So I have the sense of humor of a 12-year old boy.
In writing the past few posts this month, I have found myself thinking of the many things we all do as artists, especially artists trying to make a living MAKING ART, to give our clients a truly wonderful experience when buying our work. We pour so much of ourselves into our designs. Mary Jane Dodd exemplifies this like no other artist I have come across in a long time. Her works are filled to overflowing with intent, each piece a tiny universe of meaning and consciousness that she fearlessly shares in her soulful writings that accompany each piece. Oh, and the work is GORGEOUS as well.
I secretly may hate her. Each of us strives to create from the heart, our works a sometimes intimate, personal glimpse into our hearts and minds.
|Sigh....Mary, you KILL ME.|
Packaging. The Achilles heel of many a working artist. For me, this is a HUGE PROBLEM. I really do pour a lot of myself into my designs, especially the mixed media designs that include an original short story or poem. Days--sometimes weeks--go into the creative process, and the end results are a multi-dimensional representations of a dream, a fantasy, an idea that just couldn't wait to be born. AFTER ALL THAT YOU WANT ME TO COME UP WITH SOME STUPENDOUS WAY TO PACKAGE IT? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
Yet, I know how important this is and I HATE KNOWING HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS. I have never had the privilege of purchasing one of Mary's designs. I imagine if I did, it would arrive in a vessel created from spiders silk, organically dyed with fairy tears and tied together with thread hand-spun from the hair of a unicorn's mane. AND I WOULD WEEP FROM THE BEAUTY OF IT. You may think I am making fun of her or any artist that takes the time to create packaging as artful as the designs they carry, but I am not. I am simply SOAKED IN JEALOUSY that they are able to do this.
For me, packaging is simply a means to an end. It's just not high on my priority list. I tell myself it's because I'm all about recycling and not creating waste, but we all know it's because I'm somewhat lazy and my brain just doesn't pump out ideas when it comes to this. I am forever digging through my stash of recycled boxes and bags, all of which have had long, hard lives prior to me slapping a label on them and sending them off. For a while I tried, I really did, to create thoughtful packaging. I have a dear friend who gave me some spectacular heavy handmade paper infused with flower petals and leaves. I created envelopes from the paper to fit whatever design I was shipping and yes, each was lovely and each NEARLY KILLED ME TO MAKE BECAUSE I HATED EVERY SINGLE SECOND IT TOOK TO MAKE THEM. That's when it hit me. Here I was, sending off a design I created with joy and intent, now soaked in anger because I was forcing myself to make something to accompany it that I simply didn't have the creative energy for and resented deeply. KARMA MUCH? So, I embrace that I am not good at fancy packaging and have moved on.
You don't have to stress over packaging, and you SHOULDN'T. Find a simple packaging technique and stick with it. Here's what I do. I buy basic, solid color Kraft boxes whenever I see them in a variety of sizes. I also splurge on Bali cloth bags whenever they are on sale. I buy cool stickers and pretty yarns. I have a stash of this at all times. I also have a variety of stamps because I etch a lot. So--plain Kraft boxes get a stamp or a sticker, and are tied with pretty yarn. The bags are good to go as is. GENIUS! AND, you can buy beautiful hand crafted gift boxes online, you know. ETSY THAT STUFF. Now, the actual shipping box may be a tattered mess, but I will tape it up like a little box mummy and it will arrive safely, and I hope that the quality of the works inside more than make up for the less than Martha Stewart exterior.
So, forgive me, and yourself, for not hand crafting all our packaging. Simplicity is often best, keeps us sane, and is very effective. Besides, it is a BITCH to find good quality unicorn hair these days.
|Simple.....I like it!|