Monday, September 18, 2017

Double Your Pleasure-Double Your Fun

Upon being presented with the proposal that adding a new glaze combination to your current ones would double your sales -- presumably because you'd now have twice as many options....

Your sales will only double if you're magically able to make twice as many pieces.

I remember a conversation I had with a friend who makes VERY fine sculptural raku vessels. For years and years he made them the same way -- white crackle glaze with areas of bared, smoked clay.

Then he started being influenced by an extremely talented painter who encouraged him to add color to his pieces.

The friend was right insofar and his work was at least as striking, and perhaps even more decoratively appealing, given that it might fit a more colorful setting.

But I happened to be discussing with him a problem I was facing -- that variety was KILLING my inventory. That is, I was noticing that if I had, say, three pitchers but each one was decorated differently, I suddenly didn't really have the same inventory. I suddenly didn't really have three pitchers. I suddenly was sold out of an item upon the sale of one pitcher....though I appeared to have two left.

Get what I mean?

And when I said this to my friend, he got that look of dawning horror that you get when you realize you should have left the haunted house at the BEGINNING of the movie, and not after you first hear the chain saw start up.

It suddenly dawned on him the problem he had been facing all year: He hadn't increased his income by tripling his color choices. In fact, he had done just the opposite.

And if he happened to have chosen exactly the right percentages of exactly the right colors, well, then he was okay. But what had ACTUALLY happened was that he created the metaphorical un-meshed gears. That is, he was placing the moving target of the right color combination against the moving target of the random tastes of his audience....and realizing they were spinning at two different speeds. He was selling less and keeping up worse.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Out On A Limb

This is a very old but good article. 

Hey, Kid: Thoughts For Young Oddballs 

I might only add...

If you think you're really onto something special but the feedback you get is lukewarm at best (or even negative)...

with one ear listen well to the critics (the feedback might be good). But keep in mind that maybe the fact that you haven't yet fully realized the concept yourself, you may not be presenting it well enough for others to "get". You may have presented it too early. You may not have fleshed it out well enough for communication.

You also might not have presented your idea to YOUR audience. Family and casual acquaintances are relationships of fate, not selected as your likely audience by virtue of similar tastes and values.
Also, the people who think they know you  may or may not. People pigeonhole you. They need to. And nobody really fits in the pigeonhole imagined by others. Haven't you ever presented something to others, only to have a look of shock register in their eyes? 

" mean you created that?!" May be the most accurate feedback you're ever going to get. You just exceeded expectations

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Storming The Gates

For anyone who regularly has the guts to submit the hard work of your intellect, vulnerably bared the depths of your soul, or presented the skilled work of your hands to the gatekeepers of the art world....

Take heart. They may be omnipotent in our world, but they're not omniscient. They may dictate your market value, but they don't determine your worth.

I love this story from 2013.

The Gatekeepers