Warning - this post is long, but important for anyone interested in my beadmaking career.
As many of you know by now, I have been going through some major life crises over the last year or so. I won't go into the details of those - you can read through older posts if you haven't already, and are interested.
I've been doing some heavy thinking for months now and have finally come to some decisions about my life and about the future of my career in beadmaking.
At the end of this month I will begin applying for some jobs outside the home. I've got a couple in mind at Costco main office, where my husband works. Both jobs sound challenging but will offer a couple of really needed changes in my life.
Working outside the house will reacquaint me into being with people on a daily basis again, something I badly need. Being self-employed, I have been relatively reclusive for the last 8 years. Making and selling beads is a one-person thing for me, so I've spent most days alone either in my studio or in my home office.
For the most part I have enjoyed this alone-time. I am an introvert at heart. But after so many years, one longs for daily human contact. My husband, of course, is always there for me. And I have always had great friends that I keep in contact with and see occasionally, but there is nothing like daily contact with peers - even for just a little while.
I of course can't be absolutely sure I will qualify for any job, but I will be applying and interviewing until I find one, and it may happen quickly or might take awhile.
Here's what will happen with my current situation:
Air & Earth Designs, my main website which features my handmade beads, will stay online until I find a job. I will be removing the custom order element soon, because honestly there hasn't been any demand for at least a month, and I find myself dreading the idea of doing any more custom work. The Beads For Sale page will feature any beads I make between now and when I get another job. Once I have another source of income, the bead selling part of Air & Earth Designs will go on hiatus indefinitely. Air & Earth Designs will remain only as a gallery and portfolio of my work, as well as a place to announce classes and shows.
That doesn't mean I won't be making beads anymore - I don't think I will ever quit making beads. I want to somehow recapture the joy and bliss I once felt when creating. I think that if I turn it back into a hobby that will happen. Beads I do make will go into my inventory and will be sold when and if I register for any shows, and gives as gifts to family and friends.
Bead shows I do will likely be only in my local area for awhile, due to financial concerns. I really want to do the ISGB Gathering in 2012 when it comes to Seattle. Before that, I am sure I will do some smaller local shows and maybe even the Puget Sound Bead Festival or some other show in Washington, California or Oregon. I will have to wait and see as to whether I will end up participating in any larger, national shows, as travel is really too expensive for me right now.
As for Coloraddiction, the tutorial website I share with Kimberly, that will stay up, probably for a long time. I will likely continue to do the occasional tutorial, and I know Kim has some in mind as well. I know I want to continue teaching skills to other beadmakers and I am sure Kim does as well.
As for teaching in person, some things are already in the works for me. I will try and teach as a side job, taking trips to teaching locations on occasion when the opportunity presents itself. I will announce those locations on Coloraddiction and on Air & Earth Designs.
I have loved creating for myself and for my customers - I really have. The floundering economy and the depression and anxiety have just made that almost impossible this last year, so I need a change. Will this change be permanent? I honestly don't know. It may be that I might not be able to reintegrate into the work force - I might just not be personable enough. I may not be able to handle working outside the home. Who knows. But I want to try, in the hopes that it changes my financial situation and my emotional well-being for the better.
As for those who might wonder whether this is in part because of the lawsuit against me (and a group of other artists) that I have previously mentioned. The answer to that is yes, but only in part. The stress of being continuously defamed and erroneously reported for fraud is incredibly debilitating. The lawsuits and what has come with them has taken a serious toll on me creatively, emotionally and financially. However, something tells me I might have come to these decisions eventually anyway - this just speeds things along somewhat.
I know, however, that I have done nothing wrong, and I have proof of that. But the lawsuit remains and I have to continue to be involved until it's settled, and that takes away from what I really love to do - which is create gorgeous things.
Creating in general, for me, replaces my ability to have children. It's something I need to have in my life - like water or air. Hopefully these life changes will enable me to get back to the joy of creating soon.
If you've read this far - thank you. I really appreciate your time and concern.
All my love,
Pon Pon Morgana
10 minutes ago