didn't look like papier-mâché.
I wish I had photos but one looked like a ship's figurehead.
It was the head of a mermaid that was made to look like it had been under water for a very long time.
She had her eyes closed and her mouth was open and it was very eerie.
I entered it in a Halloween Art competition downtown that was sponsored by  Midcoast Arts
and I won a prize!

I also made a 3 foot old mermaid and then her nose was accidentally broken off in a "cat versus space on the table top" incident and I still sold her for $80 and that was more that was 20 years ago.

Another time I made a life-size snowman shaped like a cat.
It had a tree branch going through it for arms and I made a papier-mâché bird to perch on it.
It was very detailed with a scarf and mittens and a big crafted carrot nose.
My friend had it displayed in her restaurant window for the Winter season.
Lots of people commented on it.

Yep, I feel like creating just very folk art stuff and selling that and different things I've collected and some signs that I will paint.
And illustrations. So that I can sell them as prints, cards and things.
I told that to my sister and
she thought it sounded like a good idea and it would be cool stuff for me to make.

So yeah, that's where my head is at,
for now.











22 comments:

tammy j said...

i think your head is in a wonderful place.
your creativity is coming back full force from what it sounds like. it's a new season and it's a good thing.
i'm glad you're leaving the place you're in now and going back to the other one. and ...
small is good. cozy. perfect for your work! xoxoxo♥

CheerfulMonk said...

Good for you! You're so talented, and it's okay to try things and move on if they don't work. You'll wind up in the right spot, doing the right things by listening to your heart. :)

Lesley UK said...

Hi Cindi, I absolutely love your 'folk' cats. If you don't mind unasked for advice from a stranger, it seems to me that they are the way to go.
They are so different from anything else I've seen recently...a bit weird and scary, but endearing too. If I lived in the US you would certainly have a new customer. I do hope your path becomes clear to you very soon. Love to Blue and the rest of the family, and Blessings to you.

Janneke said...

Help, I think you are over-creative, you are almost bursting of ideas, but I cannot say anything else than 'I LIKE IT' and I wish you lots of success.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

Figuring out what you DON'T want is the first step. Now you've gone on to the next step and have actually figured out what you DO want.

You're on your way Cindi!

xxx

Hill House said...

Hi, it seems like your prim things would do very well on Ebay or Etsy. You may have your reasons for not using those marketplaces but you would have a worldwide audience of people who intend to buy instead of just the few people that happen to walk by a display in an antique mall.

USPS has made shipping so easy because they will pick your packages up right there at your home so no more standing in the post office. I have several friends who tried & tried to sell their art with limited results in malls/Facebook, etc. until they went to Ebay. It was so surprising to them. But there are so many collectors out there for specialized things like your dog photos and dolls. Won't cost much to try...no contracts.

Just a thought.

Cindi Myers said...

Tammy,
Yes, I think my head is finally in a good place.
I've been thinking about all of this non-stop.
I tried to stop and think about when I felt really HAPPY creating
and when I made those dolls for the girls (and a Wolf for Lily of course) I really felt creative and not like an assembly line.
Also, at the old place, everyone seemed so cheerful and excited to see what I brought in and I felt like I actually had a "shop" without have to be a shopkeeper!
LOL!
Yes, I think I'm FINALLY on the right track.
XOXOXOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Jean,
Thank you SO MUCH!
You are always such a cheerleader for me.
You will never know how much I appreciate that.
Yes, It's time to do something different!
XOXOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Leslie,
Thank you
Blue and the rest of the gang thanks you too!
My head is bursting with ideas!
I wish I had a photo of the fairy doll that I made for my niece Maggie!
She had a rusty screw for a nose! LOL!
Weird, scary and endearing is just what I was going for!!!
XOXOXO
Thanks so much for commenting
and I wished you lived over here too! LOL

Cindi Myers said...

Janneke,
LOL!
I am BURSTING!
and I'm SO glad that you LIKE IT!
XOXOXOXO
:D

Cindi Myers said...

Doreen,
Yes! It took me a while but I finally realized that I shouldn't feel filled with dread before I started creating something.
I'm excited and it's a GOOD feeling.
:D :D :D
xoxoxox

Cindi Myers said...

