Monday, 29 June 2009

Conceptualising My Art Business – Part 4 Where?

Gosh I cant believe I’m on part 4.  It’s quite exciting to have set myself the target of doing a series … and actually finishing it.  That is one of my biggest problems, finishing.  So I’m learning to set smaller goals to achieve my bigger ones.image

What I’ve done is taken the types of people I want to sell to and thought about where I might want to sell.

People who collect beads

I guess this is an area which is something which when I was aiming at creating arty beads this was part of my focus.  The consequence of making beads I love is that other people will love them and want to collect them.  I’m wondering whether having this as a primary focus for my beads is not so helpful.

As a thought these are areas I recon I could promote to collectors in.

  • etsy
  • eBay
  • just beads
  • my website
  • art fire
  • lampwork forums
  • flickr
  • retail shops

Jewellery designers

It seems to me that this seems to be who I need to be aiming at with regards to selling my beads.  I am coming to realise that I make the beads for me, as a distraction from stress rather than specifically made for jewellery.  So the truth is focusing on this group of people is about promoting what I have. What I have done in the past is become overwhelmed by what I think designers might want.  I am learning I can only be me, and in that I have something unique and special.

  • jewellery forums
  • flickr
  • etsy
  • misi
  • art fire
  • personal site


lol…. this is such a huge statement.  It was referring to my affirmation prints and paintings which is what I am developing.  So as far as I can see so far these are some places to aim for.

  • profiles on other artists blogs
  • writing for other blogs
  • sponsoring other artists blogs
  • etsy
  • mixed media forums

People who value creative, hand crafted goods

This goes for both the beads and the art.  As a starting place these are places I think I could aim at

  • etsy
  • misi
  • folksy
  • art fire
  • not on the high street
  • handmade forums
  • Saatchi online
  • galleries

Teaching Lampwork

As I’ve said before unfortunately I don't have the right location at the moment to teach at home..  May be one day.  Here and now it strikes me that these are my current options.

  • lampwork forums
  • other peoples studios
  • bead shows
  • personal site
  • blog
  • online tutorials
  • tutorials for sale

My blog

Gosh there is so much advice on how to promote a blog that I really couldn't go into it here in this post.  Maybe in one in the future when I feel like I know more about blogging I will publish some how to’s

As you can see even in the process of writing this series, my thoughts have changed from week to week.  I’m not sure I’ve completely got all the answers but I know a few things for certain

  1. bead making is something I do for me but I choose to sell so I need to learn how to market them with this in mind
  2. Affirmation art is something I want to develop and focus my business mind on
  3. Teaching and giving back is something I want to do and at this point in time the best place is here on the blog.

If you have been following this series you probably can see some things that I am missing.  I would really appreciate your observations and comment.  Thank you


Friday, 26 June 2009

Studio Update

It has been really good this week.  I feel great because the beads that I have made because I want to have sold where as ones that have been around which I was making with others in mind haven't.  I really feel great about the idea of making things which I love rather than trying to second guess everyone else.

I have a Work in Progress for you

046 copy

Remember this picture.  It was the first of using paint and glass in a picture.  This is something I have been musing about for a while in terms of making it happen.

This week I have started this picture


This piece is about my musings about community, quite funny as there is no community in here at all, but there will be.

It very much is a work in progress and I took the picture at the wrong time of day so it doesn't show everything up.  The tree (polymer clay) and leaves (lampwork) are yet to be fixed and I’m thinking there is something wrong with the leaves.  There will be 2 glass birds to perch in the tree and when they are there I’m sure I will be able to see more clearly what is needed.

I also need to find some way of accurately showing off this type of work.  Part of that is about selling it, but part is also about the idea that I might want to make prints… a thought but I don't know where it will lead me.

I would really appreciate your comments on this piece, ideas and observations.  This really is a new venture.  Whilst I wouldn't, and most people don't recommend showing something so early, I thought I would to get some sense of feed back.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

And The Winner Is…..

I got a lovely message on Frit Happens from last weeks winner. One of the reasons I wanted to give things away is that it genuinely makes me feel good.

So to this weeks winner... according to the random number generator, post 3… errrr, so that would be me then. Then number 11… me again… 13… and again, I think I might be commenting too much on my own blog. 15… that’s me, now this is getting stupid…

So what I’m going to do is recalculate this taking out my posts … the 6 of them.

Well done Rozelle, contact me with your address and I’ll get the beadies out to you.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Conceptualising My Art Business – Part 3 Who?

So the question for today is so who am I aiming my work at?  Who is my target audience? Who are my right people?


You know it feels a bit strange writing this on a blog and making it public.  I guess if you are reading this then the reality is in some way you are the part of the group of people I want to, for a better word, influence whether that be through my art, my beads or my words.

