Saturday, January 29, 2011

"What Do You Mean I Can't Sell Your Designs?

They are in a magazine I bought so they are mine to do with as I please!"

Do you feel a soapbox coming?
You'd be right :-)

So, it was brought to my attention again yesterday by a very nice lady who, once I explained the situation to her, understood completely that though a designer publishes and sells their designs they are not giving you the right to sell what you make. (And she did not say my opening line)

The designs are published and sold so that you can make the jewelry for yourself or to give as a gift. Not so you can build a business/make a living on someone else's work.
Are there designers who allow you to sell what you make.....yes, and that is their choice. There are designers, and I'm one of them, who will give you, for a small fee, a licence to sell one of their designs and they typically advertise them as "commercial" patterns.
Why do some want payment? Because they are trying to make a living.

Just because a designer has work published it does not mean that designer is making the big bucks....I have had two patterns published one netted me $180 and the other $210 and for that I also had to give up the rights for an entire year! Could I have made more selling the pattern myself? YES
So why publish? Advertising, getting one's name out there and to contribute to the beading world.

Think of it like this...
You have a great cookie recipe, you send it to the local paper and they print it. Someone takes your recipe and opens a store selling cookies made from your recipe. How would you feel? Is it fair? Grounds for a lawsuit?
Someone buys one of your patterns. They then make copies for all of their friends. We all know about 'bootleg' music and videos...this is the same thing but it's probably a struggling designer who needs those sales to put food on their table.
You design jewelry and you publish your patterns, you have a store where you sell your jewelry. Someone opens a store next door and they are selling your designs for less than you do, they even credit you with the design. Where will most people shop? Where they can get it cheaper.

Let's roleplay :-)

Beader: Can I sell your designs?
Designer: No, I don't allow that, why don't you do your own designs to sell?
Beader: Oh, I can't design
Designer: Oh, so you think designing is a skill?
Beader: Yes
Designer: So, do you think design is a marketable skill?
Beader: Well, yes, I guess it is
Designer: Do you think people should be able to earn a living from their skills?
Beader: I guess so, I'd want to
Designer: How about I sell you a licence to make and sell one of my designs?

Support independent designers don't rip them off!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Blogging Fun

 As a design partner with I am periodically asked to design things within a theme....this time the theme was "Winter Enchantment".
To be honest I wasn't thrilled as I'd done a lot of white and wintry designs lately and was ready for a change....however, I am not one to refuse a challenge. So I started to think of non-white things that reminded me of winter. My thoughts went back to some of my favorite memories of winter, and when you've spent 12 years of your life living in a ski resort those memories are going to include snowy mountains and the glory of skiing.

I spent many a day skiing fresh powder under a glorious winter sun and that was my inspration for these earrings. Winter sunshine is different....not the orangey golden color but the cooler tones that Swarovski Light Colorado Topaz captures.  So that was the starting point for this design..."Winter Sun"

These turned out to be golden ice queens and though you certainly wouldn't wear them while skiing they are the perfect touch for that apres ski outfit.
This was the first time I've used Delicas with a KT after them...Metallic Matte 22 Karat Bright Gold....and they are just gorgeous!
I had ordered some 4mm Bright Gold pearls but I found them too large and too dark for what I wanted, fortunately I had some 3mm Gold pearls in my stash.

I've taken to encasing rivolis so the foiled back is protected without having to resort to the old clear nail polish trick....I think a nice finish.
I'm patting myself on the back for this project...not for the design, but for the fact that the beads arrived in the afternoon and I completed the project in the same day.
Hopefully these have brought a little sunshine and inspiration to your January day.

And the disclaimer:
Artbeads provide the beads and supplies for these projects and ask only for an honest review....I am not paid for my review or links.

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17th? Really?

Boy, is this month flying by!
But like they say "Time flys when you're having fun".
And I am having fun.

Gosh, since I last blogged I've been named an "up and comer" by Marcia DeCoster on the Lark Crafts site and I got a little bit of interest from Lark Books about the book I'm working on. So, part of the reason time has been flying by is because my feet aren't exactly on the!

Getting so organized and ahead of myself last month has certainly helped with time and creativity....I highly recommend it.
One day I had some time so I sat down with a sketch book and a copy of Vogue for inspiration and a couple of hours later I had eighteen new designs...not variations, not reworked things....totally new designs that actually made me think "where the heck did these come from?"
It wasn't until the next morning that I realised almost every design fit into the chapter categories of the book.
So, suffice to say I am uber excited! And for the first  time in my life I can actually say this is good....even great...maybe even fantastic.

If you follow my blog you'll know being raised in England I have a hard time saying I'm good at anything as 'blowing one's own trumpet' is considered rude in England...or it was when I was growing up. It's why I tend to give Morganna, my muse, all the credit....much easier to say Morganna is brilliant, not to mention designing always seems to come from somewhere outside me or so deep within that I feel a fraud for claiming the designs as my own.
However, I don't feel a fraud for creating the designs....because I know I am completely responsible for that...all the bead, rip out, bead rip out let's me know any brilliance on my part is worked hard for.

One of the toughest parts about writing a book for me is not sharing the designs, having to keep them under lock and key...well, ok, there's a tiny circle who get to see some, mostly because they are helping me with some of the beading and pattern testing. Without that little circle I may explode.
What I will tell you about the book is it's FUN!
If you only do flat peyote there will be something in it for you and if you are the most innovative, accomplished beader there will be things in it for you too.  I didn't plan it that way, I thought I was writing for advanced do I know!
Anyway....this is the best work I have ever done, everything I've learned over the past two and a half years about bead weaving has gelled into something bigger than the parts.

Now...I did start a book before and had three variations of a technique done but it looks pedestrian to me they are headed for the monthly tutorial list...and as I can't show any pictures of the new work I can show these. This is a design I call "Petit Pacquet" or "Little Packages"...two variations here.