This post is a little different from the material I normally share. This week, I have experienced some real disappointment with the blogging and other online communities. I feel compelled to share my opinions on the subject...and a few other semi related subjects.
Let me start by saying this:
LADIES...STOP WITH THE BITCHY!
This week I have been exposed to a lot of negativity, hating, and slandering in online communities (not of myself thankfully, but others I know and respect). I don't understand this. Each of us are sharing our personal craft. We are taking pieces of ourselves, our souls, our very being, and creating something beautiful and having the courage to share it with the world. That is real bravery in my opinion. Bravery that should be met with support from other artistic women in our online communities. Unfortunately, I've been witness to a lot of ladies tearing each other down. Ladies going to extreme to slander other people online, and even on other people's blog comments.
I work full time in a male dominated environment (I am one of two women on a staff of 100+). It may be 2011, but women still have a lot to prove in the work place. We still have this culture of "I had to work extra hard to get where I am, so I'm going to make that other woman work hard too". We need to stop this madness!
Ladies, we need to bring each other up, not tear each other down. Support your fellow female in her journey, not try to throw boulders in her path!
If you don't like an artist's work, that's OK. Every one's tastes are different. But keep your negativity to yourself. How are you helping anyone by telling another artist how much you hate her work?
Think before you act. Ask yourself, what productive result will this bring if I say or do this?
Leaving mean comments, slandering people on message boards, and trying to "get people on your side" just doesn't have a place on my blog, in my business, or in my relationships both online and in person.
Start spreading the love, stop spreading the hate.
Which brings me another all important topic....Credit. I don't mean those credit cards either! I mean, giving credit where credit is due. I do my best to make sure to give proper credit to those who have inspired me. This is a popular topic in the blogging community, and instead of rehashing the subject, I'd like to direct you to this post by Kristan, the brilliant mind behind Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. She discussed properly crediting your sources in a way that really expresses how I would have said it myself! Another valuable read is her post on Blogger Code of Ethics. A must read for any bloggers, especially newbies.
My last subject on this post is about finding your value. In addition to all the negativity I've already talked about, I've been experiencing a struggle with the value of my work. More and more I am having clients ask me to do things at a discount, and then becoming offended when I refuse. I would like to say this, a cookie is not just a cookie. A cupcake is not just a cupcake. Styling a dessert table is not just setting things up on a table. There are hours of brainstorming, sketching ideas, preparing ingredients, baking, and designing. That cookie you just bought, and complained about the price, and then shoveled into your mouth, was my art. It was not mass produced and pulled out of a freezer. It is something that I created, explicitly for you. It generally takes a few hours (at a minimum) to prepare, bake, and decorate a cookie. That cookie that deemed not worth its value by you questioning my pricing. To my fellow artists out there, whatever your craft, know your worth, and stick to it. Determining your pricing, determining your product's value is a very personal and difficult decision. Know that you create something out of love and passion. If you're like me, you work full time, and come home to go to work again because you love it. You enjoy what you do. There is value to that. Don't allow someone who knows nothing about your craft to devalue it.
I encourage you to read these posts over at the One Tough Cookie Blog. This post is about pricing and this one is about discounts. They are both well worth the read no matter what your craft is, whether is baking or something else.
OK, I'll step down from my soapbox now.