Glass Beads. 

So who do I want my beads to appeal to?  Err the egocentric answer is everyone, but that's not such a helpful answer is it really.  Need to come up with a better thought it it is about who I would like to sell to.

  • I would like people to love my beads, so I guess there is something about selling to people who collect beads.
  • I would like my beads to be usable and worn.  I would like my beads to be loved and used by jewellery designers

Paint and glass.

Given that this is the part of my business that is less well defined I guess it is the part that I need to think about the most.

  • I would like my creations to encourage and affirm people.  So that is probably about aiming at women, creative types
  • There is something about people who understand and appreciate hand made items
  • I would like my faith to some how be reflected in the art so would that be about aiming at a Christian market or just acknowledging the reality that it is likely to be there? This is something that I haven't really thought through but maybe will evolve over time.

So the giving back thing.

For me this is apparent in a number of ways.

  • I’m teaching guitar lessons.  You have no idea how funny I find this as I really don't feel like I have the skills to do this.  But the guys I am teaching sought me out and are clearly really enjoying it and that is such a buzz
  • I am teaching art to some home schoolers.  I saw them on Friday and after an hour and a half, the time we had agreed, they were asking for more.  Just how cool is that?
  • I would love to teach lampwork, but the reality is that I don't have the best environment to do that in at the moment.  What I am going to do instead is put a series of “Bead Basic” tutorials on the site
  • I would also like this blog to be a place to give back.  A place where my words and thoughts can be an influence and be helpful

If you have any thoughts about who you think might be my target audience given my work I would really appreciate it.  Often other people see things that we don't see ourselves so your thoughts would be really appreciated.


Saturday, 20 June 2009

Conceptualising My Art Business – part 1 Why - Summary

I was planning a 4 part series on conceptualising my business.  It was all going really well.  I published article 1, wrote article 2, so far so good.  I did something strange which meant that article 2 replaced article 1 loosing it forever.

This post is a summary of what was lost.  I’m sad that I have to do it this way as I’m aware that some of the energy of the first post will be lost.

So this is my conceptualisation of my business.  This is something I have developed for myself after reading a lot of information from other people.


As I was thinking about it I realised that some of these questions I have answers to but some I really didn't, and these were the fundamental questions.  Like why am I making, let alone selling

So why do I make, in essence there are two answers in that for me

  1. because it is integrally part of who I am.  Without being creative I find part of me dying
  2. there is something about me needing to give back through my creativity and seeing a difference in peoples lives.  For my art to have meaning

Its these two core issues which define my creativity.  It means that it is ok just to make things because I can but also to have something that has meaning.  As a consequent of this I have take some steps

  1. I am allowing myself just to make things because I can.  This means I am allowing myself to enjoy making my dotty beads, and the flow of the molten glass.
  2. I have started teaching people guitar and I am teaching some home schoolers art. 

What I have lost in this is the sense of meaning.  What that means is that there is something to explore about how to create meaning in my art.  This was covered in part 2.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Check Out To Find You Already Had What You Wanted

021 copy

I am one of these people who enjoys planning, enjoys scheming and working out where I want things to go. The problem with this is that it can cause me to feel disconnected. Feeling like there is something more to life than I am somehow connected to.

My observation in life is that we tend to fall into categories those who tend to scheme all the time and feel overwhelmed and those who tend to drift and feel lost. Now I know these are generalisations but I’ve experienced as well as known the truth of it this week.

As a therapist I often explain that to have too much stress is to burn out but just as disastrous to mood and efficiency is rust out, when you just don't have enough pressure.


Last week I had a week away with my parents. When I do this, the world literally stops. By day 2 I was getting really wound up by doing nothing. By day 5 my husband and I were going loopy.

I had taken my paints to do stuff, a book to read, a screenplay I’m working on, things on how to improve my blog but I just couldn't get into anything. It was as if stopping robbed me of the ability to perform. Not only did my motivation vanish by so did my ideas. There was no planning, no scheming and I can genuinely say I felt my mood sink really fast. Rust out.

So how do I hold that with the learning how to slow down? How do I give myself space to plan and scheme without putting too much pressure on myself? It is almost as if I need to plan and scheme how to do a simple life. Some of it could be summarised by this great post about slowing down on Zen Habits.

Planning to slow down but having something to slow down from seems just as important. So I’ve decided that I will do that by identifying what I want from this week, then making a point of making it happen with specific goals.

So what are the key things that I want?

  1. I want time to create whether that be with glass, silver, paint or words
  2. I want to have time for relationships, with people I love
  3. I want to earn money from activities which I see as being worthwhile.
  4. I want to make a difference.
  5. I want to be me,
  6. I want to fully be who I was created to be, because only then will I be fully happy.

