Monday, 2 November 2009

Merry-go-round - Failure sucks but instructs.

Jump on our merry go round and join a group of artists/crafts-women from around the world as they link hands and tell you a little bit about their lives in craft.
Do look up the answers from the rest of this band of crafters (links to your left).
If they haven't posted yet, remember we all live in different time zones and check again later...
This month's theme:
Failure sucks but instructs.

Looks like I didn't want to answer this one.
Fancy that...
I finally got down to writing up (and thinking up, at the same time) my answer— one day late.
And then the Big Bad Blog ate it all up.

This time round, I'm hitting the save button every other sentence.
'Nough said, right?

Now. Kidding apart, let me try to remember what it was I came up with the first time round.

As I remember, I started splitting things. Not hair, but the two sides of this my venture: the crafty side (that's me!) and the business side (not so much, no Sir!).

So I guess that my first, and most interesting—to me, at least— remark was that I completely agree with that sentence when it comes to crafting.
Failure is actually part and parcel of the crafting process. I don't believe you can really learn without trying and failing and undoing and doing all over again etc.
More important still. Well to me anyway. Well obviously... So I'll stop giving you that mock-humble gimmick.
Now, where? Oh yes: what I realized, thinking all this over for the merry-go-round, was that the trying-and-failing-etc. is not just useful in that it instructs— it actually gives me pleasure and a sense of freedom. Child-like freedom, if you see what I mean. Like messing around with anything from play-dough to Mum's make up (now there's an idea— I'm sure there's something in that...). You know...

Not so with the business side.
Of course, I like it when something sells, and I don't like it when all the rest doesn't. And it is a little bit about the money, of course.
But it is not really about success as such. It is about love.
What really makes my day is someone loving what I made— and telling me. Because what I hear when they do is— and of course, you crafters know what's coming: "I love you."
And I love hearing that.

If I work too hard at "what sells", it will be more like me saying "I love money", or "I love it that so many people like to have exactly the same kind of stuff as their neighbours and I'm going to cater to that wish of theirs." And that is not me.

As every fairly well adjusted grown-up knows, we all have to rub off a lot of who and what we are; to adjust to society. I do a lot of that in my day job. Do it well too, and for good reasons.

But not in my craft-life. Because that has to be about me, first and foremost. However much I love the sharing. I guess that would have to change if my craft took over from my day-job.
But not now. What I want and need to focus on and be instructed in is the craft part. Forget the rest. At least when actually crafting.
Have fun, explore, enjoy. Live and Learn.

So there!

I guess you see I'm still thinking very much along the same lines as last month. Just with a little bit more conviction.

At the end of the day, writing up this blog post (twice!) has made me realize that I don't give a damn about being instructed in business— and so I've learnt something about myself. What matters to me is being instructed in my craft, or even crafts, if I like.
Let's see where that takes me...

Actually I think my vision of things is even clearer now than the first time I tried to write about this. But let's not make a habit of this.

To be continued.


'fancypicnic' said...

You'd laugh...I've been nodding my head in agreement as I've been reading this!
We all have our own styles - and that is what makes it enjoyable for us. Every piece has a little bit of 'us' in them...I love it that there is so much originality and creativity out there, made with love to be loved - and to stand out from the crowd!

The business bit? Phew. Always the hard bit...and not much fun. A necessity - so enjoy the good bits! Let your creative side bloom...lead you where it will xx

Wendren said...

I loved your post. So fresh and spontaneous. :)

I love how you write about mistakes being fun and that they teach you about yourself. I think it is quite different when your income depends on the sale of what you make however I agree that it should not. This is a hard balance to achieve but one to constantly strive for.

Thank you.

Easterya said...

SNAP!!!!Totally agree with you on everything you wrote here, you've reminded me of my reason for living this crafting life too!! Great read, from the heart! xxxx

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

I completely agree... if you are handmaking your products then you should be confident in your own style... yes it is always nice to catch a selling trend, but isn't it even better to be selling what you love making!