Often I see people get this amazing dreamy face when they first spot and then touch and try on an object I have made. I love this look, this emotion that this perfect thing, that they didn’t know they needed, was made for them to find. Sadly, the more common instance is a “close” but not perfect item that the possible customer (YOU) is stewing over. Something just isn’t ideal… Maybe the color, the texture, the lack of cuss words, or some other sticking point, but it just insn’t PERFECT.
These things are not insurmountable walls!
Anytime (or I should I say, every-time) you are at a place where you get the awesome chance to be face-to-face with a maker and their wares; that you are excited by their art, but nothing is *just right*, do not hesitate to get a card, an email, or a website where you can contact them. Many makers do commissions, especially ones that have slow iterations, or need to use materials that have a heightened rarity/expense. Most makers I know prefer to use quality materials, and that means the artists are really caring that the materials are used to their maximum capability and with minimal waste.
Personally, I really enjoy doing custom work, and would happily cut back my vending time if I was able to keep busy with custom orders. To be able to create something that is unique and tailored for the recipient, (could be the purchaser or as a gift) is a massive joy. The initial discovery of item/ideas/goals/dreams/limitations and finding out what the perfect *thing* is that is scratching its way to the surface, it is an inspiring and grateful process.
Then comes the challenge of actually sourcing the perfect fiber/color. Sometimes I have just the perfect thing already invested in, in my stash. Then sometimes I have to custom order it from a local dyer, dye it myself, or haunt my local LYS (Local Yarn Stores) for that perfect tone and gauge.
Once there is a plan, a fiber, then the reality of yardage needed, hours to produce and deadline for completion can be figured. These variables can all have an effect on the end cost. I will then advise person interested in an item on the cost and estimated production time (unless they say “no rush” then I may work this in tandem with other projects).
Now – finally you have gotten to the most stressful part of the communication. Money. This leads to the agreement: “I will make XYZ by given date for ABC dollars”. This is where you absolutely HAVE to make sure you are clear on wishes, requirements, any variables, and it fits your budget. Then we are GO!!
Now the annoying part where you wait. That is ok though! This is going to happen! It is well worth the wait!
You are getting something OOAK (One Of A Kind) item that is being made JUST FOR YOU. That is something you cannot buy at a random one-stop-shop. You are supporting a community of makers, not just the one artist doing the making, but by keeping that spending local you are also supporting their suppliers, educators, tooling providers, family, and pets.
The day will come, when you get that perfect thing, small or large, ornate or simple, elegant or utilitarian, and it will be with you for a very long time to come. You will have this custom thing that cannot be found on a rack and will not disintegrate after a week of wear. Something that suits you to a T.
So, if you have an urge to support an artist, just do it. If you cannot afford to support an artist as a customer, you can also help spread the news about them. Share their posts. Comment on their items. Suggest their goods to others. You can even become a patron and donate to their continued training/education/materials. There are numerous ways to support an artist, besides just being a customer, and all of them help in some way or another and have a positive effect on the community they and you are in.
So – That is my brain dump for this week. I’ve missed you, and I am so glad you are here. Keep Rockin’!
With love and pyramid studs,
(PS – I always double check if I am making a gift item, so I don’t share images in production on social media until AFTER the gift is given)