Thursday 4 May 2006

Geraldine Gonzalez

I was looking through Imelda's archives, (not that I got past the first month)I found the work of Geraldine Gonzalez. I got totally confused because for a second I thought Imelda had somehow posted a photograph of my old house! This woman makes the same things as me, but professionally (i.e. I assume she actually sells them, whereas I just create them for parties and then keep them till the get ruined when I move house).

It is so weird to see someone else doing this, part of me thinks WOW I love it, and part thinks, well why the hell am I not making a living out of it? It's all about confidence though, and selling yourself to the right places. Somehow I just never manage that part. It's like I'm expecting some shop or gallery owner to pop their head in my house (not in it's current demolished state of course) and say WOW I love your sculptural lighting and want to show it around the world but you can just hide away in your garden and I'll make all the effort and send you cheques, big cheques. And praise, lots of praise. And your idea of the perfect world will be validated.

I just HATE being shy. It's so ridiculous because when I'm around my friends I'm so chatty, maybe TOO chatty, but put me in front of a 'grown up' and I crumble, go red and stutter. And let's not even mention the various nervous twitches that break out if I think they don't like me or my work. Ahhh, so frustrating. I know I should be making a living from all the things I make (and there is such a wide variety).

I briefly thought about going into Theatre because I could mix set, costume and prop design, but people I know who do it say it's very competitive and bitchy which I'd hate. Plus deadlines, I bet they have tight deadlines. Not that I can't handle them, when I had my graphics business I quite enjoyed them, but when you are dealing with things that take hours to dry, or sew, it's different to a computer based deadline. Well, it is for me anyway.

Even when I did have exhibitions I detested opening nights, even my own degree show was totally traumatic and I abandoned it on opening night and went to look at others. God forbid anyone realise I had made these things and ask me about them, or worse, criticise them (and therefore me, they were very personal).

I'm guessing I am not alone in this.

Well, that feels a bit better, getting that out of my system, thanks to anyone who made it to the end of this rant. And now let me leave you with some pictures of Geraldine's work, this is basically the sort of thing I do, except a wider variety of media such as lace, translucent fabrics, recycled materials, beads, buttons, ephemera etc. as in this post.


regina grimilde said...

wel hisis te kind of things you do.well you should seriously try to start to ezhibit and sell them because you're so talented!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I too get that nervousness about my stuff, Id hide behind the safety of email than see or talk to anyone face to face, even talking on the phone to someone I dont know about work kind of irks me. But then working in design my 'commercial' stuff was there to be criticised and compared with whatever else is out in the market place, I find it was easy to shut off from that and not care...but god forbid anyone criticise anything I make of my own bat!

PS I love that tree light.

Anonymous said...

I never know what to do, where to look, what to say if someone praises my creations. I get all akward and start to nervously giggle so people just think I'm nuts! I'm only just starting to show people my art but if someone was to critiscise I would be back in my little hole so fast!

I always loved the jellyfish you made - and I love geraldine's tree - would like one in my bedroom thanks!

Anonymous said...

I prefer to pretend to be a hermit, maybe my work will be discovered after I'm dead. I don't so much stutter as come out with the most horrendous freudian slips. I have manged to accidentally say the word piss (I even stuttered it twice cause I shocked myself!) in a clever remark I tried to make to a hotshot currator...I haven't left the house since...

Cally said...

Hi All,
Thanks so much, your replies have been great, I knew I was not alone in this, it's difficult isn't it, but I hope that blogging will give all of us more confidence in what we do and help us connect with people who understand and appreciate the things we make.

Anonymous said...

As a shopkeeper it makes me really sad to hear that there's so much stuff out there that I might never get to see or maybe stock in my shop, because the maker is too shy!

What you've got to remember is that there are loads of reasons why a shopkeeper or gallery-owner may not be able to stock your things, which are nothing to do with whether they like the object or not.

When I buy things I have to consider the price (a lot of craftmade stuff is just too expensive for me to make any profit on); whether it fits in with the rest of the collection and what customers have come to expect from the 'mirror mirror' brand; whether we already have something very similar in stock; whether it will photograph well for the website, whether I'll be able to ship it easily; how easy it is to store; will it appeal to a comparatively wide audience; how much money I've got in the bank; etc. etc.

So be brave - yes, your work will be rejected, probably many times, but usually for reasons which have VERY LITTLE to do with your actual creation (though I would try and get feedback about why - you may get some useful pointers about pricing your products/making them more commercial etc).


Just realised I've got a great subject for a blog post here. Thanks C!

Cally said...

Hi Paola,
Thanks for that great reply. I totally get all that you say, but these things fly out the window if there is even a hint that a real proper professional person might look at my things.
I'm easier about the commercial stuff, I can detach from that a bit, but I don't enjoy making it. It's the more one off things that really are a bit unusual and definitely don't fit with the price/postability/wide public appeal side of things that I have trouble with. They are the one's I truly LOVE to make, and are all very different and evolving so it's really hard for anyone to commit to showing or selling because no two will ever be alike, they'd never know what was coming next. That's where the rich benefactor needs to come in... or the fairy godmother.

But I really like the idea of you doing a post about your side of things because when I do get my studio set up I will do commercial stuff and your insight would be invaluable before I even get started. The thing about how easy things are to post is a great example. If I considered shape, weight and fragility at the earliest stage of designing I could clearly make things that ticked more boxes. My little brain is ticking away already.


hi cally:

I kinda guessed that you're doing something related to sculpture, and it's good to know that you actually do a lot more than that.

perhaps, if you have a link on this blog to your online portfolio, you'll never know if one day there's a shop owner or an agent, or even an art magazine editor pop by your blog, watching your portfolio. Well that's just a thought, though.

take care.

Anonymous said...

I love her stuff too! You need to get yours out there as well! Heres a link for you to explore:
reminds me of above!

Cally said...

Hi Imelda,
It's a good thought, all I need to do now is create teh space to unpack my old things and make new things (and find all my photo archives to get them online).

Hi Ulla,
Thanks for the Polyscene link, I actually posted about her in March (or April) as an example of someone doing similar work, but Garaldine's is more like mine because it is uses light as well.

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