My life has changed.
There, I said it.
I have been debating writing about this for the past month or so. What to divulge and what not to. Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much jewelry lately. There are a variety of factors that have come into play. Time mostly. Time is the number one reason as to why I am not making as much jewelry at present. My time is now spent at a full-time job outside of the creative field of my training.
However the reasons for why I've had to get a job are numerous and varied. Much may be the economy, especially the state of the European economy since many of my clients reside there. Much of this ill-fortune can be also given to the credit industry and their lack of good will toward the small businesses (let alone artists) of our country. In addition though, and foremost in my mind is the blatant copyright and intellectual property infringement that I see carried out by numerous designers and business proprietors. In many cases it may just be the use of my photographs without my permission on commercial sites without reference to me or the actual work -- or it is the complete stone-for-stone replicas of my designs listed for sale on the same online venue I use. In most cases though, it is a selected, careful integration over time of my aesthetic into another artist's work until the consumer can see no difference. I can see no difference. I spoke of this generally before about six months ago:
I am becoming progressively aware of certain aspects of my work and in particular cases, my entire aesthetic, becoming increasingly evident in the work of others. This is the nature of business and having an online presence and when you are not an inventor, but an innovator and an artist as I am, it is difficult to know when the line was crossed, but easy to see once it has been.
Frustrated. Annoyed. Depressed. Angered. Enraged. Exasperated. Defeated. Ashamed. Discouraged. Daunted. Pissed.
I felt, I feel, all of those things, even now. Still I am not, just as I was then when I first wrote about this, here to name names or point fingers as nothing productive can come of that. But there is a toll. Because of the these actions, which many may see as harmless or as flattering imitation, it is a factor in why I can no longer do what I love in the capacity I wish to do it.
The number one reason that I have debated writing about this topic is that in my naiveté I believed I could operate close to 'business as usual'. Clearly I this isn't a possibility as I cannot work as much as I'd like and posting dates keep getting pushed back as my new schedule fluctuates often. And even more paramount probably, there is my pride. This has not been a hobby for me or a Sunday afternoon activity. I have been living as a self-sufficient artist and designer for four and a half years; I have been running my own business that I created from the ground up and it is excruciatingly hard to let go of that for the moment.
There may be a slowing, but this is not the end. Mark my words, I'm by no means giving up and throwing in the towel. But I am reevaluating how I work and sell my designs and who will see them.
|Trying to Breathe 1 & 2 by Caryn Drexl|
Once again, This post isn't about other designers. It is about my own life and my own struggles as an artist. I'm not accepting comments on this post because I don't want to open up a conversation about who and what, but if you'd like to contact me directly about something else, please feel free to do so by clicking on the contact tab at the top of the page. xo