Ahoy and greetings to all!
With many shows coming up this year for not only myself but for my fellow hand crafters whom spend many hours of this life perfecting their craft to their own designs. Creating mystical pieces of wonder imbued with their mind,spirit and creativity. I would like to shine some light on how much work and effort is put into the things unseen.
What I mean by unseen is the hours put into the simple things people rarely take into consideration when they value an artists piece by eye. They generally calculate the materials and supplies needed and many forget about the time to create these objects, however there have been many posts recently about that so I am going to skip it. I wish to express instead not just the amount of time creating an object D’art but about preparation for selling these pieces. As a person whom creates a lot it is always difficult to figure out a good balance when attempting to sell something you have put your heart and soul into. It does not only take hours upon hours to create the piece you wish to sell , it also takes a ridiculous amount of time for prep work.
One example of this is a simple tag. You see an artist with a table full of hundreds of items. Items which need to be tagged and labelled. If you wish to keep cost down or just like to do things by hand as much as possible this can be a daunting and time consuming task. It can take days or weeks to fully complete depending on the detail, however if that one little piece is missing your display lacks the proper information to the potential buyer.
I have many shows coming up and as such I have been working on tags myself. This morning alone I have spent a couple hours punching out, punching holes into and writing out tags. When doing a show and trying to sell ones handmade items, if too much signage, tags, displays, stands are all store bought it appears too corporate to some buyers whom wish to purchase from small local artisans. Setting up a good display takes a lot of time and practice.
Artists not only struggle to make a fair amount from the time they put into a single piece but what is almost never considered when people say ” this is too expensive it’s not worth that” is the time around the creating of the piece. Also the cost of the event, the displays, and the tags. Most displays cost hundreds of dollars when you set up properly or hundreds of hours. Also the travel, set up, the time during the event as well as the tear down and travel home.
When you have a regular job you get paid by the hour right then and there ( or once a week or so when your pay comes in) . When you are an artist you are lucky if you get $2 an hour when all is said and done after factoring in all the hidden parts, all the small details that make your set up unique and/or presentable.
Life is all about the little things, all about the details. Please take this into consideration when shopping local and hand made.
Thank you for your time,
May you see wonders to brighten your spirit in all the small simple things surrounding you in life.
Ashley aka the Copper Otter
Creator and Owner of Midgard Metal Works