So things I need to do this week

  1. Set specific time to create
  2. Invite friends round for a meal or to the pub at least if I don't quite get round to cleaning the house
  3. The truth is I see my paid job as worthwhile. I just need to learn how to give it direction. Therefore I need to set some time to plan and scheme… ooo things I do well.

I guess 4-6 will happen as I work on the other things. By focusing on the specifics I perceive that I will be able to stream line my life and therefore slow down. Interestingly to have time fro friends and time to create I have to slow down as well.

So back to the title of the post, I realise that as my life has sped back up today my ideas, inspiration and desire to create are returning. If I make a point of doing my already, everyday life, but slower and simpler I already have everything I need and want. So very simple but so very true.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Wednesday Winnings

Hi there it’s my second giveaway/winning day.

I’ve been sitting here thinking, well not thinking that’s a bad description. There are days with my journey through fertility that I just sit an find tears rolling down my face, and today seems to be one of those days so far. Nothing specifically has triggered it and I know that at times moment in time I need to look after myself.


So why am I continuing to give away when I feel like the world is beginning to close down on me and I need to look after myself. For that very reason. I have learned over time that when I feel like this I tend to withdraw into my own little world which is really not very helpful. Giving away these beads is about keeping myself open to the world rather than hiding. Choosing to share who I am rather than running away. I promise however that I will be taking today slowly so that I’m not overwhelmed by what I am feeling.

I thought I would offer you some of my dragon scale beads.


I enjoy making these guys and the movement of the glass.

All you need to do today to have a chance of winning them is leave a comment.

If you come in directly to this page it will be clear how to leave a comment however if you come in on the front page click the word below that says “comment”. This will take you to the page were you can do that…. Good luck



P.S. As I've gone about my business today I've realised that this post could look as if I'm asking you to support me and be kind to me in order to have a chance to get the beads. Honestly this was not my intent. Even if your comment is HIYA, I wouild love to hear from you - J


Monday, 15 June 2009

Conceptualising My Art Business – part 2 What?

In an earlier post Conceptualising My Art Business – part 1 Why? I explored why I need and want to make.  This brought me to the interesting conclusion that the reason I make is not to sell but about what it intrinsically gives me and my desire to give back to others.

The conceptualising looks a little like this.


The second question for me here is if it is a business what is it that I want to sell.  I know that I find making to sell is some how a sell out but there has to be a balance somewhere.

Well I could make

  • lampwork glass
  • painting
  • knitting (I’ve made huge amounts of baby clothes)
  • sewing (I’ve made a wedding dress and clothes for others)
  • jewellery (I’ve done courses in making silver jewellery and my next step would be to think about a BTec)
  • hats
  • bags
  • cards

All these things I have made and sold at stages.  But what is it that I am passionate about making.  I guess the answer at one level is simple, glass and painting.

Great … that narrows it down to two huge fields.  Both of which are hugely competitive and I guess need specific focus on.

The glass thing as far as I can see, with the skills I have, breaks down into a few areas

  1. Art glass beads.  I specifically like two types of design.  Those with a very geometric feel and beads inspired by nature.  I’m wanting to create beads with a more painterly like quality.
  2. Production glass beads, which I have done and it really improved my skills but I chose to end because it stole my soul.
  3. Mini sculptures.  My beads have often ended up behind sculptural from very early on.  I have also done some off mandrel sculpture which was great fun.  My dad has a kingfisher as a consequence.
  4. Turning my glass into jewellery

I know there is way more to lampwork but not with my skill levels at the moment.

The painting thing for me is much more limited.  Or at least it feels as if it is.  What I know is that I loose myself in painting but have never produced anything that I feel is of a saleable quality.  What I do love about paint over glass is the depth of meaning I feel and see in the work.  I love the use of this medium for affirmations and the stories that can be told.

So this leads me to a question of whether there is something about combining these two areas to create something that is unique and distinctive to me.  Using glass and paint to create pieces which have meaning seems to be so very important to me and probably the best way forward. 

The draw back is that this is something completely new for me and to start with not a money making avenue… which to me seems to defeat the whole point of conceptualising a business around art.

I guess my plan to start with has to be about beginning to create daily within paint as I perceive I already have the skills within the glass to create what would be needed.  I also need to spend time creating glass beads which I love in the mean time.  Not primarily because I want to sell but because I love to make.

errrrmmmm not sure what happened there

I've done something and caused blogger to be strange...

The post which I set to come up today went up yesterday, but with comments on from a previous post, which has disappeared. You will see that the lovely Elaine commented on the 12th on a post which is dated the 15th but was live on the 14th... I so have done something strange.

