Saturday, January 25, 2014

221B and the inner conflict

Please note that this is a bit long winded. I apologize. I'm usually not as blabby but I wanted to let you in on the status of any additional 221B / Sherlock tins and the whys and whatfors.


There's a good chance you are here because of this. 

G. D. Falksen posted it, Steampunk picked it up and it's been a sort of whirlwind ever since because of this little tin. It's brought me more attention, well wishes and nice words than I've had in a very long time. I appreciate all of it. Truly, I feel like a very dorky princess... which is absolutely bloody lovely.

There continue to be loads of requests to buy this little tin, will there be some for sale? where can I get one? when will they be posted? To be honest I've struggled with that because (cross my heart) I made it just for me. I love it. It's one little thing I created out of sheer fan-girl geekiness, to celebrate something that has brought me joy. I never imagined it would be so coveted.

That's great right? It's what every artist dreams of! So, what's the dilemma? Really, I've been torn about making more.

There's a lot of time, love and skill in that little space and each of those things is valuable to me. Handmade items are unlike those from a factory. They are not manufactured, they are created with hands and skills and heart. I'm sure the price will put some people off and (heaven forbid) dishearten those who would like one but don't have enough pennies. (Being quite penniless myself I understand that particular frustration.)

Then there is the enjoyment of it to consider. I am a fortunate artist. I make what I love. I never want to make things that I dislike. There are LOADS of artists making things they hate. I don't blame them one bit mind you... arty folks have bills just like everyone else. The thing is, I don't want to groan every time someone orders something I once loved.

If I'm honest, the control freak in me is biting her nails right now too. I don't take custom orders or commissions. I like to have full control over what I make and I know that if I started churning these out that people would start asking for changes. Can you add a cat? Can you make the walls blue?

And what about churning them out? Doesn't that diminish the value of the object just a little? Perhaps it would make the original just a little less special.


I'm not naive. I know that others will jump on this bandwagon and sling copies online within a week. They won't feel a smidge of guilt about taking credit for it, claiming the idea as their own. It won't matter that my heart will sink into my feet when I see my idea being sold by others, or that they'll gain greater benefits from it than I. Should I make more just to beat others to the punch and attempt to retain a small portion of the pie? Perhaps, but I have neither the head nor heart for business and much prefer cake.

Now, I DO appreciate that people are interested in a quirky bit of handmade goodness. It's amazing to me that so many people have taken notice of this little piece of whimsy. I'd hate to feel like I'm letting an opportunity pass. It would seem ungrateful in a way.

AND making more would give me the opportunity to make minor changes. There's one or two improvements rolling around in my mind. It could be fun to make a 221B.2 and right all the things that are nagging at me about the original.

Taking all of these things into consideration, here are my plans...

I'm going to create a small run of similar tins. Very small. Probably 5, maybe 8. When they are all complete they will be listed in the etsy shop. I will post a time frame when I have a better idea, and will give 24 hrs notice before they are actually available.

I will NOT be taking pre-orders or reserving listings.

When they are gone, that will be it.

I'll move on and make the other dorky things floating around in my head.

Hopefully you'll like them too.