Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Creating an Identiy in a Sea of Jewelry Artists - post for Artisan Whimsey

Creating an Identity in a Sea of Jewelry Artists

This has been a busy summer.. I can't count the number of art shows I've done.  I've set up and taken down my tent so many times I could do it in my sleep.
(you can see my helper there in the back... big guy with the sun glasses)
My display has become an ever evolving part of my shows as I tweak it so that when someone walks by they say.... "there's Lynnea!"  If you have attended a show lately, jewelry is still the biggest category of all.  Your booth set up and the presentation of your work is more important than ever.  At this show I had jewelry next to me, across from me and one booth down from me.  So I have to work extra hard to get people to see me in the "SEA".
At this show I can't tell you how many people came up and stopped to read my banner with my new motto "Life is too short to wear department store jewelry".  More than a few said I heard about you, or someone told them about me from a previous show.  This one catchy slogan has caused many a shopper to at least stop and take a look around.  Making that impression is so important, not just at this show, but since I know they will talk about it, for future shows.
I want my look to be a bit upscale boutique so I am keeping to a neutral palette of cream, brown and aqua accents.  I even made my own neck forms to go with my color scheme.

You can read about it on my blog here. 
This summer was all about getting the look I wanted.  And I will probably continue to change it up as I go next year.  I have my pieces spread out enough for people to  look at and not get overwhelmed.  Yes I get nervous when I see a booth that is jammed with stuff... but then I think of how much of each piece I make myself and know that I can truly say my pieces are handmade.
The next steps I am taking is to develop a few signature designs that I will have multiples of.  Already this bracelet design is recognized in my area as a Designs by Lynnea piece.
I've made these is various colors with all kinds of beads, chain and fiber.  Lucky for me I have a lot of these focals to patina and bend.
The next look I am perfecting is what I call my Zen necklace.  Enameled copper discs on a necklace.  I was inspired by Kim St Jeans Urban Pine cone.  I am working on a whole line of these to place in a local gallery.
Here is one last picture of a one table set up at a recent boutique type show
As you can see I maintained my look even in a one table set up.  If you were looking for me you could easily identify this as my booth.
A recent article in the Sept/Oct Jewelry Artist magazine was Develop Your Artistic Identity.  I was already heading that way when I saw this article.  I highly recommend that you read it to understand why we sometimes need to create not only a repetition but a variation on a design so that our work is readily identifiable to customers.  Just remember to make what you love and not worry about the crowd.  Our goal is to stand out in the Sea not be a part of the school of fish around us.