My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #20: Contests and pricing and movies - Oh My!

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 06-23-2010 01:06 PM 4159 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 19: It Isn't Finished Until It's "Finished" Part 20 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 21: I have no business mixing business with friendships »

Today’s post will be short and sweet. (Yah, right! you are all saying!) I really am caught up in a lot of ‘busy work’ stuff today and hopefully can accomplish everything I want to.

I finished polishing up my articles yesterday and I emailed them to my editor ahead of the box of three items he accepted so I can hear sooner rather than later if he wants to use them or not. I guess I will never get over the apprehension of submitting things. I don’t look at it in as critical a way as I used to (thank goodness for that) but when something is ‘passed on’ I must admit that it still hurts.

I think people think it is a given that anything I do is accepted at this point. Not so, I say, not so. I can name five to ten projects that were given the ‘thumbs down’ in the past year or so and I would be lying if I said it didn’t sting. But I guess they know what they are talking about. I have found that I don’t always have my finger on the pulse of society. As a matter of fact, more so than not, I am merrily marching to my own drummer somewhere off it the distance.

While thinking about the previous statement, at that very moment it dawned on me just what we designers are up against. Is it really possible to be “original” AND “trendy” at the same time? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Maybe you can help me out with that Lis?

Long ago in my life I figured out that I thought differently. Not quite the ‘Grizzman in a red dress’ way of thinking, but I would have to go on what my friend Phyllis and I called ‘quests’ to find what we were looking for. Either the illusive item was SO popular that it was sold out, or it was so unpopular that they didn’t have them anymore. I never did really figure out which one. On the days that I am kind to myself, I tend to think that whatever I wanted was in such demand, they were just out of it. (In reality, it was probably the other way around!) But somehow over the years, instead of conforming, I got used to it. Being ‘individualistic’ is kind of a way of life for me.

I saw the movie “Alice in Wonderland” over the weekend. I had read mixed reviews, but somehow I knew I would love it. I looked at it through the eyes of someone who’s life has revolved around art and creativity and I felt it was a masterpiece. In the reviews I read, the critics spouted “It wasn’t this” . . . or “It didn’t have that” . . . and it was odd but in the middle of watching the movie those reviews came to mind and all I could think of is “What do those people WANT?!” To me, it was an amazing fantasy that was beautiful to watch and experience. It didn’t have to make sense! Just the logistics of the combination of animation with the real life actors in itself was fascinating to me. Let alone that it is a fantasy to begin with. Was someone looking for some logical sense or profound statement in it? Can’t we just go to a movie for the sake of . . . well, fun? (My drummer thinks we can!)

Speaking of fun . . . who isn’t really excited about the upcoming contest? I got my notice, as I am sure everyone did regarding it and I just can’t wait to see the entries. I hope a lot of people enter, because with the talent pool here, I am sure it will be incredible to see what creative juices are lurking in these many talented minds. It will be incredible, I am sure!

I don’t know what of even if I will be making something for it. I have been thinking about it from time to time, and I know there is an idea there somewhere, but it is right now behind a dense fog and I can’t put my finger on what I want to do. I think if I think too hard, I will lose it. It is going to be mighty hard to come up with something that is on the same caliber of some of the others around here. It isn’t about winning though, I don’t think (OK – stop throwing those tomatoes at me!) I think it is about seeing everyone’s creativity and sharing it. It will be like an online art show that we all have first row tickets to!!! I can’t wait! I love this site and the people I have met so far!

Well, so much for the short post! (Come on! You knew I couldn’t do it anyway! Give a girl credit for trying!) I had better get to it. I have the sad task of labeling and pricing my many prototypes to go to the little shop down the shore. I started last night and got overwhelmed. I don’t want to give the segmentation and scrolled stuff that took lots of work away. No one will pay what I feel it is really worth. If I am going to give it away, I want to give it to people I know. My partner kept saying “you’re keeping that too?” when I balked at selling some things. I had to laugh to myself though because when we got to HIS box and HIS segmentation stuff and the scrolled stuff that took a while, he would say “Maybe I will keep this”. Hummm . . . Isn’t there a saying that goes something like “Walk with me so you understand me” ?

If there isn’t, let me claim it as my own because there should be!

With that I will sign off for today.

