Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sharing Your Pie

When I was a kid, I liked pie. It wasn't something I got that often. One day I had just gotten a piece of pie when a friend came over to play. The first thing I did was offer them half of mine. My Grandmother heard me offer, and said it's ok honey I have more pie, there is plenty for everyone. It was a lesson I learned very early and have always tried to remember.

I know that we live in a world where two things occur more than they should, first I know that people get very competitive, sometimes to the point of nastiness, because our economy is bad and everyone wants to make money. Secondly, I know that the internet affords people the opportunity to say things because of the anonymity, that they normally wouldn't if they were face to face with someone. Now I have never had that problem, on the rare days when my Irish temper gets the better of me, I say what I have to say in person the same as I would online because I have never been the sort of the person who uses something to hide behind. I also think it's best to take the bull by the horns and talk things out directly if you have a problem.

Normally I keep that Irish temper in check, but today it has been this is not going to be a happy post, because I am thoroughly annoyed. The utter pettiness of people can be astounding at times. I try not to make rants on my blog, but today I just have to in order to get it out of my system.

I post my work three other places besides my website. One is a guild, and two I consider online portfolios. One of the two, the pieces can be purchased directly from and is not specific to one type of art...with the other, it is specific to one type of art and they can't purchase directly from the site. They still have to come back to my site to get the piece they want.

It was on the latter that apparently someone had a fit because I posted my starfish. They sent the site owner an e-mail saying it was wrong because I didn't put any hours or effort into it's creation, that I was taking space away from someone who made a real piece of work, and it wasn't a real animal because it didn't have a face. Luckily the owner didn't agree with that, and thought it was quite a nice piece.

I don't know what they think it takes to make one of those...but I can assure you between the hand stitching, the hand applied color (I don't use an airbrush to do that) and the hand beading that there is a lot of effort and hours that go into the creation of those. I started making them 14 years ago because I went to do a show in Hawaii, and I thought it would be fun to make something sea inspired for that show. They were so popular I have been making them occasionally ever since and they are still popular.

I personally think it's rather gutsy to say that someone doesn't put an effort into something they make anyway. I would never say such a thing, because I don't have any idea what people put into their creations. Even the simplest looking things can sometimes take a very great effort with a lot of time invested for the person creating it, and who am I to judge anyway? The only judgement we have a right to pass on another artist's work is whether it appeals to us personally and if we wish to buy it or not. (I also think it's pretty gutsy to pass judgement on Mother Nature and say something isn't an animal because it doesn't have a face! There are many animals that don't have an actual face.)

The fact is that the starfish take me almost as long as my bunnies, mice and squirrels. I don't charge as much the for the simple reason that they take less mohair and they aren't accessorized. Plus I just like to offer something that is a bit less expensive for a collector who wants something a little different or hasn't gotten their feet wet in collecting yet. I have sold several of the starfish to customers who were so impressed with them when they got them, that they came back and bought bigger pieces the next time.

Now you're probably wondering why this has me so annoyed since it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I would agree with that if it weren't for the fact that this isn't the first incident I have had on this site. Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way blaming the owner or the site itself.

A while back I was reported for doing something that was against the rules. The irony is, I didn't do it...and I didn't do it even before it was an actual rule because it always seemed unethical to me. I am still unsure why they thought I did it in the first place. But it bothered me because it cast aspersions on my good name.

Combined with those two things, I also receive the largest amount of scam attempts from this site. There are days when I wonder if it's worth it to keep paying to list things on there. Most artists have enough to deal with by selling online as it is without these sorts of things, especially when they come from their fellow artists.

Ultimately that is the thing that bothers me so much, that one artist can be so petty towards another one. Yes there are thousands, maybe even millions of artists the world over...but it's still a small community, and not one of the easiest ways to earn your I think we need to applaud and support each other rather than try to tear each other down. The best way to have a competitive edge is to make a quality product and let the work speak for itself.

I guess I am wearing my rose colored monocle today. I want to see the world in a rosy hue, but sadly I can also see the truth. There will never be peace on this planet whether it comes from greedy nations or other artists wanting to create war, because they don't understand there really is enough pie to go around for all of us.


Kathy-Catnip Studio said...

As the delighted owner of one of your starfish creations, I know it CLEARLY took time and expertise to design and fabricate to a pleasing and beautiful form to go with the lovely beading and handpainting. I absolutely don't get the fuss about lacking a "face", nor taking the time to complain about it - sad.

The Littlest Thistle said...

The jealousy of others does indeed lead to the most incredible amount of pettiness. Also the misunderstanding of others about the effort required to achieve something is extremely frustrating. I'm experiencing something like that at my actual job right now and I'm stressed up to the eyeballs trying to get the work done and justify over and over why I need help to do what they think is a very simple task (drawing big diagrams to illustrate to the contrary have not helped, the person in question thinks it's too big and cluttered!).

Sorry, I shouldn't have hijacked your rant there! Anyway, I hope tomorrow is better for you, and perhaps you should go find some pie to treat yourself :o)

Kelly said...

Thank you Kathy, I am so glad you like yours! It's nice to hear it on a day when I am grumpy.

I am sorry that these things happen in work places of all varieties.

I don't really understand what the fuss was about anyway...they said I was taking space away from an artist who had a "real" piece, but I don't see how since the spaces aren't limited in any way. You are permitted to post as much as you want for the same price, so what was the big deal?

Amanda said...

One word, jealousy! Its so petty and so silly, very annoying. I've had a bit of that myself and it makes you wonder who these people are out there. I've not been making bears for months but have enjoyed seeing your creations.

Heather said...

Ahh,yes, that ever limited space on the internet... waaait a minute....

:P That person, flat out, is an idiot. There should be a 'Stop and Think' key on every keyboard.

Unfortunately, that probably still wouldn't help some people.

Anyone who actually bothers to look at your work (starfish included!) can see how much time and care is put into them.

It feels more and more like the internet is becoming an island filled with stranded little British boys, painting their faces and sharpening sticks at both ends.

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Current copyright laws allow for all work to be automatically protected when it is created. All original artwork, photos, text, logo, descriptions, and derivative works from Blondheart are not to be copied, imitated or distributed in any way. All rights reserved solely by the artist, Kelly Dauterman.

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