telling the stories

I had a good time yesterday with the Lifelong Learning class.  One of the questions was what advice do I give other artists.  Well, I’m not good at career advice.  But here’s one thing I told them, and I do usually make a point of sharing this advice with my classes:

Make sure you tell your stories.  Make it personal.

An example:  Years ago, I taught a series of technique classes at a rubberstamp store.  Each month, a different technique.  Several of them were based on different ways to use a leaf mold.  As I was showing some examples from my library of leaf molds, I showed a mold of a marigold leaf and told it’s story.

It was from my son’s plant he started from seed in preschool.  As it happens, my husband always planted a row of marigolds along the fence around our vegetable garden.  So my son’s marigold was planted at the end of the row.  As luck would have it, it was a different hybrid, and grew twice as tall as the rest!  My son was so proud, and feeling he outdid his dad.  Before frost, I plucked some of the leaves and pressed them into sheets of polymer.

A second lesson I always tell other artists, is EVERYthing is ALWAYS for SALE.  (If you love it so much, make yourself another one!)  So the students in the class bought several of my teaching sample items, including the samples made with the marigold mold.

The next month, we were doing another technique with leaf molds.  One of the students had been at the previous class and her friend had not.  So she re-told my story for me!  And again, the story sold the samples.

The challenge in the digital world is to find the opportunities for the storytelling.  I guess that’s one of the reasons to blog.

Here’s a photo of some of those techniques with leaf molds:

A variety of techniques using polymer leaf molds

And here’s a sneak peek at a design in my new book using a leaf mold.

a late summer seeded grass mold

Thanks to Cynthia at Polymer Clay Daily for the feature post today.  Come back again!

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Posted in artistic life

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