This is a topic that comes up from time to time, mostly in a cringeworthy fashion, “I can’t believe how far I’ve come since I made that embarrassing piece?!”
Fortunately, with my hand stitched paper art, the materials are so inexpensive, that I feel no remorse in throwing something away if it’s not up to my current standards. Or I’ll disassemble it and reuse the good parts.
(Which reminds me of the time a woman at work, took apart the birthday card I’d given her (a month or two after her birthday, not right away) and gave me back a part I could reuse. She was one of the most frugal people I ever met, so I understood her thinking. And I did reuse it, but it was a little weird! It’s okay if I do it, lol. I was thinking I’d rather she’d thrown the whole thing away then cannibalize it. No, I don’t get me, either.)
I have always thought I would have a section in my booth or online called, “Retired Designs”. It sounds more elegant than, “Crap I Can’t Stand Looking at One Minute More”. But I’ve never really had enough to do that with so I’ve just marked down the price on a few things and of course they sold. And then that irritates me because people are buying according to price not how stunning my work is, she says modestly.
When I’ve written about hating my old work before, people have commented that just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean that someone else won’t. Another school of thought is, the one I subscribe to for the most part, is that I don’t want my name on anything that doesn’t represent me well.
All of this came to mind when I saw Gia Conti’s invitation to her Super Sale at the upcoming Corn Hill Festival. She’s making a point of letting people know that older works will be marked down so I’m sure her collectors and wannabe collectors will go scoop them up. It seems like such a win/win when it’s someone else doing it.
Then today, Alyson Stanfield wrote about the very same topic, Earlier Work Not Selling. Be sure to read the comments below her post for a myriad of ideas on how to deal with this very subject. The common thread seems to be that one should carefully go through the rejects and deal with them on a case-by-case basis.
What have you done in the past, that’s worked for you?