Hill House,
Thank you for commenting.
You are right of course, I should do that too.
I used to list things on eBay.
In fact the black cat doll was sold on eBay years ago
and I used to routinely sell paintings on eBay too.
and then I stopped.
I guess I just had to learn something and then go back to where I started.
I have a shop named OLD BLACK CAT BOO on Etsy that I opened in 2009
about the time I stopped and I never listed a thing!
Last year I claimed "Cindi Myers Art" as a shop name on Etsy and once again, didn't list a thing! I don't know why but I need to open it and get busy!
Thank you SO much for commenting and leaving such great advice!
XOXOXOXO

sassypackrat said...

Don't keep doing what doesn't make you happy! A simple thing to say but much harder to actually do. I know, I've been there. I totally remember those cat dolls you used to make! Or at least I've seen pics of them either way I love them! Make them again if it makes you happy. I can see those doing really well.

Anne Specht said...

Hi Cindi,
It really sounds like you have a plan. I am sure you have posted about this before, but have you considered Etsy? I know that it is a pain to have to take the time to list, but even if you sell your items at the new (old) mall, you could still list the items on Etsy too. It would be double exposure. Just a thought....
Anne

Cindi Myers said...

Jen,
Yes, I think I did post photos of them at some point when I first starting blogging!
:D
I should go back and look and see.
Yes, it's kinda hard to stop and I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out.
I want to make all sorts of things though.
Dolls or creatures of some sort but so many other things too.
;)
Thank for commenting!
XOXOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Anne,
You are right.
I need to open my Etsy shop.
I can't figure out why I haven't before but I really do need to do it!
I best get busy creating! LOL!
Thank you SO MUCH for commenting!
XOXOXOXO

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Man, I think I might be as excited as you! You might want to get started on Christmas stuff right away as you will always need to be a season ahead of the customers. As a customer, I would be looking at those cat dolls. Love them! A suggestion if I may...having recently lost a dog in our family to tumors, I am drawn to the breed of the dog we're missing. So, if you make your art resemble a variety of breeds (ours was part weenie part beagle) you can appeal to people who want one that reminds them of their own pets, without you're having to do special orders. This is probably a "duh!" for you as you probably already know this, just so excited about the direction you're heading. My little 6 year old grandson would cherish one of those dolls if it looked like his Sweet Dee, so of course his Grammy would buy him one if it were available!

Cindi Myers said...

Sharon,
LOL!
I feel like you are giving me a Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge!
You are right, I need to get very busy if I want to sell anything for the Holiday season!
Your comment about your grandson made me think of my favorite stuffed toy.
Although I don't even thing of him as really a toy, he was my childhood friend and right now he lays in the top drawer of my dresser.
His name is Sad-Eyes. A little stuffed dog that got me through a lot of sadness when I was a kid.
Whoa!
My head is spinning.
THANK YOU!
XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

tammy j said...

i've come back just to read all the wonderful comments and ideas you always get.
AND
to just look at your art again.
you truly are a great folk artist.
folk art is beloved. in this country especially.
and for people who care about such things... it holds its value. unlike lots of other art.
but mainly it's just makes people so happy!
i think it speaks to the child in us. it touches the heart.
and yours does.
that little brown cat's expression for instance. to me it says...
"i know. it's been that way for me too." LOLOL!
you're truly amazing. and if you just focus all that energy now ...
WOW!!!
maybe things will calm down and you can enjoy creating once again.
although i've never known you NOT to create! it's like breathing for you.
it's just YOU! XOXOXOX♥

Cindi Myers said...

Tammy,
THANK YOU!
I need this right now.
I'm still working overtime hours and I'm working again tomorrow...
That should only go on for another week or so.
I'm training a new girl so that will give me some relief.
But I really need the over-time as I just now have encountered a plumbing problem!
AAARRRGGHHH!
Oh well, at least I have the overtime!
But after everything is solved, I plan to throw myself head first into creating!
XOXOXOXO
Truly, thanks for lifting my spirits!

leslie said...

it makes me tired just to read about all the things you do -- man, i wish i had your energy.

go with your gut, cindi, go with your gut. and please try etsy.

xo.

Cindi Myers said...

Leslie,
Oh I'm tired! LOL!
But I just wish I had more time!
Thank you for your advice, I will try to do that.
AND I will open that dang Etsy shop!
:D
xoxoxo