Unfortunately I dont seem to be able to recover the missing post so I will put a summary of it up at some point as it was the start of a 4 part series... doh...

Hopefully back to normal now


Friday, 12 June 2009

Studio Update

This week has been a week for painting and just being.  I don't have anything to show at the moment, but I’m sure I will in the next few weeks.  I have spent a few days away with my parents and it was fantastic to see them.

So what about to days TGIF – Trust Gratitude and Inspiration Friday.

  • Thankful - I’ve spent a lot of time with my parents this week and it has been fantastic
  • Gratitude – I am grateful for time to be and time to play
  • Inspiration – I have been inspired this week by being down near the sea

Thank you for dropping by


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Wednesday Giveaway – the results


I used a random number generator to determine who would win these.  The result was post 4.

That means the winner of the set is Rachel B.  Send me your address and I will get the beadies out to you


Saturday, 6 June 2009

Race for Life

You may have noticed that I've had the race for life banner on my blog for a little while. Well it was today and I've done it.

If you are interested in sponsoring me the link is here.

I dont expect anything from anyone and I am taking the logo off now. This was just in case anyone was interested, had thought about sponsoring me and had not quite got round to it.

Thank you all


Friday, 5 June 2009

Studio Update and TGIF


So Friday posting, what have I been up to. Because I’ve been on annual leave its been an interesting week. Not as productive in some ways as I thought it would be, but really soulful and thoughtful, which to be honest I actually prefer.


So there have been a couple of bead sets, and Wednesday Giveaway. There have also been some firsts, I taught guitar for the first time this week. That feels a bit strange because I really don't feel like I have the skill needed, but they insisted which was so very flattering. It is also the first actual sit down less for teaching some art with some kid who are being home schooled.

One of the things as I thought about what I wanted to do with my creativity was teach and give back to people. When I identified that, within days these two opportunities arose and there is another bubbling in the pipeline. I think that's cool

Some days I wake up and it feels like my head is full of cotton wool. Sitting down and working out my TGIF seem really hard but actually it is really helpful because despite what my brain says actually there is an awful lot of good out there.

  • Trusting – to day I am trusting that I will have fun with the kids and that the excitement they have shown will encourage them to want to continue with their art lessons
  • Gratitude – I’m really grateful for friends who see me as me and who aren't out to change me. Yesterday I had the two extremes, people who wanted to change me and then wouldn't listen to me and friends who were just the most amazing and supportive, even though I didn't tell them about the first group of people.
  • Inspiration – wow that's when its hard to find something with a head full of cotton wool. I’m doing the race for life tomorrow and beginning to prepare for it has inspired me to want to continue with the weight loss.

Thank you for dropping by. What are you trusting, grateful for and inspired by on this Friday?


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Wednesday Giveaway


So here we are with my first weekly give away. This is a set of 5 18mm beads with 6 associated spacers. These are beads where I love the process and the feeling of making the beads. I love how the glass moves in the heat and I enjoy the skill in making it rather than being inspired by things outside of that moment in time unlike this bead which is inspired by my love of Classical Greek and Roman art.


So if you fancy winning this set, all you need to do is comment in up to 10 words and tell me what it is that inspires you whether that is in everyday life or in your creations. I will draw a winner next Wednesday


I look forward to reading your comments.



I've just been told its not obvious how to leave a comment. Please click below where is says how many comments there have been. This will lead you to a page where you can make your comments.... Thank you for your understanding - J

Monday, 1 June 2009

Shame and empathy

007 copy

I have been thinking about my musing, live life as an exclamation not an explanation, Performing for an audience of one, Relentlessly pursue who I am created to be. As a think about them there is a real sense of wanting to be more than I am at the moment.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that but they got me thinking, what is it that stops me? Why am I musing on such similar themes? Am I actually changing or is it just light sunlight on a dandelion, I’m showing up the structures and its frail but beautiful in its simplicity?

So what is it that stops me, and the honest answer is I get so far then get overwhelmed by a sense of not being good enough. A sense that somewhere I am deeply flawed, in other words shame kicks in.

I have been thinking about shame resilience and how I can begin to protect myself from shame and I realise a simple truth. As I talk to others and give them the opportunity to show me that not only do they understand how I feel but that it’s OK to have these dark scary thoughts and feel this overwhelming gut wrenching fear, shame is beginning to loose its power over me.

I don't think I’m brave enough to share the specific incident which highlighted it all to me this week but what I do know is that giving other people the opportunity to show me empathy begins to heal my soul. I also actively noticed this week as I shared empathy with others, the impact it has on them and how healing it is,

So here’s to empathy. Really trying to come alongside someone and hear the situation from their point of view. The amazing thing with empathy is feeling heard and understood means that a solution to the problem doesn't have to be found. Empathy itself is the solution.