A Blog For Showcasing Accomplished Jewelry Designers and Bead/Jewelry News
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
More thoughts on 2009...
I got a tremendous response to my questions about the challenges and opportunities for 2009. Here’s more…
2008 was a tremendously entertaining year. I spent lots of time working with the news on in the background. Between the elections and the economical meltdown there was no shortage of news. We all had to take a 101 class on the economy. I have since weaned myself a bit as the daily gloom and doom was getting to me especially when delivered by gleeful announcers. I saw the picture of Chaney in the morning paper as the Senate was confirming Obama's election. Was he smirking as the administration he represents handed Obama a plate of manure? They may have believed that the economy would not fall in disarray until they were out of office... or used it as an excuse for final gifts to their buddies in the form of taxpayers $. So anyway, out with the old economy, and in with the new economy, hopefully a better economical model more sustainable and less toxic to the planet with the return of civil servants to government.
Artists are often the canaries in the cage. They were aware of the lack of oxygen in the system long ago. The economy from many artists' perspectives has looked to be in trouble for quite a while, even when according to the pundits the economy was doing fine. We were all aware that the economy was doing great for a limited few while too many people had a hard time financially in the meantime. But not all art businesses did badly, some actually did well even last year. As customers 'downgraded' from higher end goods in department stores, many discovered artisans' jewelry as a better value at better prices! I call it true value from the heart over commercial value with hidden cost to the total cost of ownership. You can read my entry on TOC on my blog.
For 2009 I plan to continue as a designer-artisan to create 'irresistible pieces', the best pieces I can design regardless of their prices range. Some may have just five to ten knots, a zen statement, distilled to its essence like a haiku, yet still containing my signature. Others may be labor of love with many hours of work. I will also continue to work with lots of colors, as it is so much fun, and maybe my enthusiasm while working in my studio will propagate to my customers. Pieces will find their owners eventually, so I will continue to do shows, create exposure for the work I create, post new pieces to my budding online gallery and look into other outlets. In addition to being an artist I also became a Reiki master, along the way, and I believe that as artists we are conduits for energy and the world needs us more than ever.
The greatest opportunity in the jewelry industry today is the abundance of materials, jewelry is not as traditional as it used to be which makes the possibilities endless! It gives us more freedom to give our pieces a soul with the new clays and polymers, photo transfering, etching and acid finishes, and using found or recycled objects can give them more of a story. Looking at an object or new metal and asking how we can give it life creates more connection with the spirit of why we make jewelry and can be as playful or serious as we make it. Even the more traditional materials are being taken in new directions giving them a life of their own, with so many techniques out there it's a challenge deciding where to begin. The only limits are the limits of our imagination! The internet is our most powerful resource. Education, networking and selling is at our fingertips and we can connect to people from all over the world when we plug into the online shops and networks. The only challenge I have found is finding enough hours in the day to create all the ideas I have!
As far as the challenges for 2009 in this economy downturn, it is more challenging than ever to market something that is not considered a necessity. That is, we must learn to be more creative by using less expensive materials. Also, this is a opportunity to go into my studio and come up with new designs, if the old ones are not selling. Finding new venues to sell such as small boutique type shows in people’s homes seems to work for me. Also, I am using the internet as an advertising tool, since it is less expensive and sometimes free. I have been through many downturns before over the years and for some reason, people still buy jewelry to make them feel better about themselves.
From the past two posts, a theme has emerged. Use the time to create new designs and learn new that new jewelry skill you always wanted to try. Stick with work that you are proud to make and…..keep getting up in the morning!
I spent the past 26 years as the co-founder/owner of a video production company in Los Angeles. During those years, I worked with many of the world's biggest celebrities, recording artists and fashion/consumer brands. It was exciting and fulfilling, but after more than a quarter century, it was time to MOVE ON!
My business partner and I were able to sell our business to investors which gives us the opportunity to focus on our passions.
For the past few years, I have been making jewelry--first as a hobby and then more seriously as I started focusing on jewelry design for my next career. My latest work can be seen on Etsy under the seller name: NakedJewelry.
I have always strived to be at the top and I know I have the best chance of getting there by learning from the best, so I use my blog to showcase the most accomplished jewelry designers and tell others about interesting vendors and teachers I encounter as I build my business. I hope you find the information interesting! If you do, please share with your friends!