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Monday, October 22, 2012

Steampunk Brassy Song by Gail Folsom aka The R.O.S.E.

The intro is short because the jewel of this blog post is the melodic magnificence of Gail Folsom a.k.a. The R.O.S.E. (with her bro on guitar), singing "Steampunk Brassy", a song about a Steampunk Girl and her little Etsy shop of dreams.  Enjoy......

Steampunk Brassy Song

Thank you R.O.S.E.

~~ Brassy

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

With a little help from my friends.....

There's a secret to success that few people know about or follow. It's the ability to ask for help. I don't mean sitting back on the porch swing sipping a mint julep, while barking into your pink rhinestone encrusted cell phone to friends, "Get over here and mow this lawn!"  I mean the humble, down-to-earth, human-to-human, "I need help, pretty please and thank you"-Asking.

There is no way that I would be where I am now, without the generosity, help and support of a whole airship full of people. Some of those actually won't mind me outing them here. Others have made me sign a  confidentiality agreement, just in case my business venture fails and I go all "Octo-Mom" on them.

From discounts on supplies (do Not overuse this one. The suppliers are barely eeking out a living just like we are)- to trading art for modeling photos. From more trades for prime advertizing space in the greatest Blog to ever exist The Bloggess- to borrowing a vendor's studly husband for hefting wares at an art show/concert Steamstock 2012  . These are just a steamy little bit of the monster steam engine of help that I have asked for, and received.

Dark Beauty Magazine
Ladies of Steampunk Magazine

Going it alone in this business is near impossible unless you are already famous, already rich, or both.
Anyone starting out with little money and less name recognition has about as much chance at making it big as Paris Hilton has of convincing people she is still a virgin.  Maybe less so.
So I have swallowed what was left of my pride and I have drafted emails, hand written cards and sent out boxes and boxes of my art to people who may or may not even know it was coming. With a Priority Mail box and a prayer, off it goes. So far (to my knowledge) no one has file 13nd my gifts or ignored my request for help.  100% of the people that I have sheepishly approached have said.... "Yes".
Jon Magnificent

Leanna Longo

The lovely Audrey
I am either very lucky, somewhat talented, or that good Karma for saving the life of the man I gave CPR to in 1991, is finally kicking in. Either way, I  am eternally grateful (as a practicing Buddhist, this could be for a very, very long time), for the long list of  "Yes", "Sure", "Of course" and "When I get time, yea". 

I have asked for pricing advice, marketing advice, photo taking advice, supply line ordering advice, makering advice, patina/aging advice, bookkeeping program recommendations, product advice and held naming contests.

I have asked the most beautiful women on the planet to model my jewelry and they all said "Yes".

Erin Layne
La Esmeralda

Ulorin Vex

Kato (My jewelry coming soon)
 I have asked the most well known people in the Steampunk business, to wear and promote my art. To my extreme delight, they happily agreed. There is no end to the bounty of "Yeses" that I have received and the gift of human generosity, that can't be repaid in dollars.

 Dr Brassy as a Zombie in the LOS "Dead End" Webisode

So this Blog is a little about encouraging others who are struggling to ask for help, and a lot about thanking those people who have, when I asked for the Moon, said "Would you like that gift wrapped to go?".

Here is my list of people (alphabetically) who made me who I am and who I thank, in my heart, every single day.

Anastasia Heonis/Acid Pop Tart/Voodoo Baby
Brenda Sue Lansdowne of Bsue Boutiques
Connie Rios-Relyea
Crystal Yates
Dan Shattuck
Diana Vick
Donna Wolfe
Eric Jon Larson-Teslacon
Erin Layne of Myth Masque
Gail Folsom  aka The R.O.S.E.
Harry Wood
Ilana Murray of The Golden Gear
Jack Dean Stauss of Myth Masque
Jenny Lawson-The Bloggess
Jon Magnificent
Kari Turner-My daughter who runs my booth at fairs
Kato-The One and Only-Kato
Kent Wittington
La Esmeralda
Lisa Griffiths
Michelle Kenny
Pamela Newman of Fairyscapes
Pat Pemberton of The Tribune
Philippa  Ballantine
Phyllis Smith-My Mom, who literally "Made" me
Professor Falconer
Professor Pyrosthenes
Samuel Ratcliffe
Sandra Forrer
Scot Violette aka Professor Algernon
Sean Makiney-Ladies of Steampunk
Sean McCaffrey-Ladies of Steampunk
Shannon Len
Sharon Castle
Shelly Fletcher
The Whole League of S.T.E.A.M.
Thomas A. Anderson
Thomas Willeford-Brute Force Leather
Topher Adam- Dark Beauty Magazine
Trip Hope -League of S.T.E.A.M.
Ulorin Vex
Wendy Steller

If there is someone not on this list that has given me a leg up, it is either because you were so rockin' that I made a bronzed plaque of your name and it sits at the foot of my bed so when I sleep at nite, you are right there with me, or...I am a doofus and simply had an inexcusable brain-fart which begs forgiveness.

