Wednesday, November 11, 2009
There's No Place Like Home
I think the first time each of us watched as Dorothy clicked her ruby slippered heels together and said three times "There's no place like home..." we all knew exactly what she meant.
She had some amazing adventures, got to see incredible sights and made wonderful new friends. She also grew up a little in the process. But that didn't mean she didn't want to go back home to everything she loved.
When you think about it, we are all a little like Dorothy, with the internet resembling the Emerald City. There are lots of amazing things to see, some so fantastic they can hardly be believed. There are certainly many faceless wizards behind curtains, not to mention scarecrows, tin men and cowardly lions all looking for brains, hearts and courage.
Like the Emerald City, the internet can be a little overwhelming at times, especially if you are operating your business online. It's easy to start thinking we need to do or be something we don't think we already have.
Having done shows for years before the onset of online selling I was certainly aware that there were many other bear artists out there creating wonderful works. But I didn't have the ability to go look at them any time of day or night at the simple click of a button. Nor did I have the ability to look at so many artists works at once.
Having the ability to bombard myself with visuals all the time seems to be having something of a homogenizing effect on my work for some reason. It's not that I am copying the style of anyone else, but rather just the opposite by playing it safe with my own. Sure I still make traditional, distressed bears, but they aren't as distressed as they used to be, and I tend not to try something crazy every once in a while like I used to. I am not unhappy with what I have made, I think they have all turned out quite nicely. But I have had a nagging feeling lately that I should be doing something...different...something more. I think it's what spurned this need for transition.
The internet is so vast and customers have so many choices that perhaps my thinking realigned itself to try to follow the yellow brick road, and stay more mainstream for broader appeal. (This was a little epiphany I had today, I didn't realize what was happening to my work until now.)
Of course as most artists know you can't compromise your vision and be happy. So it's time for me to click my heels together and go back home. For most people that would probably mean playing it safe, but in my crazy mixed up world...that means taking chances! I need to rediscover that I had a brain, heart and courage all along!