Often I struggle with how much info to share when I offer a piece of my work for sale. Normally each piece is a word, a phrase or a thought to complete a sentence, the sentences combine over time to tell a tale. Some tales are newly begun and in their infancy, they haven't matured completely. Other times they are past their first blush of youth, without the vigor of teenage passion, and are the soft guiding touch of maturity.
In the off chance that you are curious about my darker pieces... let me to share some thoughts and insights.
Allow me to paint a picture, my ideas and thoughts are the ink and my words are the brush to make this tale come to life. "UnderDark" is a collection which has been heavily inspired by H.R. Giger, The Chronicles of Riddick, Session 9, Event Horizon, Pandorum just to name a few. Musical influences such as the song "Counting Bodies Like Sheep" by A Perfect Circle, "Narcissistic Cannibal" by Korn, "This is the New Shit" by Marilyn Manson, are the types of F@#k you middle to the world, I am gonna be who I want to be and take my black eyeliner with me. Is the kinda of attitude of this series.
We are the tattooed, every color of hair natural & unnatural, chains and buckles galore. Standing there staring at you with unblinking eyes. Completely at ease with ourselves, while you are drowning in the echoes of your own insecurities. We do not judge, we simply are. With every blink of your eye, the layers of posturing and pretenses are shred away, like a child's view finder toy. Click, click click.
Who are you? Have you survived the crucible of youth and become a stronger person? Or have you be swept away by masses?
I love making unexpectedly beautiful things, balancing on a knife's edge of convention and risque. I am able to loose myself in the process of balancing conflicting imagery. Redefining the canons of Goth (the word Goth vexes me, by the way its so vague and not an accurate description of my work).
If I can create something that speaks to you, which you are able to connect with on a visceral level. Hopefully that connection, empowers you to be the best version of yourself. If that comes to pass, then I have achieved my goal. You do not have to had tattoos, have a wardrobe of mostly black, or hate all things conventional, you do not have to be anything other than comfortable in your own skin. Because at the end of the day, that is exactly where you should be, it is home.
So I thought while I drink my morning coffee I will have some diarrhea of the mouth and brain if you will. Those of you who know me, know my twisted sense of humor.
Those of you who do not...
Welcome. Have a seat, this might take awhile.
1st and Foremost..I know you are all wondering WHY in the hell I left Etsy. It was sudden, it was unannounced...well for the most part. Since then, I have been very quiet. Which is not usual for me. I normally have a lot to say, even if no one wants to hear it.
I left Etsy on May 22nd, 2012. After over a year of steady copycats. I had finally had enough. Frequent messages with examples of those "inspired", and when I say frequent, I mean several times a week. From customers, friends and family members with examples. Yes, I have heard the "copying is the sincerest form of flattery." I think that is total bullshit, and must have been said by a copycat themselves.
Now you have to understand, that while I do not shout it from the rooftops, I am single Mom of 2. My jewelry is my only source of income. So when I pour my blood sweat and tears into my business, 80+ hours a week. And some nameless person, steals my ideas. It takes something out of me, and I am left cold and empty. And I wonder what the hell am I doing? Why am I killing myself? Does anyone notice? The final straw was when yet another former customer (yes I have had folks buy my things just to figure out how I made them.) recreate a piece for one of my regular customer, and even used one of my pics as well as the same name of the piece. Etsy refused to take action once again. And when a family member asked her about it. Her defense was to list off my copycats, saying that if it was a problem, Etsy would have shut them down. ::laughs hysterically:: Etsy is no longer the lovely comfy home of an artist, where the customer and artist meet to have a conversation. It had become, ugly dirty and something that left me feeling hollow.
That day I closed shop.
I took a deep breath with a step back and did a lot of soul searching.
What I came up with is this...
Yes, I was sad, hurt and angry. But I NEED to create, as in it in my blood. Its a compulsion/obsession that I cannot deny. While Etsy was no longer the place for me. I decided to make my own place. I found a website that was fairly easy to use, ShoppePro. And set up shop. I designed most of my graphics, a friend/customer did the web design. And I began listing. All the while I began to look for business partner. And I found one, in a unexpected place. Her name is January (Business Mgr Extraordinaire). Her role will be more defined as time goes on. For now she handles the wholesale side of things.
Yes, yes, I know, January and Autumn. We have heard a lot of jokes and I am sure we will hear a lot more.
Between the two of us we came up with a compromise of what would be the new direction of
Bella Lili. Which is this, its split into 2 parts. OOAK and Wholesale.
OOAK1 part is of pieces labeled OOAK or One of a Kind. Those OOAK pieces are priced at wholesale, or what many of you know as my former Etsy prices. They will not be recreated, and once they are gone, they are gone. The OOAK allows for my typical fly by the seat of my pants designs, you have come to know and love. The designs are vast an far reaching, from small and delicate to XL and visceral. Creating those are my happy place.
WholesaleThe 2nd part is my most beloved designs that recreate in limited editions for my wholesale customers. Our focus is on high end Boutiques. Local customers will recognize my pieces in Boutiques like La Belle Vie (my Vintage repurposed and Steampunk items) as well as The Red Stag (My leather and pearl pieces, less sparkle more texture). We are still looking for a home for my darker pieces and skulls.
Etsy Shop gone, or is it?
But there is also one other facet that has largely gone unannounced (more so then the other two). And that is an overstock shop. My Mom and I decided to have a yard sale. But this is yard sale where everything sparkles and you never want to leave. Its her Etsy shop that I sometimes hijack. It will take quite a while to get everything up and listed. I have so many things to create. She also is a very crafty person and has quite a few things to list as well. It will eventually have Vintage letterpress pieces, tons of Swarovski (with and without settings), metal stampings, chain and all sort of odds and ends.
Stay in touch...
So while your daily routine of going on Etsy and seeing what I listed/sold may have been interrupted. I am still here, I welcome your company, feel free to email me or visit me on facebook for even see my recent finds on pinterest .
Now that I have had my rest and regrouped, I hope you will see a lot more of me.