There is that "asking" thing again.

Sending much love and admiration to you all......

~Dr Brassy

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Something's Got to Give-A 16 Hour Work Day in the Life of a Steampunk Artist named Dr Brassy

5:30AM- Wake up to husbands work alarm that sounds like dying seagulls. Curse, snuggle, hit snooze.

6:00AM- Coffee (Kona with cocoa powder, sugar and whipped cream-also known as morning dessert) and newspaper with husband. Do word puzzles in which High IQ Society husband kicks my ass-every time. Lament on idiocy of politicians, read letters to Editor, proclaim to want to write rebuttal to letters to Editor (but never do). Do Isaac Asimov Quiz (another ass kicking by husband unless the subject matter is celebrities, Steampunk trivia or medical terminology preferably having to do with pharmaceuticals).

 6:45AM-Kiss husband and pat his tush off to work. Makeout in the driveway in robe for all neighbors to see. Say goodbye to husband again. Pat tush again. Wave. Go back in the house. Feed cats. Think how nice it would be to be a cat.

7AM- Take first dose of pain killers. Get on computer. See 127 new Facebook messages. Answer questions, post smiley faces/hearts/XOXO/thank yous... and move on.

7:20AM-Pain killers kick in. Aaahhhhh :)

8:00AM- Sigh on to and check/answer five different emails (family, personal, spam, job search, business). Apply for real jobs, beg for my art to be included in/on every Steampunk magazine/blog/movie/TV show/artist/musician. Call Gramma to hear same story about her Casino jackpot win 6 years ago. Tell her I love her but need to get back to work. Explain again, that I work from home, when she asks me for the 10,000th time if I got a real job. 

10:00AM- Post new photos on Flikr and Etsy, Pinterest and Steampunk Lab. Check in with Steampunk Empire, Etsy Teams and my on-line friends (which are my "real" friends).

11:00AM-Take 2nd dose of pain killers for the day (every 4 hours) Check bank accounts. Balance accounts for the day, issue refunds as noted, check Paypal balance and order supplies. Make wish lists of jewelry supplies I can't afford. Look at other peoples jewelry who are way more talented than I am. Start to feel depressed....

12:00PM-Check Etsy and look at all the Chinese Resellers that are Featured Shops, Front Page or Featured Sellers. Curse Chinese Factories to hell. Getting more depressed. Move on...  

1:00PM-Finally get to my Etsy shop. Dr Brassy on Etsy Look at all the beautiful and fun things I create with my own hands. Start to feel proud (or maybe it's just the pain killers). Start boxing up items that sold to ship out.  Send thank you and shipping notifications to everyone. Answer more questions. Check Facebook again, see 141 new messages. Wonder how people have so much time for Facebook. Dr Brassy on Facebook

 2:30PM-Check Dr Brassy website on IndieMade, take down listings sold on Etsy. Work on SEO. Check traffic volume. Dr Brassy Steampunk

3:00PM- Take 3rd dose of painkillers. Make mental note that I love my doctor. Take all boxes and envelopes to the Post Office. Swing by grocery store and buy groceries for next 3 days (Mostly plant based food).  Happy to just be outside the house, talking to living breathing human beings. Hug a total stranger....Go back home.

4:00PM-Finally go into studio to create. Work on a few long-term projects. Check status of research and development pieces, get "light bulb over the head" idea of a new piece of jewelry, make a few of those.
  5:30PM- Husband comes home. Brief makeout session, then back to work.

6:00PM- Take 4th dose of painkillers. Who cares if it hasn't been 4 hours?-I don't. 

7:00PM- Dinner. Discuss husband's work day. Co-workers are still idiots, boss is still a nimrod.

8:00PM- Back to work in studio, then bring some beading and wire work into living room. Work on that while hubby scans Netflix for something smart to watch (I.E. Historical Documentaries).

10:30-11PM-Fall asleep on couch with jewelry and pliers in hand. Husband drags me off to bed by my hair.
So this is what a normal day looks like for Dr Brassy. I am easily spending 75% of my time on administrative and marketing work and 25% creating (Doing what I love to do). Plus I am exhausted and running out of pain pills. Keeping up this schedule, 7 days a week is taking it's toll and it's leaving me little energy for "Sexy time" with the hubby, who I love more than Antonio Banderas.

