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I'm on vacation at the moment - but as I'm not working, I have the guilt going on, especially because I've been neglecting dA, the amazing community and some absolutely ASTOUNDING works by friends. There's going to be a flurry of commenting and favouriting when I get around to it, but first a lot of thanking others for comments given to me. I hate the lack of time.

As it turned out, I DID go to the Labyrinth Ball, as those of you who know me better might have guessed by my sudden sheer absence. I've been pretty hard at work - if you're curious about the costume I designed, click here, and if you wanna know what happened there's a con-journalish page (boring - you've been warned) in progress here.

I had a fantastic time. If you're wondering if it's worth it to go, it is. But expect lodgings to cost a pretty penny. Make it your vacation.

As a result of the masquerade I have something very cool I plan on submitting over at LeatherArtisans, and with credit to some of their artists for inspiration. Pictures as soon as I have them - I'm not at home yet so I have exactly zero camera access. A brilliant photographer lent me her lens, however, and I hope she'll let me post some of her amazing shots (with all credit, of course.)

Second insanely cool thing: I've been working on and off on maybe selling at some shops, with some mild interest, here and there. I admit I've really not been trying hard, and mostly that's had to do with not being offered very good money any of the places I looked. If you're asking for sixty-five percent consignment, you'd better be offering me prestige and a high-end clientele. I require a certain fee by the hour - I don't get paid as well as some fast-food workers, and I do think that what I do is skilled labor. It's damned difficult. Being underpaid to the degree I've been offered here and there is an insult. In words that might or might not belong to Renae Taylor:
Hagglers will be fed to the starving artist.

Yet my website (it's uggers..) seems to have netted the attentions of someone whose market and reputation and understanding of business and general courtesy makes me very interested in working with them, so I have an opportunity coming up that looks to be very pleasing on both sides. Fingers crossed.

But largely, I just wanted to keep my journal current - so the message is, I'm alive, I'm still at work (I'm about to be working my fingers to the bone, in fact), and I'm as always tremendously grateful to those of you who've left comments or favourites, and I'm very excited to leave a few of my own - I've seen masks and illustrations to take my breath away in the last couple of minutes, checking in, and I have to leave SOME kind of note behind (even though I tend to get carried away and leave accurate impressions of the impact pieces have on me - it's really best I don't, though, I put myself in mind of Scuttle singing - yes, the seagull in Disney's Little Mermaid, prior to the "Kiss the Girl" number with Sebastian - my heart's there, but oh gods, is the skill to express it not.)

Soon to come:
- My Labyrinth Masquerade costume (mostly just a bodice)
- A handful of masks - mostly Jollies and Dragons
- Ivy Circlet (it's finished, just still awaiting photography)
- Wood Fae (really - it's progressing... slowly.)

About the Masks:
Generally speaking, the masks are painted formed leather, usually in a single layer. They're hand-sculpted with no mold, and occasionally surface carving or tooling is employed. They are lined in suede and unvarnished on the inner face to preserve the natural breathing quality of the leather for comfort. The outer face is painted and water-resistant. By virtue of the quality of materials, they tend to be reasonably durable, gently flexible, and very lightweight.

Commission Information:
If you like any of the masks in my gallery or would like a custom mask, please feel free to ask. All sales are by commission - very rarely do I have extra masks laying around for sale, because if they aren't created with an owner in mind I tend to get too attached, and because I have precious little spare time. (The good news is it means more versatility in what you can request.) My availability for commission varies tremendously because I have a full-time life entirely outside of artwork - 80% of the year I am cramming any art I do into a 27-hour-a-day schedule. However, I am open for inquiry at any time. If you are a dA member, you can write me a note; otherwise, you can contact me through my website, whatever you feel comfortable with.

Clubs to Look Into
:iconleatherartisans: :iconmask-making-artisans:
LeatherArtisans - Gorgeous leatherwork by talented craftspeople, a club with a warm and open community.
Mask-Making-Artisans - A maskmaker's community showcasing a number of artists and some very diverse styles.
  • Listening to: Young and curious rats exploring the walls...
  • Reading: The Devil Wears Prada
  • Watching: Ladyhawke
  • Playing: ....well, nothing, but longing for LoZ:TP
  • Eating: Lots of creme brulee... mmmm...
  • Drinking: Izze. My cousins keep a fridgeful.
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hazardous-ink Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2007
Time is always against us! Never enough of it!
vpf Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2007   Digital Artist
Glad you got to go. :] I bet it was all sorts of crazy fun.
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks - and - yes, and in ways I'll not describe on the internet. T'was a truly, literally awesome event: there were actually moments when I got entirely caught up in open-mouthed staring at the crowd or at a performance or at the crowd's reaction to a performance.
It's crowded, but aside from that, you might enjoy it ^-^
eyefeather Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2007  Professional General Artist
Yay! So glad you attended the ball! If I ever got to go I'd have to make it a vacation like you said.
I had my stuff at a shop in Philly once, with 50% commission. I decided it wasn't worth it. I felt guilty that a customer had to get charged twice what I'd want for something.
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Y'know how I said it was worth it to go? I meant for the layman, it'd be merely "worth it." For an insanely gifted and rather devoted fan such as yourself, it might be worth selling the firstborn. ^-^ They'll love you.
Retail guilt is the worst. I hate that feeling. But in an effort to eliminate it when I was pricing to sell directly, I've still kinda underpriced my work, so I don't feel too guilty asking a little over what it's probably worth at a shop in a touristy district where equivalent and lesser quality goods (sounds pompous, but I'm talking about plastic) sell in the same price range.
That, and my information's available. If they want it cheaper than it is in the shop, it's available direct from the artist; they just have to be driven or curious enough to Google.
ebell1 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Hobbyist
AWESOME it's so cool to have you back ^__^
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
It does not want me to reply. Attempt #3...

