Winter: A Time for Thought
It is frosty outside and all is slowing down beautifully. It is a time to review and feel your way through, hunkering down and using this time to plan for future green shoots...
Listening to the news today it would seem that the traditional main street is changing with more service outlets taking over from retail.
I must confess to being one of those online shoppers. Living rurally, a ferry ride away from the city, it is just a simpler and cheaper choice, so I hold my hands up to being one of those responsible for changing the face of our high streets.
So how does my business fit in with this ever changing world......?
During this time of quiet I have promised myself space and time to design and create at least four works of fibre art in 2023, free from expectation of sales. I loved making my joomchi style piece for the exhibition in nearby Historic Kilmun this year so I will hold that feeling close to my heart and create from that space.
Financially though I have to be realistic and work towards being self sustained in my art. I am truly nowhere near that. Happily the felting courses ran here at the studio place me in the fabulous position of no longer tapping into the increasingly narrow house budget for all my woolly needs.
This feels great especially given that the household budget is a joke right now, dipping slowly each month into scary amounts of debt just to keep going. This too drives all of us just now, so much fear over just how we are going to survive and get out of the ever increasing holes that we are falling into..... When I feel that sick feeling I first of all get outside for a walk in some green space, ground those fears, breathe, calm and release. For me I then head to the studio. I am lucky that I have that option.
So lots right now threatening to overwhelm but art is a way out of this. It is dismissed as being frivolous but is a true way to calm, centre and access our creative powers of imagination and connection to that voice inside that can lead us through and up. Never underestimate art and all it can offer everyone, no exceptions.
Ok lets find the rainbow again.....
A massive plus of being here is that I actually really enjoy teaching here in my studio space. Three or four fellow felters just chilling for an afternoon having fun and learning to believe in their ability to express what lies within them. This is fast becoming another happy space for me and hopefully those who choose to join me.
Learning to find what works and what feels right is such a big part of hoping and planning to become a fully self sustained artist who can also contribute to the household budget. The balance lies between externally driven factors and internal forces of intuition and empowerment... sounds fancy eh?!! Both are in a constant state of push and pull and can get completely in the way of either being financially realistic or following a creatively fulfilling path.
This website and Etsy has been on snooze for a while so my first step is to become friends with both and accept their promises to help me communicate and interact with the world. So intentions for the future....let me think...
Any intentions set have to remain fluid and have the ability to change and adapt to an ever changing world.....so not fixed then, more of a general flowing forwards, maybe backwards, static, held in a queue, falling over a cliff edge... you get my meaning..
Back to my promises to myself - design and create 4 pieces of fibre art next year - promises to customers - hmmm that's more tricky as previously discussed the world is a changing. Looking back I believe the way forward for me is a focus on courses for sure. Running alongside this are make at home craft packs and in time provide naturally dyed fibres and fabrics fresh from the dye and eco printing pots. Making completed wet felted products, such as sketchbook covers, would seem to not to be popular at the moment so put that on hold to see where things go....
So these are my thoughts on a cold winters night. After a utterly disastrous craft fair at the weekend with absolutely no sales ( I am not alone in this around the UK as other artists reported similar experiences)... I had to pick up my sad heart.. offer it some loving kindness, breathe and believe that there will be better days. In perfect timing tomorrow brings three wonderful humans to my studio to have some fun needle felting some santa gnomes!! Hope continues and has lovely sparkly Christmas lights!
Oh and not to forget running alongside my goings on is a new volunteer position on the committee of the Cowal Open Studios in Argyll. Don't laugh I am actually being let loose on marketing! The universe is certainly putting me in places that will teach me all that I need to get in that forwards moving position!!