Finally!!! It feels pretty darn good.
A couple of weeks ago I was almost at the point of throwing in the towel altogether. I'll share with you a little story that kind of shows how messed up my mind really IS right now. As many of you know from reading my blog I have been working on A Sampler of Seasons for a couple of years now, and have posted pictures of its progression along the way. Well a couple of weeks ago, one of my dear friends and readers sent me an email that sent me into a rage and distressed me beyond belief. It took the reasoning of some other dear friends to calm me down. So what did this email say? That I had been ripped off by another designer who had released a series almost identical to my own. I went and looked at them and they were pretty darn close. I had been working on the idea for close to two years and it literally destroyed me to think of scrapping all that work. Thanks to some friends that I vented to, I was able to realize that the idea itself wasn't a new one, and that similar themes had been out for a long time, and that it was just coincidence. And of course because these friends are biased, they also convinced me that mine was better. lol So after a lot of wavering I decided to finish it. And honestly, this whole episode is what I think sparked a very big outpouring of creativity and made me really passionate about designing again. On that note and again with the logic of friends, I've decided that I will no longer share WIP pictures or teasers of future designs, just in case. This will probably be difficult - I'm a big mouth as you all know and I am pretty much incapable of keeping a secret. lol
I've finished charting the big design I was working on, the seasonal sampler, and am hoping to finish the model stitching, putting together the chartpack and printing it for the distributor this month. I also managed to sneak in a couple of new ones while I was in Patternmaker, so I've got lots to model stitch in the near future.
One of those new designs is a "spinoff" of the original company, in that the design is NOT my own but my son's. I've begun charting some of his original artworks that he's used in tattooing. I'm trying to get a balance somewhere between say Heaven and Earth Designs - a literal stitch by stitch translation of the artwork - and Mirabilia - more of a "representation" of the original work. In other words they look pretty much like the original, but without the confetti, if that makes sense. It's a lot more work than I thought it would be, mostly because I won't rely on the program to position the colours - rather I import the picture and then trace over it myself, choosing the colours and shading independently of the program. The first I did is a tattoo I myself have. I'll begin model stitching him as soon as I finish up the seasonal sampler and am hoping to be able to release it in autumn. Initially, these will be available exclusively through me in pdf format until I can gauge whether or not there is interest from shops.
That brings me to an announcement. I have made another decision about the business that will no doubt please some of my customers. As of August 1st, I will be selling my charts in PDF format. With the recent increases in postage prices, especially international shipping, it's becoming more and more clear that there has to be an alternative. The charts will be priced at MSRP. I will not sell them for less, even though my production cost is less, for one reason - I will not undercut shops that I have already been selling through for many years and want to continue to sell through. Another note of difference, these PDF files are not resellable or transferable so if you want to sell it or give it away at some point, I encourage you to buy a printed chart from a shop.
I've been hesitant about this for a long time. As a crusader against infringement, I can't help but see how much easier it is for criminals to upload a pdf file as opposed to having to scan a printed design. The companies that sell in pdf format are some of the most heavily infringed. However, I've also come to the realization that printed files are being infringed at lightning pace anyway, mine included, so I may as well just give in. Of course I will still fight against infringement, but I won't let it make me fearful of selling in electronic format any longer.
I should go back to model stitching, but it's so darn hot and I'm tired of having to wash my hands every few minutes! Thining maybe it's time to invest in an air conditioner. lol