I feel really pants right now because I've had to inform my Alchemy customer that I can't complete the doll. The worst part being that it was a Birthday Present for his daughter in early October so now I am picturing this sad little face with no presents. I am pure evil...
I've been working on the doll for the last week, on and off, after drawing up a pattern a while back. The doll is of a gaming character and has a really elaborate (and hard to understand in 3 dimensions) head-piece. The head-piece is almost bigger than the character itself and I just can't make it work, there have been many aborted attempts which just went into the fire! I can't send out something I am not happy with and the whole thing has really put me on a downer, so I have had to tell the customer that I cannot make the character he wants for his daughter.
This was the first (and last) Alchemy request I agreed to because I thought I could do it but how wrong was I? That's the real problem is that when I siged up for Alchemy, I naively thought people would look in my shop and ask me to make dolls something along the lines of what I create. That hasn't been the case, people have an idea in their head and browse Etsy looking for someone who's style they like and who they think might be able to make their ideas a reality. It's a big responsibility, and if things start to go wrong you wind up feeling horrible. I'm too much of a wuss!
Alchemy seems like such a good idea and I'm sure it works out fine for most people. I resisted for a long time for the same reason I don't often do commissions. I work freelance to tight (and often hair-raising!) deadlines and never know when I will be busy or when I will have no work on. I fly by the seat of my pants and sometimes have lots of free time to create art (ha ha, still a mental block on that front!) and dolls... or no time at all like the last few months.
The second, less logical reason, is because I want to 'follow my muse' when I'm not working to a design brief, yes, I know how silly that sounds, but I need to go where my inspiration takes me rather than where someone else's whims dictate. That way if things go belly-up I'm the only one who knows about it... well unless I blab on my blog or remember how to Twitter! Remember the Alice's face melts trauma from a few months back?