Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Thank You

Though I’ve replied to comments posted about my new bottle stoppers, I wanted to thank everyone for helping refill the creative well with your thoughts and ideas.

The face BS were a step out of the box for me with the bright colors and the limited use of polymer clay.  I’ve been so wedded to using clay for my bottle stoppers that the thought of painting the wood cores had never crossed my mind earlier.

With your thoughts and suggestions I feel revitalized in making new bottle stopper designs.  I don’t know if it will all work out (experiment, experiment) yet I see many possibilities here to pursue (like a light at the end of the tunnel.)

Ironically the passage today in Shakti Gawain’s Awakening dealt with communication and constructive criticism.  Whenever we put forth an idea or a new piece of art, whether on our blogs, web sites, or at an art show, we make ourselves vulnerable and open ourselves to public comment and criticism (both constructive and destructive.)

It is in knowing this that I am able to present new work that may or may not appeal to everyone.  And that is ok.  To me, every comment (online or in person) is an exchange of ideas.

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New BS

Bottle stoppers (BS) that is.

Wine bottle stoppers are among my best selling wholesale products.  However, I’ve become a little bored with the standard designs I’ve offered for the last 1 1/2 years.  Now that I’m sculpting I wanted to try and combine faces/heads with the stoppers.

At first I thought of creating a stopper made entirely from polymer clay.  That required a lot of clay and I was concerned about strength and durability.

Then I realized I could simply paint the wood core, pull faces from molds I’ve made of my own face sculpts and other faces I’ve collected and mount them to the wood core.

headbs.jpg

These Head BS remind me of masks or shields.  I brought them to the Paradise City show to “test the waters” and see how they would be received.  I sold three of them.

I need to play around with the idea a little more and will introduce them to the wholesale market in 2008.

What do you think?


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Truth

Act in Accordance with the Truth

If we get in the habit of listening to the truth inside ourselves everyday, then we can begin to live in accordance with it. 

We can speak the truth as we feel it.

We can act on the truth as we feel it.

We can live our own truth.

Today, act according to your own truth

-Shakti Gawain


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The Power of Intent

Before each show I tend to set a goal regarding sales revenue.  I know this can lead to disappointment; I’ve been disappointed on many an occasion.  Depending on the show I may set low expectations, high expectations, or no expectation (why stress out even more, right?)

When I exhibited at Paradise City this past May, I went in with no expectations.  My goal was to gain exposure, get my name and my work out there, introduce my art dolls to a new audience, and hopefully make a few sales.  I did not expect to cover expenses.  In today’s art world economy that doesn’t always happen.

With this fall show, however, I took a different approach.

You may be familiar with the Law of Attraction or the power of intent or vibrational energy.  There is also a movie, The Secret, that explains this belief.  Essentially the belief is that if you want or desire something and if you focus your energy on that want or desire, you can achieve it.

I was not familiar with any of this until sometime after I experienced my aura/chakra reading.  As I increased my awareness of my surroundings, I began to read more about the Law of Attraction.

Anyways, in the weeks leading up to this past weekend’s show, I set an intention; a revenue goal.  I also set an intention to attract people into my booth who would enjoy my art; understand and appreciate my art.  I visualized people in my booth.  I visualized people buying my work.  And then I went to the show with all this positive energy in my head.

I have to tell you that it worked.  Here are some of the more significant things that happened.

  • One woman purchased a Chakra energy angel for her spiritual teacher.
  • One woman bought my Shaman spirit messenger for her son, a medical doctor, who studied Shamanism with the Navajo.
  • One person bought a pyramid vessel to use as an urn for her deceased brother’s ashes.  This happened on the same day that another artist friend and I talked about using my vessels for just this purpose.
  • Another person returned on the last day to purchase two friendship bowls.  We had talked extensively the day before about Ireland, the Scots, and Scotland, which was the inspiration for the friendship bowls.
  • A man I greeted as he entered my booth proceeded to tell me that it didn’t matter what I said (as I gave him my little sales pitch, describing my work) that if someone wants to buy, they’ll buy.  He didn’t feel that giving information about our art work had any impact on someone making a purchase.  He had this really negative energy about him and it left me feeling lousy.  After he left I closed my eyes and tried to cleanse, in my mind, my booth of his negative energy.  Shortly after that two ladies walked into my booth who were breaths of fresh air and who were very complimentary about my art.  The energy was much better after that.

