This Christmas is calling for a course correction
There's a lot of pressure, internally and externally, to capitalize on the gift buying that happens around the winter holidays. I've been through decades of holidays as an artist depending on those very sales to make ends meet.
And it was mostly fun and festive and financially beneficial for me to attend holiday markets or craft shows and peddle my wares for Christmas. Lots of work, But fun and rewarding too. I particularly loved the the camaraderie and support of fellow craftspersons at these events. Some of us would not see each other all year and then it was pure magic to find each other again, as well as meet new friends, every Christmas at market.
I can't attend markets this year. Some aren't happening and some I just can't take the risk of going to because of Covid. Can I still promote and sell my art products?Sure. That's one of the reasons I created the website. But, as any of us who have done this before know, the time to hustle for Christmas sales is now. And, for a variety of reasons, I just don't have it in me.
I started to make plans to be in a gallery booth for November and December but changed my mind when the process started to feel chaotically put together around a desperate need for the owner to make money quickly. It felt good when I bowed out.
As kind of a funny side note, I had already put together a mockup booth in my office that I was going to disassemble and take there. It isn't going anywhere now for the holidays but that's okay. I liked creating it and I'm grateful for the reminder of what I want Christmas (or other days) to feel like for me. I might even give it Michele's Christmas Tree later today.
Don't misunderstand me. This website is still here. My art is still for sale on it. And I deeply appreciate your purchases to help me carry on with my other passions. I'm still plotting about keeping the business up and offering more art and encouragement to make art into the world .
But I don't want the desire for sales to overshadow the spirit of Christmas giving that I love so much. So I'm going to shake my holidays up a little bit this year. and do my own heart some good.
Here's my personal holiday to-do list.
Put the name of every subscriber on a piece of paper. Add the names of anyone who has purchased from this site .
Once a week through December 15, draw a name and mail that person a gift from the "shop."
In the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas, abandon 12 pieces of art while out on my walks. (check out Art Abandonment or Abandoned Art on Facebook)
Up the percentage of sales I dedicate to making food for the homeless through the holidays if not indefinitely.
And now I'm finally getting excited about the upcoming holidays.