So here is what I propose. After a brief stint in rehab to get off the pain killers, I am going to put an egg timer at the computer (which seems to be a time sucking portal) and when that egg timer goes off, no matter which Youtube Funny Cat Video I am watching....I mean, no matter what I am working on. I will walk away and go into the studio and make things. Beautiful things, steamy, punky, unique, one of a kind-things. And all will be perfect in the world of Dr Brassy as long as someone will toss me an ibuprofen now and then.

~~~Dr Brassy 

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Art of the "It" Factor

Every artist dreams of coming up with the next "Thing". Something that no one else is doing or take what everyone is doing (Marginally), twist it, improve upon it and make it better. Then a name-Name your art with a completely unique, instantly recognizable name and again, find something that has not been done To Death. The chances of finding a genre, hitting the popularity curve, carving out a niche and then making it profitable (and fun for you, The Artist) are about a gazillion to 1 odds. But when you hit that all too elusive sweet spot, oh how sweet it is!

Dr Brassy on Etsy

I feel I have done that with my Steampunk Sightmares Eyes ™ ©. The name, the idea, the materials and workmanship- all unique to me. It's been a labor of love, much research and development, but now I have my little creepy, beautiful evil eye babies to show the world and surprise of surprises, the world loves them.
Sightmares Eyes
Sightmares ™ © Eye

Backup a bit to 1988 when Kimberlee (my real name) was doing Steampunk jewelry long before there even was "Steampunk". I was simply a girl, in a small town, doing jewelry so completely odd that very few people noticed and many who did, thought a had more than one screw loose.

Soft Steampunk
I think what helped get me out there as an artist was to come up with my alt-persona, Dr Brassy Steamington. She has a personality and sass, all her own. She has her own Facebook page, her own way of doing things and a life that is drenched in Steampunk ethos.

Dr Brassy became the vehicle in which people could identify me with my art. They want to know Dr Brassy, want to own a piece of Dr Brassy and that's where the connection comes in. Artist+Art+Customer = A whole experience.
Dr Brassy

I am not saying that everyone should come up with an alter ego or that everyone should do Steampunk because it's the current hot trend. Trends fade and there is always a new genre to take its place. Remember that I have been loyal to my Steampunk credo for over 25 years. That's a long time to wait for the world to catch up.

What I do recommend is that you find your "It" factor and put all your energy into it. What is it that you do, better than anyone? Are you a Magician with wrapped wire? Are you the Clay Goddess? Do you take Patina to places no one has seen? Everyone has a gift. The trick seems to be in finding it. There are artists that will try every new material that comes along and they do measurably well in each. But to be really successful, it would be quite expensive and exhausting to be a PMC Clay, Resin, Stained Glass, Brass Stamping, Wrapped Wire and Beading Artist, all at the same time.

Ultimately you also have to be happy with the creation process. There is no amount of money that could make me craft anything that makes me miserable. This is probably why, when I was a paid seamstress, I hated to sew but now that I sew for relaxation and fun, I love it again.

So find what makes you happy, give it a unique name, perfect the process, and then come tell me about it so I can promote you to the stars and back!

Dr Brassy on Etsy

~~~~Dr Brassy

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Messy Workshop Blog Hop Follow Up -Dr Brassy Saves the Day

After the epic disaster in what was Dr Brassy's art studio, our devotedly organized Dr Brassy, put on her gloves, her Steamer goggles, saddled up with some organizer bins and went to work. The result is a studio that even the most fastidiously organized artist would feel right at home in. Labels are coming soon, but even without labels, it's a nicely done little piece of Steampunk artist paradise.

See all the Blog Hop participants here: Blog Hop

See Dr Brassy's Art here: Dr Brassy on Etsy

Bins=$19.99  Chain hanger=$8.99 Being able to find everything=Priceless

Gone are the twist tube towers and in their place are these drawer bins. Get them at the hardware store from 14.99 for a 16 drawer bin to 38.99 for a 64 drawer bin.
Bins come in three drawer sizes!
The wood necklace/chain hangers are actually
A free paint stick from Home Depot to measure necklace chains.
Rainbow bins that hold the extra long bead boxes

Friday, April 27, 2012

Messy Workshop Blog Hop 04/27/2012 Hosted By

Bsue Boutiques Bbsueboutiques Supplies Messy Workshop Blog Hop Party! See all participants here:    Blog Hop

I am, by nature, an organized lady. Not by DNA but by the fact that I was born in a single-wide mobile home and then spent many years of my adult life living in same. Anyone who has lived in a single-wide mobile home knows that you learn very quickly how to maximize the use of that 10 foot by 50 foot space, least you feel like a human sardine.

Well, I organized my art studio and then left my very capable assistant, Copper, in charge while I was gone. What I returned to was a disaster of epic proportions as my dear employee decided to have a party while I was gone. THIS is what I returned home to:
Copper hung over from the night before

Crazy insane amounts of unorganized bins that have taken over our guest bed.

Copper and her mannikin friends must have had a real good time at my expense as the liquor cabinet was left bone dry.....and my art studio resembled a war zone.
Dining Room Table/Steampunk Heaven

Copper's idea of making her own art
Copper's organizational skills

Dr Brassy on Etsy