Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thinking and Rethinking

Thinking and rethinking, I suppose that's what we spend our days doing. I sort of half expected a huge sigh of relief and a big let down after the exhibition was up (see the previous post) and the reception was behind me. That hasn't been the case, which is a good thing! Creating all that new work energized me and I think it is a good sign that I just started the next day in the same way...let's get to work on what's next. So what has unfolded over the last several days? Well...

There's The Scroll for Meandering Lines that was quite fun to make. And, just finished is a book page inspired by the idea of mirrored histories and parallel lives. It is kind of uncanny to meet up with someone, even in the online world, who has had such a similar journey through life that it seems as if the two of you have lived parallel lives. This little freestanding piece, The Book of Mirrored Histories, speaks to that idea.

As I turn my attention once again to creating more of a living from my work, I realize I need to be smarter about my Etsy shop. Lots of tricks of the trade don't seem to apply to people who make art and especially those sellers who create one-of-a-kind works, but that's who I am. I don't think in terms of multiples and I don't feel good about creating reproductions (often called prints by most folks out there, but not in this house when you live with a real printmaker) because for me, the work I make is about the one-of-a-kind and about the actual mark, the texture of materials, paper, beeswax, teabags, thread....all of it. I can't bear the idea of the flatness that would come of only having an image of the pieces. I appreciate others who make there more expensive originals available in a more affordable reproduction, but for me, it just doesn't work.

So....I just have to streamline the way I proceed in other ways and operate a bit more efficiently. I'm thinking that if I limit myself to working in just 2 or 3 standard formats/sizes then shipping the work won't become a new invention each time. As it is now, each sale becomes a new challenge as I have to find and cut cardboard to the right size and then buy the appropriate shipping envelope at the post office when I trek into town each time I make a sale. Surely, this is a pretty inefficient way to operate, but then....well, my focus has always been the studio. But, the new promise I've made to myself is that I'm going to get smarter and more efficient. I'll have a store of shipping materials on hand, ready to go, in anticipation of an increase in sales!! Well, that would be nice, but I'm not going to focus on it.

For now, I've spent my morning trying to work on learning more about search engine optimization (SEO), using Pinterest in new ways and rethinking the listings I have already on Etsy. I need to get into the studio....I am an artist first and foremost and get a bit antsy when I'm not making. I know many of you are seasoned artists and have learned these lessons in working efficient....I'm certainly open to suggestions and happy to hear from you.

Thanks so much for your interest and support in my work! Cheers and enjoy the upcoming weekend. We're going to have 60 degrees tomorrow here in Burbank, South Dakota. Woo hoo!!


  1. A set of standard sizes will definitely help in regards to framing, packaging, shipping, etc.

  2. Also do you ever listen to podcasts? One I find particularly helpful in regards to the business side of things is Artists Helping Artists.

    1. Hi Bridgette....thanks for your comments! Actually, I'm not in the habit of listening to podcasts, but it's just one of those things I don't seem to get around to. Thank you for this suggestion...I will certainly check it out. I've laid in shipping materials to accommodate a few sizes....step one! Cheers!

  3. Ah yes, "working the Etsy" can be an absorbing challenge in terms of getting your shop recognized. Etsy has changed a lot over the years, and I do find that there are way fewer of the one-of-a-kind purists than previously. Good for you for sticking to your principles on this one. Photographs are a whole other area in terms of what can actually count as an original work, but with my fiber creations, I can say I've been asked quite often to reproduce a pair of mitts or scarf I've made and I will not. Even if it's one small variation, that's fine, but I am OOAK, period. Have fun coming up with new efficiency strategies! The time you put into it now will pay off later!

    1. Greetings, G. Yes, the one-of-a-kind maker is who I am, so there is no getting around that...and actually, I wouldn't have it any other way. There are plenty of reproductions to be had, but much harder to get your hands on the original work, especially at the prices I have more my work. The point for me to is to send the work to good homes where it will be enjoyed and valued. You are right, of course, about photography, which is another thing entirely. I think of a beautiful photograph as an original....it is the thing itself, not a reproduction of something else. Since I have the time to devote to it, I'm enjoying being back involved in Etsy with my blog and the people I meet here! Cheers!


I'm happy to hear from you...comments and questions are welcome!