Thanks! I have something I'm really excited about in the works, I just have to ensure I maintain the discipline to get other things done that I will be much more directly rewarded for. But I think this thing I'm planning will be very cool, especially if I can prod ~Soldier-of-Industry into actually doing the photography FOR me, for once...

At least motivation's high, that's always a relief!
ebell1 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2007  Hobbyist
better then being high ..I am going through a rough time right now so i am hopeing the time will prod me into finishing some other peices i have sitting around glaring at me
HabitualFlippancy Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sweet. A few of my other friends also attended the ball.

Can't wait to see more work from you and good to hear you are still alive. :)
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
I might've met them. My tendency to talk at length and to anyone is most certainly not confined to the internet, so forward me any image numbers they point out to you when the gallery comes online.

I've been itching to get back to my materials, only just vaguely after the ball, but keenly since I (well, not perfected, but... it has potential) completed design on a mask that has its first incarnation in this gallery. I knew I wasn't happy with it then, but I may have REALLY done it, this time, and it's large and will necessitate a photoshoot... soo... (Eeee!)
EMasqueradeGallery Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007   Artisan Crafter
That's so awesome that you got to go to the LOJ Ball, I've been wanting to go there for a couple of years now. One day I'll make it!:D

I can't wait to see photos your costume and masks. Your work is always very inspiring and a real pleasure to look at!:)

Good luck on the possible partnership, I hope it works out. I've been considering looking around for shops to put my masks into, but I've continually been hesitant over the cosignment fees. I have no real idea of how much the other party would want, but I imagine that I'd have to raise my prices considerably just to make decent profit off of my own work. It's now fair how poorly it tends to come out for the artist in situations like this.
If only a group of mask-artists could get together to open up their own shop, then you could just cut out the middle man altogether!:D

Can't wait to see your new work!:)
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Consignment may run you anything from 40 to 80 percent of the sale. I've heard offers all across that range, and declined all but one. Of course the other factors can make a percentage look far more gracious or mean, depending on location, direction, overhead, volume... y'know.

There've been cases of artists banding together - the Six Days shop in (Portland, is it?) is a commune work. Monica Roxburgh is one of the number. It'd just require enough starting capital to get a very good location and a large group of committed artists. I'd personally like to band with another artist or three and work a faire that way, but time is a major problem for me.

Thanks for the encouragement, good luck finding locations!
EMasqueradeGallery Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2007   Artisan Crafter
I couldn't imagine accepting anything over 40 percent. As the artist you should make the most profit off of your own work! I don't understand why a shop would require that much percentage from the sale when they have so many other products that they are also selling, you know? It is very insulting, as you'd said earlier.
-I don't understand how it could appear 'gracious'....?

I've thought of that myself, banding together with other artists for a Faire. I've tried selling some of my earlier masks through another vendor's booth at a Ren. Faire some years back, but as our products were so very different from eachother, as were the price ranges, and the location wasn't all that good, I didn't have much luck. But on the other hand, if working with another artist who's selling similar products, you run into competition issues...o_O
Time isn't the issue for me, it's understanding the insurance issues, getting the equipment together, etc.

Thank you and good luck to yourself as well!:)
cwicseolfor Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, they may need to charge that much to make overhead - if it costs you $1000 to get a booth at a faire, you have to be sure you'll make $1000 to break even there, plus travel expenses, sales (card swiper, receipt pads, payment of employees, etc.) costs, and taxes. All that to break even, let alone making a profit. So sometimes, they're really looking at trouble - sometimes, they're looking at dollar signs, it just depends. And as I said - it depends also on what else they're bribing you with. If they're heavily promoting your name (thus getting you other business, even when it doesn't go through them) or if they're going to a very prestigious place with your work... It's all a matter of deciding what's worth it to you.

The other bit - I'd say it's the location that sounds the most troublesome, there. I'm assuming your work was the higher-end of the price range in the booth, but I also think chances are that the products you were selling with were dissimilar enough to keep the price ranges from interfering with one another. Location, however, can be damning - if people don't even realize your shop is there, if they don't walk through that part of the faire, or if you just happened to have the cruddy luck to get the booth by the pig sty... It happens, y'know? Keep at it and shoot for better and try and improve on what you have; eventually, work tends to pay off, even if the wages can be paltry sometimes.
EMasqueradeGallery Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2007   Artisan Crafter
Sorry for such a late reply, but I greatly appreciate the time you took to answer my questions and explain these things.:)

Thanks again for the advice!
EMasqueradeGallery Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2007   Artisan Crafter
err...*not fair...

It's really late and I'm not catching all of my typos in the first proof-read.
Sorry about that...*weak smile*
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Submitted on
July 24, 2007