"TraVeL ThRouGh ThE LaNd Of “Soft in the Head”
...the home of “Singing and Dancing Mice & Humorous Frogs!”.

Where “Original Designs” of patterns and soft sculpture characters come to life..…

For Patterns check out the...."Soft in the Head" site
Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before "breakfast". Lewis Carroll
For Finished Characters: Click Here

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Beginning and Middle.....

                                Life Is A Hoot......         
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
"Nighttime Mouse"
incentive to continue to grow and develop my art....I still have such a long way to go....

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
behind with a half case of antacid.  I miss designing patterns everyday, what I don't miss are the headaches and tummy problems from nasty people who live in the gray area of right and wrong!  My website www.softinthehead.com has all my patterns and continues to do very well and is always attracting new followers and customers without any new additions!  I might surprise everyone and design something new, who knows????

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!    


Evelyn said...

Can't wait to see what new creations you come up with. Hoping to make Ghoultide. Pittsburgh isn't THAT far away ... maybe December too! Hope you are feeling better.

Laurie Duberg said...

Fantastic history . You've over come many obstacles and I believe became even stronger. Your a fabulous artist and I just love everything you have made that I have been so lucky to see. I'm so excited to see further creations. And would love to see and have the honor to meet you in pittsburg. Feel better and many , many blessings !

Vicky said...

What an interesting read! You've had a lot of success and it is so easy to see why! I LOVE your patterns and have enjoyed each and every one I've made so far (just finished Mildred and Hugo!). Thank you for sharing your creativity with us!

WoolenSails said...

I always love seeing what new characters, come to life in your studio.


Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

You are one of a kind Pam, others can try as they may to copy you but they are pale imitations at best. Your recognition by these prestigious publications and groups is a simple acknowledgement of your amazing talent. Thank you for sharing it with us and I can't wait to see who's knocking on your doors and windows! Hope you are on the mend, Deb

Judy McCarthy said...

Thought-provoking words here, and thanks for them.As a creative person myself, I have had copying of my work all my life. One so-called friend ripped off one of my doll embellishments, and sold the doll for many 100's of dollars.When I was teaching, other teachers classrooms began to have the exact same artwork that my class did.I could site many, many examples.
I think we just need to shrug off such people.It does leave a nasty taste in one's moth I know, but what can you do? Please don't let this sour you.
I'd buy your patterns, but I'm moving to a new way of working, and doing more wall art.
Thanks for your inspiring site.Just looking at your sweet creations is inspiring although I'm not doing similar work.

Judy McCarthy said...

Just read this little note above!!
I always check out the front door of a house, and you can tell volumes from that!

Kays Kids said...

What a fatastic post. Don't forget to answer the door, we want those characters to come to life.
Hugs Kay

Plum Thicket said...

You've come a long way Baby! I remember when you first started. So, how is the sketching coming?

Lorraine said...

I gotta come see you in Pittsburgh! :o)