Why does King Ghidorah have to have 3 heads? Do other artists get sick and tired of doing the same thing three times? Like gosh dang.
Yeah, so this week was mostly just chipping at the Uke Fresco but I found my focus very divided. So I took the time to catch up on housecleaning and touching base with friends. It was also nice to tune in to some talks about glass art and practice, which were very pleasant to listen to as I worked. The dates of shows and deadlines I had lined up dropped like flies shortly after the pandemic/emergency shutdown took place and it's taken me a while to revise my planner because, well, with all this time it's actually fairly hard to sit down and do. I've mostly been looking at how to improve Spicy Honey Heart.
When I finished Plague Gaffer, I released the design on Society6, Redbubble and (the one I want to talk about today) Art of Where. Like I mentioned some time ago, I got carried away and ended up creating over 600 designs on there, which is crazy considering fabrication actually closed down in response to the pandemic. But I couldn't resist, in the hopes that it would be lifted soon, and lo and behold, we have a (tentative) date. Art of Where will (tentatively) boot up production on May 11th. As opposed to S6 and RB, Art of Where is located in Quebec, Canada, which is an ideal source for my Canadian customers. I don't expect to get an order in a reasonable amount of time since they're backlogged, but I'm not at that point yet anyway.
The main reason why I bring this up though is the fact that they're looking into fabricating fashionable, cotton, filtered masks, and I have mixed feelings about it.
I have had people approach me and mention that they would love to see my designs on a mask and I thought to myself, “how is making a profit on that ethical?”. It's odd. I considered them essential items. Like, I've seen people buy plague doctor masks, but I didn't know if they were using them for practicality, to make a statement or just to be silly/cool (and yes that's a fine line). Does the fact they have a pretty pattern on them make them non-essential? Is it a joke item at that point, a fad?
Am I reading too much into it? The answer turns out to be yes.
I just had an excellent chat with an old instructor of mine, and he stated that the function of a mask is essential, but there's no issue with designing the pattern of a mask and making a profit from people who wish to don that design. He also reminded me that decorated masks have been a thing in Asia for a very long time anyway, which makes me feel silly because I didn't make that connection earlier. What keeps trying to hold me back is the idea I'm making a profit of the situation; kinda scummy, but what else am I to do to earn a living doing what I love?
It's not like I'm taking cheap one-takes that people desperately need, then painting and selling for three times their worth. And I've seen some very talented people sew their own masks, but I admit I don't know if they gave them to close family/friends for free or offered them for sale. If it was the latter... why would be bad? They made them themselves to help others in some way. To pay them for their labour is fair. They would have to price it according to their materials and time though, so unless they gutted themselves in the name of the greater good, they would be pricey. To have a print-on-demand company offer the option of making this item, it cuts costs down for those who are looking for a fashionable and reusable mask. I only make a margin of each one fabricated and sold anyway... I'm doing it because I love to see them actualized, it brings me joy. They are crafted as they're ordered, never wasted. And heck, if this was a normalized option it could encourage more people to don masks in public spaces, which has shown to be effective in flattening the curve. Why not go out with a cool motif or pattern? It brings a bit of light and expression to the situation.
I think I will set aside the semantics and just go for it. We don't know how long we're in this for and we need to adapt.I don't know who'll buy the ones I design, but to have it as an option in general would be pretty awesome. When would this ever happen again in our lifetime?
Hopefully just once.
That's all for today, just a bit of speculation. I sat down and made a list of any outstanding digital pieces I have so I hope to just burn through them before I decide to return to the studio. I'm sorry if you were hoping to see some prints or waxes, It's been a lot more Spicy Honey Heart and less Willowind, but that's hasn't been much on that front. I guess I can show you some refinement of the skull!
Take it easy out there,