I just saw a sign driving through downtown Oakland that read, "Live your craft". Now I don't know about you but I haven't heard about anyone being able to live off their crafting projects! I mean I would LOVE to just spend all day everyday thinking about, designing, creating, and yes ultimately selling my projects. But how does one turn that passion into a viable career? Unfortunately the California bay area is just such an expensive place to live BUT that being said it also has a vibrant, inclusive, and awesome artistic community. I feel that I just need to tap into the right venue and then everything might fall right into place. But then I look around and I get discouraged as nothing feels right to me. I love to create many things and I don't like to do the same thing twice which is why I have always designed one-of-a-kind pieces. That makes for a very difficult sales model. I also realize that you don't make anything on handmade items if you sell them through a boutique that caters to original and exclusive items as they end up taking a large percentage of the sales price which leaves you with basically the amount that it cost you to make the item in the first place! I mean I understand that since once upon a time I was one of those specialty item gallery owners in Berkeley. I tried to give the artists a fair share of the cut but with the overhead and the general public basically not wanting to pay a high price for originality, well....
Although my current apartment may be thoroughly average and box-like, I love walking in because of the original artwork that brightens and personalizes the space that is my home :-)
So it's not enough to just get your stuff out there in whatever way possible and that usually means making pennies per item, one really does need to be compensated for their design time in order for creativity to flourish not just for the artist but for the buyer too! I wouldn't want to live in a world where there are no more one-of-a-kinds, no differentiation of personal spaces or originality in the everyday which I feel is so important because for me those originals, that whenever I look at them make me feel that "specialness" that is my life. Whether I am wearing it, looking at it, or using it those perfect pieces create the life that I want to live. So I am not sure what my next step will be but there are a couple of things in the works. I am lucky enough to have a hair client of mine trust me to design a bridesmaid dress for her next month. This will be my defining moment when it comes to creating custom pieces for clients. Yes, I did start with my daughters prom dress and she did warn me she would be my toughest client, but I am still her mother so there was only so much she could could say and of course she was not paying me so it's not quite the same thing but it did give me a feel for what I can do in a short period of time. It's cool when you surprise yourself. I had never made a structured evening dress before yet, voila! I did it. What else can I do? Where else can I go? The thing about art is, you never know! I am so excited about where I will be going next and I do hope that I can find an audience and the means to keep creating ;-)
Putting it all out there, Leslie
Always something new, always something different, always one of a kind!
5 foot 5' 3/4" (although I am now probably 5'5") 2 dependents (does a dog count?) Hair color does tend to change regularly (curse of being a hairstylist) Aspirations of global recognition as a superstar fashion designer (this better happen darn quick as I am aging quite noticeably as each post is uploaded)