It was pointed out to me by another person in the last hour or two of the show that I was still energized.  We were talking about the chakras and energy and doing what you love.  It struck me that she was right.  I wasn’t tired like I usually am on the last day of a show.  I felt quite energetic right through the time I broke down my booth at the end of the day and headed home. 

It had to be the positive energy.  It had to be the power of intent.  It had to be the law of attraction.

What do you think?


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Post Show Ruminations

I’m back home after a wonderful weekend as an exhibitor at the Paradise City Arts Festival.  Typically, for me, the days after a long weekend show are spent sleeping, unpacking, calling in credit card purchases, catching up on email, and resetting my “get your butt in the chair” clock to work again in the studio.

It is also a time of reflection on what went well at the show, what didn’t work as well, and how to improve for the next time. 

So, what helps you to have a good show? 

First, the customer mailing list.  I sent out over 200 postcards though I don’t usually see a fraction of those people coming to any given show.  However, I do think it is important to keep your work in front of your customer’s eyes and postcard mailings do just that.  You may not see them at the show but it may remind them to visit your web site or stop in a local gallery that sells your work.

It is also important to add to your customer mailing list and that means having a notebook, clip board, journal, or some other means of collecting contact information in your booth.  At the front of my booth is a small journal and polymer clay covered pen along with a small sign encouraging people to join my mailing list.  I find it interesting that artists who have been showing their work for years still don’t have this simple marketing tool in their booths or that they keep it hidden and only bring it out if someone makes a purchase. 

Business cards.  This summer I updated my business card with a picture of one of my art dolls on one side and contact information, including my web site, on the other side.  Why put a picture of your work on a business card?  To remind people about your art and what you make.  How many times have you picked up a business card, put it in your pocket only to find it later and wonder what does this person make and why did I take her card?  I put business cards on my display tables and in each gift box when a purchase is made.  And throughout the weekend I handed out and people picked up business cards as well.  Will any of them turn into customers?  Maybe, maybe not.  But it is another simple marketing tool that gets your name and work out into the public arena.

(My preferred source for business cards and postcards is VistaPrint.)

Greeting the customers.  A simple “hello” and “if you have any questions, please ask” is all it takes to welcome someone into your booth.  People like to be acknowledged.  And most people are very appreciative, reply in kind and say “thank you.”

Talking about your work; not just about the material(s) but perhaps a line or two about your inspiration.  If your art is interactive, show customers how it works and then watch them try out other interactive pieces.  This may create a connection with the person which, in turn, results in a purchase.  More than once this weekend people walked into my booth who remembered me and my work from the spring show.  And then they would describe some of my work to the friends they were with.

What doesn’t contribute to a good show?  Here are some things I observed during the weekend.

  • Talking on the cell phone or reading in your booth.  It turns off customers and makes you look disinterested in interacting with the customer.  Put your cell phone on mute or vibration mode.  It is one thing to have customer’s cell phones ringing in your booth.  It is truly distracting to have your own cell phone ringing in your booth.  If you need to take a call on your phone, excuse yourself from your booth when possible.
  • Disappearing from your booth for extended periods.  We all need bathroom and food breaks.  Many shows offer booth sitters who will watch your booth so you can get a bite to eat.  If you need to leave your booth, tell someone nearby so that s/he can watch your booth in your absence.  Put out a small sign that states you’ll be back shortly.  But disappearing for a period of time when customers are walking around means you lose potential business.
  • Guarding your booth entrance.  Where to place yourself in your booth is a matter of preference.  Some people sit/stand near the front and others tend toward the rear of the booth.  Yet many artists who sit near the front of their booth look like they are guarding the booth as if they don’t want people to enter.  I’m sure that isn’t their intent.  Yet when you sit with your arms folded and a scowl on your face you don’t send a “come on in” message.
  • Hiding in your booth.  This is the polar opposite of the guarded booth.  This is the artist who has her booth designed such that you never see her because she is hiding behind a panel or curtain.  You walk into the booth and out pops the artist (hopefully).  This either startles the customer, results in nervous laughter, or both.  If customer interaction isn’t your favorite thing bring along a friend who enjoys meeting and greeting people.

Next up: The power of intention.