Business has slowed down a bit lately and you know what they say: Every cloud has its silver lining.
Since it seems the entire world up and had enough of my big-eyed girls (and boys and critters) all at the same time -- good grief, that sounds far whinier and nobody-likes-me-everybody-hates-me-I-think-I'll-go-eat-worms than I'd intended.
Nobody worry. I haven't resorted to worm-eating yet! (Stress eating chocolate...maybe.)
Anyway, as any smart Girl Scout would do, if the Thin Mints aren't selling, you put less of them on the table and make room for Caramel DeLites or maybe even some brand new cookie.
I have to tell you, I've got some brand new cookies. Made with kind of experimental recipes. But I think they're yummy.
Now, some of the first advice you will hear upon opening up an Etsy shop is that you need to have a distinct style and cohesive branding. I think in the past almost four years, I accomplished that. And I love my big-eyed girls (and boys and critters) whether they're selling like hotcakes or collecting dust on the clearance shelf.
But when you do have a distinct style and cohesive branding and it's doing well, it's easy to get fixed in. In a rut. Starting thinking that your thing is your only thing.
Ever since I started The Dreamy Giraffe Collection & my Etsy shop, I've painted big-eyed girls. But if you look back, in the very beginning, that's not all I did. I made and sold some stuffed animals! I don't think I ever listed any of it, but I drew and painted and made all sorts of things. I experimented. I played.
Somewhere along the way, very early on, I'd guess, it just became automatic. I sat down in front of a canvas and I picked up a pencil and within seconds, there were these big eyes staring up at me. And I loved every minute of it to the point it kind of stopped occurring to me that...um... just because I found my niche didn't mean I might not still enjoy doing other stuff, too!
I kept three idea lists -- There was my running Art Idea list (which consisted of about 300 - 400 ideas for paintings of big eyed girls), my Other Stuff To Make list (which consisted of things that incorporated big eyed girls but weren't necessarily paintings) and the Later list (which grew quite lengthy and was made up of art ideas I had and wanted to do...but always got postponed because it didn't fit my style).
So, anyway, this slowdown has been a bit freeing, because it basically enabled me to sit down and say, what the heck, if (it seems like) everyone needs a break from the big-eyed girls...why don't I take one, too...and I decided to take a good hard look at my Later list and turn some of those postponed To Dos into Have Dones.
And I've had fun. So much fun. I think part of it is immediate gratification for me...a painting could take two, three, four days or even a week depending...it is so nice to start work on something, immerse myself, and at the end of the day, have a complete piece. But, above and beyond that, it's just exciting to do these things I thought I couldn't or shouldn't do.
I hope you guys out there will stick with me through my experimenting. The big eyed girls are a part of my heart and will always be a part of my art. But I'm enjoying, so much, right now exploring beyond the limiting boundaries I set for myself.
So, with that very lengthy prologue out of the way, my new, experimental cookies. I hope you think they're yummy...and that even if you don't, you check back...because you never know what I'm gonna bake up tomorrow!
All in the shop!
Plus a new version of Noelle Black:
Love your favorite wannabe Girl Scout,