The thing that always surprises me about any path we take in our life are the detours and bumps we come across along the way. Most of the time there is always a beneficial reason for the incident but then again there are times it just feels like quicksand.....and the more we fight it the faster we sink. This can also be said about relationships with people. Relationships are hard work which means all involved need to give 100%...if this doesn't happen than the relationship falters and disappears... like sinking into quicksand.
In my chosen profession, folk artist or crazy doll maker, I have always felt that in order to succeed personally and professionally one needs to respect "Artistic Boundaries". This can be a difficult "path" especially with close artist friends because being an artist we are often inspired by almost everything we see and always imagine how it would look with our own creative spin on it. There are many times we as artists step on other artistic toes in our pursuit to find ourselves but recognizing those toes and acknowledging them is key. In my experience as I traveled down that path I didn't always say thank you to those that inspired me, which I regret, or receive an acknowledgement from those I inspired, which hurt. I've learned a lot from those mistakes which were made mostly from ignorance more so than vanity.
My first major launching point in the Folk Art arena, besides being a member of the amazing group PFATT (Primitive Folk Art Tea and Talk), was getting a call from the editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine which I was honored enough to be a part of for 4 years. Getting this call not only validated me as an artist but also proved to me that hard work and integrity can be a better foundation for success than short-cuts, like riding on the coattails of someone else's popularity and success. It also gave me the
The mice that I designed for BHG were a HUGE success and became a signature character for me....but how many different ways can one make a mouse? I began to discover that there were many ways to develop and design a mouse from standing, sitting to singing and dancing, I did them all! With this, of course, came a huge amount of collectors and followers....and with followers comes the copy hounds! !
The reason I quit designing patterns was because of some of those followers...some had built their entire businesses from my mouse patterns, very sad. Patterns went from being a fun way to share my imagination to a nightmare of dealing with unscrupulous people who just suck the positive energy right out of you.
Since my "one of kind" designs have taken off and do really well, and also because of my PODD line, I was able to leave pattern designing
|Cheshire Cat PODD|
Since my pattern designing days I have been asked to join the prestigious group known as EHAG (Eclectic Halloween Artists Group) and the absolutely amazing venue "Ghoultide Gathering"! I will never forget the day I received my invite to be a part of
Ghoultide......I must of read the email 10 times before I responded and then my response was one of total disbelief! I honestly think that Ghoultide has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Just imagine yourself in a room, as an equal, with artists that you have admired your entire artistic life, some you even watched on television. People whose work you have dreamed about owning and they are all shaking your hand and welcoming
you to their Halloween family.....
I was in the bathroom puking the whole night before the show worried that I would not measure up to everyone else and I would be left with a full table and not be asked back...didn't happen! I not only measured up I sold out! I couldn't believe it! This will be my 5th year with my Ghoultide family. To be a part of this caliber of professionalism and camaraderie which exists at this show spoils you for anything else.
"Soft in the Head" will be doing only three shows this coming year....
"Ghoultide Gathering" Sept 28, 2013.....My Christmas Blog Show Nov 17, 2013 and
Pittsburgh "Jingle Mingle" Christmas
Show Dec 7, 2013.....I'm looking forward to creating and designing new characters that will create many smiles and warm fuzzies for their new homes for many years to come! Well.... I had better get back to work since there are many characters tapping on the windows and doors of my brain begging to come out!