Friday, January 8, 2016

to craft or not to craft...

That is the big question facing me right now!

As I am sure I have mentioned many times before, I am mainly a freelance designer/illustrator. My work is
unpredictable and can sometimes be for very long hours for a few weeks at a time. An email comes in or the
phone rings and all plans go out the window and the rush starts. I really enjoy my work and being based from
home has a lot of advantages...

In theory making dolls and crafting to sell through my etsy shop in the quieter times should be the perfect thing
to keep me from climbing the walls. When it all works out it is exactly that and provides a great relaxed
alternative to those time pressured work days. I found out early on that doing commission art/craft items is not
an option, however, as freelance work always has to take priority and cannot be scheduled. A few disgruntled craft
buyers who demanded to know WHEN their item would be finished put me off that. I don't blame them for being
upset, they were paying me to make something for them and just wanted to know why it was taking so long, but
as the craft items are so labour intensive and cannot be sold for anything even approaching my Freelance hourly
rate... well, they had to take a back seat.

There is also the issue of space, I just have a small work room in which my Mac and drawing desk have to compete
with space with my doll making and sewing things, all the painting and creative supplies.... if that gets a bit out of
hand I find it makes me very distracted while I trying to concentrate. It's like a Jekyll & Hyde room! Possibly
the biggest  woe with having an Etsy shop I am forced to neglect much of the time is that it simply gets forgotten
by the world at large if you don't keep promoting it. In the same way that this blog may never be read by a single
person, my etsy shop becomes "off the beaten e-path" very quickly. People with successful on-line businesses put
in  A LOT of time promoting their presence on Instagram, Twitter, etc.... but there simply isn't the time for me to
devote to a successful Craft business while freelancing... and crafting does not pay the bills! When I have a few
days off I always trawl through the internet catching up on crafters whose work I love and it just makes me feel
guilty that I am not doing more.... but there are only so many hours in the day, just 7 days in the week and the
years keep rolling by so fast!

So right now I am undecided as to whether to reopen my etsy shop or just let it gather dust. In a virtual way of
course ;o)


Anonymous said...

Hi Yve! I can imagine how difficult it is to combine these two things. But I see a lot of Etsy shops that sell only every now and then, or have only a few items on their sales page. That's the advantage of Etsy, and of not doing commissions :-). Don't let it stress you too much, of course your main job has to come first!
I wish you a wonderful, healthy and fun new year!
xxx Linda

Yve said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts Linda :o) A wonderful 2016 to you too...

I do keep finding myself back in this situation every January though, taking stock of all the plans I made the year before but had to abandon through lack of time or continuity (it's quite hard to keep having to put things on the back burner with creative ideas as I am sure you all know)... maybe the answer is to make no plans, have no clear objective and just let things form organically? I'm not sure... I figure January is for ruminating ;o)

Gail Beil said...

I love your dolls, your crafts, and your blog. I've never written before but want to say there are probably a lot of folks like me patiently waiting to hear (and see) what you come up with next. Just keep on keeping on with the stuff you love. As a David Bowie fan myself, his is the world view we'd all like to have.

Yve said...

Hi Gail. thanks for the encouragement :o) Things are kind of percolating in my head, I think some Bowie inspired paper dolls may be in the pipeline because for once I think some fan-art might be the only way to deal with my current malaise!