11 April 2012

circling ... further along the road of acceptance

So, it's been a couple of weeks since my amazingly well received "accept or resist" post.  I am deeply grateful for all the comments and new members ... so very reassuring to hear I'm not alone on this journey. 

Since that post, one of the things I've been working on accepting is the evolution of my work habits.  Time was when I could sit down to work, stay on task, stay on target and stay focused for hours on end ... these days, not so much.

What I seem to do with most everything and how I operate in general, I can only describe as circling.  I get things done, just not in a straight line.  I used to work on things start to finish ... push push push, drive drive drive, focus focus focus.  Lately, I sit down to work, focus for a bit, go look something up on the computer, go back to work, make some tea, peruse a book or magazine or recently printed eBook, work some more, comb Zoe, water the plants, back to work and maybe I'll stay there for an hour or so.

I don't know, circles, cycles, spirals ... maybe it's spirals.  Like I said, I'm moving forward and getting things done, it's just a different m.o. that's in place.  It doesn't feel like a bad thing, it's just different ... and I'm really trying to be okay with it, 'cause I'm pretty sure those days of parking my backside with laser focus for hours and hours are long gone.  Yep, probably not a bad thing, a paradigm shift for sure and I'm pretty sure I've got no choice in the matter.

The trouble is fitting this new working paradigm into selling and marketing my work.  Back in the fall when I was wholly gung ho about the new steel and bronze pieces, I was putting together a fairly aggressive marketing strategy.  I was going to approach a slew of high end boutiques and schedule trunk shows and travel, I was looking into on-line wholesale options, etc etc etc.  Then, in January, I had to change gears and get the revamped sample presentation of my existing wholesale line to my new sales rep.  When I sat back down at my worktable, momentum had shifted and the work I was being inspired to make changed as well.   

And to make my business and life more challenging ... I've always worked from a wholesale business model ... develop a body of work that I can replicate, turn it into a catalog, ship it off to the rep to take around to galleries and museum stores to write orders and then fill orders and on and on.  Thing is, when the Urban Primitive work came into being, I realized it wasn't going to fit into my existing business model.  The big difference, the firing limitations of the base metal clays guarantees I won't be making tons of anything.  I can fire hundreds of fine silver pmc components at one time; bronze I might be able to fire a couple of dozen and the steel is even less.  Definitely not a recipe for mass production.

I've always made a broad range of work, but it's been stretched out over longer periods of time.  The core of my work was the wholesale line and I'd make a few one-offs here and there to amuse myself, keep the juices flowing and my Etsy shop occupied.  But since September, goodness ... I'm truly amazed by the range and diversity of my jewelry.  I think the newest pieces are all still fitting very nicely under my "Urban Primitive" moniker, but it's been really interesting to look at the last few months work ... I go from delicate, woven fine silver pmc chokers to seriously chunky, darkly tribal neckpieces to minimalist steel and bronze constructions to aethereal gemstone and silver pieces, to my deeply spiritual talismans and back around or to the middle or wherever.  It's all me, all my work, all my inspirations, but I wonder if anyone else thinks I might be just a bit schitzoid.  

Case in point - my newest work ...

This is where the acceptance thing comes in again ... I'm a big believer that "where attention goes, energy flows," so I'm trying not to worry that all this circling around styles of work will affect my wholesale business.  What I'm working on now is being okay with my new m.o., my new working paradigm, with the range of styles and looks and inspirations, with circling.  My plan of attack is to not have a plan of attack.  I'm going to keep making what I'm inspired to make, I'll send love and good juju to my far off case of samples, I'll keep selling on Etsy, but continue looking for additional options and I'll not worry if anyone thinks I'm a team of designers or just one crazy creator.  The bottom line, it only matters what I think and how passionate I am about what I'm creating.  When in doubt, I just need to go back to my foundation statement :

" I am a maker.  I create work that I love and am proud to share; work that is deeply felt, resonates with and is supported by an audience of like-hearted souls spreading the love and joy that is the foundation of all I do." 
And, for more inspiration, I can go back to a post from last summer for the reminder that, the only rule is, there are no rules.  

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  that first image features the newest addition to our family, Orlando.  I finally found a mannequin!  It's kind of gender neutral, which reminded me of Tilda Swinton and Cara thought Orlando was a fitting name.  I concur.  He's in great shape and was a steal at $150. 

  Plus, he's got a cute butt ...

okay, bye .......


  1. Personally, I like the idea of spiraling. You can move in and out along a spiral and that seems to be a bit of what you are doing. Releasing that focus most likely frees you up for more creative energy flow, I think. It's a good thing. You can always spiral back into the center of focus when you feel it. Even though you may feel that you might be all over the map right now, I see a definite consistency even in pieces that are quite different from each other. A certain KvKness about them and that is beautiful.

    Orlando is gorgeous in his very gender neutral way and I quite agree he's got a cute butt.

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  3. Yeah, you do chunky and delicate but I think it all looks like "you". I'm torn by that also, I like to try everything! But I do find myself "circling" a lot, when I use to sit for 8 or 10 hours straight. My head still wants to make jewelry but my body is less sure!

  4. dammit that's a cute butt...


  5. so i just went back and read the post i had missed (because in my spiraling i am having trouble even focusing right now on getting lost on blogger)... and, hello, sister infj, nice to get to know you...
    i work exactly the way you do... in fact, i seem to even need to 'warm up' in the morning... i think i struggle with the whole thing of people wondering what i am doing - do i work - is that work or just a hobby? you know that thinking... so when i cannot get to task early, i have this doubt about them being right... though i will work long after they are home, on weekends and holidays if the inspiration strikes...
    but this is my baggage -
    i am glad to hear you embrace your work style - and while i like for business purposes your wholesale idea - i hold your work in high regard and think you must have some of those true (vs. everything being one of a kind due to variations and the nature of making everything yourself) one-of-a-kinds available as well -
    you have developed a very identifiable kvkness (as leann said) - that surely indicates something powerful...
    and thank you for finding another word for circling - i think spiraling is so much more accurate - because there is a center, a focus... and as you said, long gone are the days of the straight line...
    you are doing wonderful things, kathy... i love hearing you think out loud...

  6. Your stuff is so inspiring! I look at it and my chest aches a little bit 'cuz it's just so beautiful.

  7. A jolt of recognition - that's what I felt reading this post....partly, I work more slowly than in my youth, but also I'm pursuing the threads, legacies and tentacles of 55 years of interests. And that's OK as long as my day doesn't become this - ( oh god, too close for comfort sometimes...) :


    Thank you! I'm definitely more enamored of the concept of 'circling'! Makes me feel as though I'm getting closer, zeroing in....

  8. I DON"T want to know how this reminds you of Tilda Swinson. !?! :)

    Maybe its just the real rhythm of you.
    The unexamined life is not worth living, is true. Sometimes we r thinking too much. You eccentric creative you!

    Thanks for a good think yesterday, I am still trying to ask what is this word Eccentric.
    Einstein comes over and whispers, Everything is Relative and etc....

  9. Thanks everyone! Circling ... spiraling ... think I'm leaning towards the spiral or some such concept. I think the frustration is in the newness of it all. Old methods not working and developing new ones, new ways of being in the world. I guess I always thought life would get more settled and comfortable, now I realize it's all brand new.


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