Recently I have been working hard in the background trying to come up with some new product ideas and designs. In the past I gave up on product as I just kept banging my head against brick walls. My ideas were great, but each and every time I went to cost them up, get suppliers on board etc, I realised that I wouldn't be able to sell at a profit. It always seemed pointless to take any of my ideas to the next stage of production. Printing fabric here in Australia is very, very expensive and even though I have researched it endless times and banged away on the calculator, the numbers just never added up in my favour. So I simply gave up.
The shops I chatted to wanted all Australian made, but they wanted to pay "made in China" prices. The online stores were charging me 25% too, so I soon realised that all my hard work was just a total waste of time. So I put product to one side and decided I should concentrate on licensing out my surface pattern designs instead. But I have realised, as have a lot of my designer friends that it's not that simple. You really have to have your fingers in many pies to make any money in this business.
So a few months ago I headed back to product design. However this time I had my new Illustrator and Photo Shop skills that I could put to some use, which was fantastic. Last week I met with a great printer and seamstress who I know I can work with and who I know I can trust. It's a big thing for me, trusting the people I work closely with and I started to feel confident and excited about the year ahead.
But recently I have had this overwhelming feeling of "why would people buy my stuff when they can get it cheaper and probably better at Typo/Adairs/Smiggle...." It's something I have never thought of before, but it has become so all consuming recently that I really did think to myself, honestly Ali, what's the bloody point?! Now I've compared myself to other designers before, I think we all do that at some point in time, but I've never looked at the big picture and thought - "Really!! Is what I do that important in the grand scheme of things?"
Designers are real oddities and feeling negative sometimes feels like it's part of the daily routine; get up, have a shower, brush your teeth, look on Facebook, feel completely useless compared to others, have a coffee and then start to feel good again! You know what I'm saying!
Anyway, I came across this lady today and I will be the first to put my hand up and admit that I'm not into this kind of thing usually. You know what I'm talking about; the self love, positive affirmations etc!! But I like this lady and I've spent the last few hours trawling through her you tube vids and she has once again thrown me over to the positive side. Anyway, this is the one that has really resonated with me today. Maybe it will resonate with you too :) Enjoy!!
Leonie Dawson - How to stop comparing yourself