Wow! A year has gone by already! Although I feel like I just woke up from a long night's sleep, 2013 is almost over and what have I learned? Well, I learned if left to my own devices I can be both a very organised person and a great procrastinator. I learned that I have many untapped talents and if I give myself half a chance I can do almost anything. I've also learned, a little bit more anyway, what is worth the effort and what is not.
One lesson screams out more than others. Being a craft show person I produce during the week and sell my creations on weekends. I have time to observe people while I wait for customers. I meet very interesting people both behind and across the selling table. You can tell when a show is successful for a vendor by his demeanor and his smile. It is even easier to tell when a show is not so successful. While some take it all in stride, there are others who find gloom everywhere they go. I have noticed how easily you can get sucked in to that gloom at a craft show. How fragile your mood is if you don't keep it in check. I have worked at many jobs and no where is it like this. If you don't sell your wares then you go home empty handed. It is not like another job where you get paid for the work. You get paid if the customer decides you do. Yes, the work gets you to that point but it's not guaranteed that you will sell. It is very difficult to separate yourself from your craft. It's kind of like a double edge sword. If you make nice things and people buy than you feel it's because of your efforts. When you make the same nice things and people don't buy than you have to convince yourself that it is not because you didn't make nice things but because the customer chose not to buy. It is easy to get sucked into the vortex of critical negative thoughts. Other vendors have to live the same feelings and when they get themselves into that negative vortex they usually take others with them. As a vendor, I spend a lot of time and effort not getting sucked in along with them. I'm even developing a radar that lets me know which vendor will be negative and which one will take the successes or failures in stride.
Now, how does this relate to the Iron Craft Challenge? Well, I see the challenge as a series of lessons I am teaching myself. Lessons that show me where my strengths are and where lies my own challenges. Craft shows are where the creations go to eventually find homes of their own. So, in looking back I see my progress, my bumps in the road and in looking forward I can keep to the right road and jump over the hurdles and hopefully land on my feet. Thank Iron Craft for a great year and I look forward to more in 2014!