Monday, October 08, 2007

What You Should Do Is...

Lord how I cringe when someone says it to me: What you should do is...

The well-meaning stranger/customer/family member/friend who thinks they have the perfect solution for you! They KNOW! If you are creative and have a small business or Etsy shop you've probably heard it more times than you can count. If you're also holding down a desk job you'll get it even more because, goodness, why are you wasting your time with that pesky mindless paid employment when you should be following your dream or bliss or whatever? Mostly, these people who think I should be:

- opening a boutique
- quitting my job and making jewelry full-time
- farming our designs out so I don't have to do the tedious making part of making jewelry
- sending our stuff to Saks/Lucky Magazine/Museum Shops

...are also people who have lots of money. They don't seem to understand that I kind of need that desk job to pay for boring uncreative things like a mortgage and health insurance and credit card bills.

Don't get me wrong, living off your craft can be done, but you have to work it. You have to work it from every angle and make sure you get paid. You have to be an artist, accountant, marketer, lawyer, and a salesman. I'm tired just typing that list. I guess my point is that while I understand people's lovely enthusiasm for what I do, I'm not sure why it's not enough. Why is it not enough for them that I do this part time and on my terms? I don't actually love the selling part, so why would I open a shop? I'd be miserable. Explaining this to the well-meaning buttinsky just makes them protest more about how great I'd be at it and usually this is someone I don't even know very well so how would they even know?

The other type of "What you should do is" person is the one who is very very happy to tell you how you should make what you make and how you should change it and how it could be better. Generally you don't ask for this advice, which makes it that much more ridiculous. Example: On Saturday the vendor next to us spent a good half hour telling us all about this jewelry artist she saw in DC who does this crazy thing with a toggle and why don't we do that too? It would really help our designs.

What in the what? First of all, nobody asked you lady. Second of all, SOMEONE IS ALREADY DOING IT. Sheesh.

So just keep it in mind. Love what your friend/family member/favorite craft vendor is doing, but maybe keep your grand plans for what they should be doing to yourself. They will thank you for it.


erica said...

See also:

Teehee, made me think of you.


MonkeyDogStudio said...

I had to laugh when I saw this topic. I hear this all the time.

jimiyo said...

word to your mother yo. i used to hear the "you should" advice all the time... and i'd always be thinking, "you shoudl STFU, you should spend your f-ing time, money, labor, and risk it all on YOUR idea." but i guess when people tell you the "you should" advice it might be a compliment cause when a person begins sometime, makes a dream start to materialize, they want to take part in it and feel good about their contribution. i learned to be respond with "thats a great idea, ill have to investigate it and see if it will work" then they have no more convincing to do of you. cheers!

jimiyo said...

man, i have horrible grammar and spelling. really i dunt.