CREATING PERSONAL ITEMS CONTAINS PITFALLS……zuki’s friends have zero objectivity

Art sunburst pendantGood Morning and Good Intentions,

If things weren’t bad enough, my 401K just lost 6% of its value from end of business last Friday! This money was earmarked to furnish a new studio complete with all the trimmings! SHIT!  While actual retirement is a couple years off but does give me an opportunity to do something I should have kept up with.  While I’ve sold a piece here and there over the years, but it’s always been work from my heart & soul. I love my sculptures, and know there are some who believe I have no soul, but I haven’t produced utilitarian items since I was 21 years old!

It suddenly dawned on me that I’m close to needing a supplementary income. DAH! Being master of the obvious comes with responsibility and I don’t take that lightly. Since my last show and up to our most recent “First Friday” I’ve noticed that nobody is running to purchase my work. Nope, not even walking so as my epiphany rendered me stupefied, I’ve decided to make pipes, trinkets, bobbles and beads in the hope patrons will buy them.

I made four heart-shaped pendants with a simple sunburst HP decal then used it like a coloring book and overlaid color onto the sunburst with china paint. I thought the porcelain pendants turned out quite beautiful and actually believed every woman would be proud to wear one.

Boy Howdy…I was dead wrong!

This was my first lesson in creating something that essentially only women would adorn them with. My plans was to find women who said they liked the pendant and offer to give them one if they’d find a suitable chain or strap and wear it.  I was looking for feedback and I indeed got it.  I actually sold one prior to adding the color so I thought I was on my way!

I tend to underestimate the difficulty of most things and this was no different. I approached friends at my neighborhood bar and other women from work and immediately found takers. I was very pleased with myself fully believing I’d tapped into my inner-woman hitting it out of the park on my first try!!! But I soon discovered my idea was seriously flawed. It’s been over two months now and have yet to see one hanging from a nicely designed neck piece worn by the women who took a pendant from me!

What the @&**!!

Friends are reluctant to tell you they dislike your work and would never wear it.  So instead they take it to spare your feelings, but really don’t have any intention of wearing it. So based on about 30 interviews from women I didn’t know it was about a 60/40 split with the majority in the “I wouldn’t wear it” column. The overwhelming objection to the pendant was that it was too big around (fat). Essentially the design was strong but the size doesn’t work well for most women young and old.

Back to the drawing board! So now I’m designing a necklace using much smaller but stylized porcelain hearts with matching earrings. While one wouldn’t realistically expect their work to please ALL women, but if I’m to enjoy my retirement I damn well better find what does!

zuki