Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Spin


This started as a comment to Tracey Broome’s recent post on Branding. Hence the salutation and so on. But I got so long-winded that I thought I would spare her comment column and publish here. Basically I wanted to share some thoughts on branding and later some thoughts about business.

Hi Tracey, I hope you are well. Nice thoughts. I always enjoy reading your posts when I make the time to catch up with them! You have SO many thoughtful posts, a treasure trove! What about diving into some of your wonderful writing to pull together material that best describes who you are and what your intentions as an artist are? Pick out some themes that go to the core of who you are. What are the re occurring topics you write about that might allude to your “brand”?  I guess if I ventured over to the article you shared, I would find such a suggestion. :|

You also mention the reevaluation of your business strategy and I seem to be doing the same thing every year around this time, too. ;-) It’s something that we all do, I suppose. I think about it a lot, actually! As for me, I think I have too many irons in too many fires. But it's a condition of the times, I suppose. I’m always looking for an edge, an angle. Something shiny and new. I am forever hopeful! I guess it’s a way of fine tuning. One thought that has been coming on for a while this the concept of enjoying what we do. I wonder what would happen if I would cut out the experiences that I just don't enjoy and do more of what I DO enjoy?

Somehow I have made it this far and I wonder how. It hasn't been easy and I have come to the realization that I probably won't ever be wealthy beyond belief, but I can enjoy my work and be grateful to still be making pots after so many ups and downs in the various economies over the past 25 years. Making pots would be unbearable to me if I didn’t enjoy the activity. Maybe this is the clue to our marketing and business strategies. Joy? Sounds a little hokey, no?

I really enJOY doing our Cousins in Clay shows and other "home" sales where the setting is intimate. I truly enJOY meeting folks at my studio and selling directly out of my showroom. I also enJOY getting checks, big or small, from the few galleries that I still sell through and groups shows I am invited to. Teaching workshops has been a lot of fun! I love to travel and meet folks. With all that said, I feel like I still need to fine tune more and find better balance between all of these outlets. It's an ongoing process.

So,

Is it possible to have a great time, enjoy what we make, AND enjoy some modicum of success? Maybe the first thing for each of us to do to brand or re brand, is to define success. What is enough? Can we be more aware of what we really enjoy doing and do MORE of whatever that is?

And can we give up what we don’t enjoy doing?

Seems a little simplistic, but I guess it's a start.