Keeping Your Creative Edge

Sometimes, One of A Kind is wonderful. New to Mireio: Hand lined vintage straw beach bag.

 

Dilemma:

I think like most artists, I sometimes struggle with the sameness of what I do. I find myself daydreaming about a jewelry line or a clothing line or a “that’s just amazing thingamajigit” line. It’s not that I don’t love making the things I make,  I do, I do! It’s just that at times I want to try something new. Something different. Something outside my comfort zone, or something to challenge my skill-set and help me grow.

There is a special balance to keeping your store well-stocked. If you strike it correctly, then you have time to make new items AND fill current orders. But it doesn’t leave much time for CREATIVITY.  It’s the curse of being busy—one I am deeply grateful for, even if I lament just a bit the loss of exploration.

And then there is the question of multiples. As store owners, it’s easy to get ahead of yourself on this one. You spend a ton of time sourcing and launch into a supply buying frenzy before you’ve really figured out if this new passion is really for you!  I’ve found my-self down that particular rabbit hole far too many times.

When you create using vintage and upcycled goods, there is a nagging thought that sticks with you, “Yes, this is perfect. But it’s just ONE. Can you actually make more?” A lot of time can be invested sourcing only to discover that as much as you love your creation, it can’t be easily reproduced. Which throws a big old wet towel on you burning desire for creativity.

Darn it! What’s an artist to do?

Solution:

I’ve come to a conclusion. It’s OK to do one of kind things. Even if those things are completely unrelated to what I typically create for Mireio. I can make anything I want to! And I should. When the muse strikes, I’m not going to spend dozens of hours researching the details and specifics. I’m not going to get ahead of myself ordering supplies to make LOTS. I’m just going to MAKE. ONE.

And I’ve come to another conclusion. It’s OK to sell those one of a kind things! Even if those things are unrelated to what I typically create for Mireio! If my moment of creativity becomes something I want share —then Mireio is all the better for it. It doesn’t dilute my line or my brand or my niche (no matter what the artist-run business pundits might advise.) It just means that Mireio will reflect my passion and creativity —and those of you who follow my work will have an opportunity to collect something completely unique and wonderfully Mireio.

I’m convinced this exercise in giving myself permission to be creative has had a powerful influence on the rest of my work. Taking time to be creative, to just create because you WANT to, not because you have an order to fill, or need to stock your store, is invigorating.

So, if you find yourself wishing to make something different, something beyond what you normally do. DO IT! But do it just ONCE. Don’t spend time sourcing out supplies to make more at a better profit. Don’t even think profit. Think CREATIVITY! Do, and be inspired. And share your creation if you so choose. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make!

One Response to Keeping Your Creative Edge

  • Sarah Brown says:

    I agree! Though I myself find it hard to make things other than wallets for the shop! You know, when you find something that works you tend to stick to it. But I would love to make some other thing as well. Like purses and Ipad bags, etc. I could go on and on. Some days the creativity really flows, other days, you couldn’t force it out with a sledgehammer.
    Good for you to make a go of just doing what comes naturally, using that creativity! Plus it’s fun knowing you have a one of a kind item!

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