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A hotch-potch posting this week – which nicely matches the state of my brain.

After starting to think about makers’ marks and logos a couple of weeks back I followed some advice and started working with a designer. She had sent me some first ideas – and then a chance meeting put the cat amongst the pigeons! I attended a meeting of the East London Creative Business Women’s Network and after mentioning my situation got advised to think about branding more before commissioning a logo. I know it makes sense to think about it. But it also is such a challenge. First you have to get past all that corporate speak, and then you have to find answers to all kinds of difficult questions without becoming horribly generic. I’m part done on a first draft now but still waiting for inspiration on what my ‘vision’ is… Maybe I’ll share the fruits of all this properly once it’s a bit firmer. Or maybe it’ll all get ditched, could go either way at the mo.

Does anyone else out there have experience of succesfully using this stuff?

One other thing came out of the meeting – an update on Morton Patterson’s workshops on pricing for the value you have in meeting people’s needs, as an alternative to all that cost based stuff. I’d been pondering what hte point of crafts were to people who take them home, so thinking in terms of their feelings and needs is a good shift for me. (It also follows on well from prior experience of working with non-violent communication, which has totally transformed the way I experience some types of behaviour now. Again, very early days for these thoughts…

I’ve been struggling a bit recently to be honest. I think it’s the transition to doing the market stall and being out there trying to sell my work. It caught me by surprise a bit but I guess it’s the shift from doing something as a leisure pursuit/hobby and making it ‘work’. It’s the change from holiday mode to doing it for real. I’m still loving that it is my work, but once it’s work all kinds of nasty old habits seemed to sneak back in, magnified by the obsessive drive of the self-employed person. As a result I’ve been forgetting to enjoy it, working too much, and forgetting to have an outside life to balance things out. (I dont think the stress levels have been helped by all the palaver of trying to buy a flat either!). It seems like a good thing to have realised that there was something murky going on, and I have given myself the Easter bank holidays as actual holidays. From next week I will be trying to remember to make some progress with this side of it as well as all that business-y stuff. Hopefully some clarity will come in time.

I’ve also been pondering parralels between craft and slow food (- a slow bowl for your slow soup?). Turns out I’m a bit slow on the uptake with this, as I discovered in this blog for a project on making as a slow revolution.

Following links in the reader today I also stumbled upon a nice little video of a guy talking about the value of ‘mistakes’ as a form of narrative and human connection here. More grist for the mill in terms of value & needs.

Wednesday saw me up in the gods at Sadlers Wells for the Gala Flamenca. It was fantastic and I got really into the shapes of the shadows and the way they merged with the body shapes clothed in black against a black floor, and the shadows of the unlit stage areas to then give bright contrast to brightly lit hands etc. Being so high up was a real bonus for this – giving literally a totally different perspective on the form of the human body. I can now feel all those visual memories cooking merrily in the back of my brain waiting for an idea of how to do something with it.

All in all a week of many snippets. I wonder where they’ll take me.

Happy holidays. I’m off now to take the cake out of the oven.

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4 thoughts on “Being real, branding, slow thoughts and shadowy inspirations

  1. Jane – I like the juxtapositions in your blog, although I know what it’s like writing one and feeling afterwards that it’s a bit ‘stream of consciousness’. I’ll be following your links too in a minute!
    It is interesting and strange though how selling work changes how you think about it. I sold in a local market recently and people frankly weren’t that interested, and it’s disheartening. But at a specialist craft fair people are more engaged with the work….

    • Thanks Carys. I’m sorry to hear about your market experience. I guess it will vary a lot depending on the market and who visits. I am finding that it is very weather dependant and lots of people make positive comments but dont buy anything. It was much better this weekend with the sunshine and I’m hopefull that all of them will eventually have a birthday present to buy and come back – it certainly seems like it can take a little while to build up.

      I’m looking at the specialist craft fairs at the moment, but they are a bit dauntingly competitive and it’s hard to which to go for – are there any you’d reccomend?

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