When I started creating clothes and jewelry over a decade, I made things that I thought people wanted. Some of the things I made were cute and spot on fashionable. And, yes I did got a few faithful clients coming back for more, but it has been hard work trying to be out there and stand out. The publicity was as much hard work as the creativity, and a true artist will tell you how very boring taking on the publicity of one's work is. We best just stick to creating and let others worry about marketing for us. Unfortunately for many indie artists like myself, we can't afford to pay someone to do the marketing so we do it ourselves.
Well it got tiring for me because I eventually realized that the effort I put in pushing my work out there was taking away from the creative time I needed to put in the work itself. I eventually took a break sometime last year because it got so overwhelming that it felt like it no longer worth the pain. I looked at the pile of items in my inventory, and although I use quality materials and loved the way the items looked individually or paired, something about them just didn't sit well with me. there was no 'Naanness' to them. I didn't see me in any of them so what did I do? I did a huge sale and got rid of as many things as I could plus my friends and family all received handmade items for Christmas and birthdays. I just wanted everything out.
I was looking through my portfolio and sadly had to admit that the clothes and jewelry lacked personality. There was nothing unique about them that says 'Naanmade', they could have been made by anyone! That was not my aim. My mistake was that I fell for what most fashion artists fall for - creating what we think people want. No wonder then we get lost in that market where you ought to have made a name to be able to risk having your creations looking like everyone else's. And so with that realization, I decided I would start creating items that were very ME in style. I want to have a hard time parting with things I make because I love them deeply. It's like Ralph Lauren said (not in these very words) "the dividing line between what you make and what everyone else makes should be the deeper love you pour into your creations. That love and dedication is what separates the mass produced from the Haute Couture.
It's hard to really explain how an indie artist will be disconnected to her work since our creativity is all about individuality right? Well, it's easy to want to meet your clients have way that you lose your sense of self, after all the customer is always right....or are they?
So for my B.O.T.B entry for this year, I created a necklace that is in style with what direction I will be taking my fashion line henceforth. I can't share the photos just yet because the big reveal isn't until June 8th. But if you watch this space, you will be seeing, not just this new necklace but more items (clothes and jewelry) showing what direction my creativity will be taking.
Maybe you will finally find that touch of individuality in fashion that you have always wanted, or maybe you would want to take a different route. To all my clients, old and new, I sincerely hope my new direction will be yours too. I am all about individuality and I shall trust and embrace mine even more now because individuality is the truest definition of self.
Peace and Blessings to you all.