Thursday, February 16, 2012

Burnt out?

The timing of the demise of ADO is quite fitting for me as I was seriously considering leaving in the next few months. I have to be an active member of a group if I join and lately I just don't have the energy. I know that right now that could be the arthritis talking (oh hell, it talks now?) but after finishing the ADO Ezine project late last year I have just felt a little ambivalent about the whole art doll scene.

Don't get me wrong, I love dolls and I love making dolls and I love seeing other people's dolls. But making the dolls is just a small part of it, there is all the other stuff that I like so much less and it swamps out the doll making. There is all that cyber-keeping in touch, making yourself visible so that people remember you or know you are there in the first place, blogs, twitter, face-book, Etsy groups... posting photos here and there and everywhere, the list is endless and my time ISN'T.

Maybe I don't come across as very friendly but when I was deeply immersed in the Ezine project it was like I no longer existed for the rest of ADO, I stopped getting chatty emails from all but a couple of lovely people, stopped getting comments on my photos, etc... Because of that project I didn't just have no time to make dolls I also had no time to join in any of the challenegs so most other members forgot I existed. I wound up feeling very isolated and once the Ezine was published I wondered if I had any place in the group anymore. Everyone was going over to see it and saying how great it was, how it was a great advert for ADO but I felt totally detached and off in a corner by myself. I found getting back into the swing of the group really difficult. Everyone had moved on during the 9 months I had been immersed in Ezine stuff and I no longer fitted in. I know I wasn't the only one who got immersed in that project who also wound up feeling a bit side lined from the rest of the group. Just a statement of fact, or a statement of how I felt, not blaming anyone.

That whole experience also led me to question how I go about making and marketing my dolls because I am not sure it works for me anymore. I have so little free time and making dolls should be fun but often it feels like a chore because I have mentioned a new doll on the blog and then have failed to finish it... usually for the very good reason that I have had no "free time" since mentioning it! The bottle dolls are a good example, I previewed them just after Christmas and they are almost ready to go in the shop... ALMOST. When I feel a bit better I will finish the 3rd and list them for sale, but will anyone still be interested? Hard to know. The problem is that Esty has grown so huge now that it is almost impossible to get noticed if you don't do the whole cyber-network song and dance.

What is the solution? I really don't know. I'm just sure I can no longer run myself ragged trying to keep up with posting here, there and everywhere. I think from now on the blog and Flickr are going to be my only shop windows, other than my etsy shop obviously. I detest Facebook, My Space is long dead, Twitter confuses me and I just can't bring myself to join anymore etsy groups. I enjoyed being a member of the Esty Dark Side Team and loved ADO, but have had so little time for it for a long time now and won't use those tags on my dolls anymore. ADO is gone, even if some of the members keep the name it won't be the same to me.

So where do I go from here? Will I even make anymore dolls after the bottle dolls are finished. I just don't know right now.


Dreamspirations Gallery said...

I say don't worry about it... make your dolls, enjoy it and list them! I completely understand your plight! lol Being a naturally quiet introvert myself I've had great difficulties trying to keep up appearances and found that I have to force myself to say something when I only want to say what I feel, when I feel :)

I've recently deleted my facebook (I can't keep up without neglecting my dolls) and decided to just stick to my blog, tweet my new listings and other peoples listings I like and stay involved with Cloth and Clay dolls group. That's it.

Your pretties will get out there one way or another :) Just enjoy the creative process and let everything else flow as it should......

Alison in CA said...

Yve, I'm so sorry to hear all this! I just loved your zine, but I can totally understand the balance of being an artist/making dolls/getting inspiration and then having to sell them/sell yourself.

It seems in today's society, we--as a society--don't seem to value the artist as much as I think we ought. We leave it up to the artist to create, sell, and market. I think artists often need an advocate or an enthusiastic partner who can then market their art for them.

Often, artists are experts at the art they create, but get burned out by having to sell their creations. I wish their were some medium--Etsy seemed like such a great idea--that were a no-nonsense way to get the items up there to the public, sort of in a gallery format. With all the competition, and how huge Etsy is becoming, it seems nearly... well. I don't want to say impossible. I understand your discouragement.

I agree with Dreamspirations Gallery. First, recover. Then, make art. Other people (less talented, like me) can promote. Only you can make your dolls.

Yve said...

Thank you both so much for the encouragement, I'm just feeling a bit jaded right now. Hopefully it will pass!

Resin Angels said...

Oh Yve I really know where you are coming from! Not that I have even half the creative mind you have or that I am actually making anything but I am so sick of having to do the song and dance on social networks, blogs, live journal etc it's exhausting! It's like if you're not posting everyday you get left behind and unnoticed! I'm over it, everyday life is busy enough without having to keep up with online life too :o(

Yve said...

Behave Sam, you always come across as a very talented lady to me ;o) It's true though, between creating and actually having a REAL life, when are we supposed to have time for all this sh*t???

I hate FB, I look and it's all just nonsense, same with Twitter. There is so little actual content, so little we actually NEED to know... why bother?

Jessie Lawson said...

Thanks for letting me know about your blog! I am so happy to be able to keep in touch this way--and I greatly empathize with your feelings about maintaining a so-called online presence. It's way too much work and definitely takes time away from making art. What to do? Since I am getting old & cranky I'm feeling more & more protective of my hands-on art project time. Just know that your fans and friends will track you down so they can enjoy your work. >^..^<