What comes next?

A few short months ago I was ready to give away all hope and fancies of working for myself. After 4 years of trying to pursue a handmade business I was ready to accept that despite my efforts it just wasn't happening and so I might as well go back to making just for my family and for gifts.

I've started knitting in a pretty big way and have really appreciated knitting every day to make really beautiful clothing for my family. I've had the time to sit back and enjoy my crafts and trying new things without the pressure of finishing an order or attempting to make something that would be popular enough to sell.

I've also been thinking a lot. About how much I dislike making items that I don't personally like, but that somebody wants and will pay money for. About how I like to be free to make what I love. And now for the real problem - that I often seem to like things that other people don't like or aren't interested in.

All this leads me to ponder on my former philosophy of art and craft - that the two blend together almost seamlessly. But am I wrong? Because lately, I feel a direct leaning towards art as opposed to craft. My business card says "Textile Artist", but have I ever really taken myself seriously as an artist or am I just "the lady who makes stuff"?

Why am I writing all this? Because I don't know what to do next. My years as a Mum has seen me gain and study so many artistic and crafty skills that when I actually list these skills it seems amazing even to me. Yet I have no direction. I don't know what to do next. My approach so far has been to create what I like and hope it would sell. Sometimes it works - usually it doesn't. 

My ultimate dream is to be a self supporting handmade artist. So, what comes next?

By the way, thanks for listening, it helps to share :)


Vicky said...

Hi Kelly,

I had to comment on this one because I really relate to what you say. A couple of years ago, I was facing something similar. I'd just been offered gallery representation but I wasn't enjoying my art, anymore. Trying to please others and make money was affecting my technique and destroying my passion. And the money, though tempting, didn't really seem worth it. I'd just sold a portrait of my son for a good price but I hated parting with it!

What you say about art and craft is interesting, too. Lately, I've been playing around with digital scrapbooking as a way to display my photos. It was fun for a while but it became quite dull. I couldn't figure out why I can spend hours doing photo-editing while scrapbooking leaves me feeling unchallenged. I know that, for some, it is an art but, for me, it's a craft and I don't feel the same spiritual connection that I have with portraits and photography.

Long comment, I'm sorry! I'm glad you're enjoying your art, again - you make such beautiful creations!

God bless, Kelly:-)

Sue Elvis said...


I'm not an artist like you and Vicky, so I probably don't have anything valuable to say. I will just share that I've often thought about trying to make money from writing. But I want to write what I want to write, not what pays. Doing that would be a real compromise and I know I would soon get fed up of writing.

I wonder if sticking true to our ideals is the way to go. I guess it just depends on whether we can afford to do that. I really believe that our best will eventually be recognised for its true worth. Also, having the courage to be yourself will make you stand out. It's just finding a way to promote yourself effectively.

Keep calling yourself an artist, Kelly, because you are. If you take yourself seriously, others will too.

God bless!

Lesley said...

I think I'm at the same point, making things I don't necessarily like to fund our household. So I'm now trying to just make what I like and find different avenues for sale. Good luck with making your decision, I'm sure the right one will turn up soon.

The Handmaden said...

Thanks for your comments lovely ladies :)

Lesley, you do an awesome job of supporting your family, I really admire what you do.

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