“May you make an incredible amount of dust today but not have it stick to you in the heat!”

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

4 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2982 days

#1 posted 06-23-2010 02:16 PM

Hahahahhahaha omg I know what you mean.

My experience on this is multi-fold:

1) I have worked as an editor before, so I honestly do understand what it means to just pick the “best for this issue” and that rejecting Really Good Work does not mean it is any less good, just not perfect for that particular assembly of things. It’s hard!

2) I also regularly make things and get them rejected. My photography editor for the stock agency is brutal.

3) My drummer has a different beat too :D I usually tell people it’s because I’m deaf, I’ve got no rhythm. Just over there in the back pounding on the drum for the hell of it. (might as well make a joke out of it)

4) Trendsetting before it happens! This is fun. And amazingly doable.


I’m definitely going to return to this subject (maybe I should make my own blog on it! You’re inspiring.) today.. we’re about to get an epic thunderstorm and I may loose power again. So we’ll see.

Isn’t it funny how, after establishing yourself as a designer with a solid sense and prolific approach, that people are amazed when you get stuff rejected? They are also amazed that you ever have failures. (Which, of course, is important to note failure =/= rejection ) I’ve had my fair share of ideas that were “brilliant!” in my head … and then I made them :D

As far as the trend stuff goes – I follow fashion closely. They’re always on par, if you go by the bulk of it and not by a single designer. (Again, we all have our moments)

Check those out! Wild, huh? Summer 2011 fashions! I love it. I closely watch things like the NY and Paris Fashion Week. My personal preference in inspiration comes from shoes… but every genre pushes out relatable, but different designs. The palette tends to kind of veer together. I am, for example, working on some stuff now that focuses on soft purple / dark brown / turquoise. I hear they’re going to be very spot-on trendy for fall AND by staying on top of this stuff, you appear to be the trend maker rather than trend follower :)

Have not seen “Alice” yet – want to! Need to carve out some time to do so. I’ll admit I want to see it just for the pretty.. it looks amazing! Oh hey, on the subject of movies, have you seen “City of Ember”? It came out a couple of years ago, I think it would also march to your drumbeat Sheila. The whole movie is just gorgeous. I think it’s a kid’s movie, but who cares?

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2916 days

#2 posted 06-23-2010 02:43 PM

Thanks again, Lis! I am going to check all this out. It is funny, but with the little head shot picture of you, I can see you as a fashionable type of girl – and in a good way!

I do much better when my 20 year old daughter is with me, but she went back to the States for now so I am out of the loop again. It is funny to watch her cringe when I would get her something, yet she would constantly steal my clothes! Go figure!

A big part of the reason I began writing this blog was so that people can get a taste of what being ‘published’ is all about. It is much different than most people’s interpretation I find. I have had many friends tell me ‘you should write a book!’ and I think this is the closest I will come to it. I have always liked writing, as it gives me a great way to express myself in an organized way. I had a technical writing course or two in college and have done OK in English and it has always seemed easy to me. I think I am better at it than with ‘real people’ LOL. I always said that I did best with children and animals. Now I guess I can add computers to that statement!

I am glad we are getting to be friends. Also I am glad for all the others I have met and consider friends here. Already in these couple of week, LJ’s has added lots to my life. :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3032 days

#3 posted 06-23-2010 03:04 PM

Most follow, some lead.

Regarding Alice, I was thinking about the subject of critics whilst stocking the shelves at work, today. What a coincidence. I came to the conclusion that no two people interpret things in exactly the same way. I also concluded that if anything is not as you would like it you have to go out and make it (or do it) yourelf.

Sometimes you meet others who see thing roughly like you do. If they are the right sex and not yet taken these people make good partners. More rarely you meet people who see things mostly like you do . Best to keep them as friends because the more like you they are the bigger the fallout when you disagree on something small. Now I’m rambling. Easy to do when someone, like you, posts on interesting subjects, at length themselves.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3300 days

#4 posted 06-24-2010 02:32 AM

good article today…enjoying the reads everyday…i hope your pin’s and projects down the shore do well…sure would like to see an artist get paid what there worth…maybe you should try a red dress…it might be a selling point…lol…....i hope your legs are nicer then mine though…..and try heels…and not boots…just a suggestion…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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