The trip to Hal-Con was pretty informative about the business. I'd mentioned in my last Hal-Con post I was thinking of taking some new directions with the business and I've been sub-consciously mulling it all over, thinking about ways of breaking out of the method I'm currently using to make things, the ideas and uses for the things I do and how to change them so they still stay in line with my current product line, but branch out to lure in a more general audience.
A lot of folks just stopped, looked and asked "So what do you do?" I would think that was obvious, but apparently not when you see it all in person sitting on a table - at least not to everyone. That could have been a signage issue, and the abstract name doesn't hurt. Although I do rather like the possibly obscure nature of the business when I think about it.
So the things to "fix"? Making products with a more immediate use, different - and cheaper? - materials, but still all handmade. Definitely more recognizable concepts, not stealing from licensed or already established IPs but things that have a more general appeal. Cthulhu is obviously something I should really take to using a little more, although I feel like I'm cheating taking something already completely thought out - but folks love Cthulhu. I sold a bunch of the large Cthulhu statues I make, all the Cthulhu fridge magnets, several of the Mayan Cthulhu idols and as well, once people realized it, several of the "fetal Cthulhu" things in jars. Some of the zombie related stuff moved okay, but didn't go over fantastically.
While I love creating my own stuff, I have finally learned I have to pander to what people like in order to sell or get noticed, so expect more Cthulhu related stuff, some of which might be one offs. And some of which your cat might like.
One thing I've finally settled into understanding - and this isn't just a sudden thing, it's been a very long time coming - is how things get noticed by folks on the internet. It's really hard to get your work seen unless you're on forums (which I hate, so that's never going to happen) or you use sex to sell things. It's an old concept and it's used for everything. It finally came to the forefront of my thinking when I saw an artists post about Instagram, it said something like "I post images of my work and get 3 likes, bitches post pictures of their tatas and get 10k." (He used the word "bitches" not me), and I do have to agree with him for the most part.
Now this doesn't mean I'm suddenly doing naked demons, that's just going way too far and something I don't believe I'm really comfortable doing - but I will be doing a project aiming more towards the beautiful/sexy side of demons. One shoot I did featured some okay makeup on a very darkly lit demon with a low cut lingerie-ish looking top, I didn't feel it to be overt in any way, but it did get some notice, so I don't believe I have to go too crazy with the concept. We'll see how it goes or if it even happens.
I was going to do a whole bloe post on this idea, but never did, the idea is taking the original Universal Monsters, but re-imaging them as women. Not a simple genderswap to show boobs, but to see if I can create a convincing female alternative that matches what the original filmmakers might have done back in the day should these characters have been written as women. Some will work better than others, some will be really hard (Gil-Woman? That'll be a tough one) and some will be pretty simple.
Other than that, I've been thinking about a short film to do over the winter, something nice and simple, a one day shoot if possible and it's done. Something pretty dramatic and surreal hopefully and totally live action as far as things stand right now. Again, we'll see where this goes.
And that's pretty much it. In creating a new product line I'll be learning some new skill, so they all depend on how decently proficient I can become over the winter. I'm looking at wood carving for one in order to create some one off pieces and even knitting and sewing for some new weird little ideas. Not like there's much else to do around here in the winter, might as well make it productive.