Who are you as an artist? A hobbyist, a maker....a production designer?
Do you work in many types of media? If you do, are you able to continue to speak one creative language, have one cohesive look that IDENTIFIES YOU and pulls your work together?
Do you sell your work? Do you want to sell more of it, reach more people, bloom and grow? Is your goal to simply supplement your income, or is your dream to become a self-supporting artist with a recognizable brand and steady clientele?
Discovering where we are at in our creative journey as well as mapping a path forward are all objectives of the 2016 BUILD A LINE MASTER CHALLENGE sponsored by B'sue Boutiques
In the class, which will last a hair over three months, we will
1. Learn to create a COHESIVE LINE that speaks your artist's voice, in your style. The students will create a small prototype or sample line of at least five cohesive pieces.
2. Learn how fashion trends DO affect your sales, and how you might stay true to your own artistic roots while making sales in a trendy, fickle marketplace.
3. Review and implement practical pricepoints via the Pyramid system
4. Review and learn to schedule not only creative time but adequate time to engage customers, market goods, and provide good customer service....thereby establishing a solid, quality BRAND
1. Class fee is 95.00 for the full MASTER CLASS, 60.00 for returning alumni. The class fee will be due within 48 hours of being accepted into the class. Sign ups are November 16-18. No sign ups will be accepted prior to that time, or after. The class will stay around 30 sign ups, plus three B'sue Boutiques Design Team members.
We will also have some in the class who are silent, working behind the scenes as judges, admins and consultants. All are volunteer alumni from last year. They will be observing but they will not be participating in class activities.
2. The class will be held *online* in a closed Facebook group where daily discussion will be free and encouraged. CLASS OPENS JANUARY 5, 2016 and the online classroom will remain open until April 19. (See more about that in the month by month planner).
Being that the class is online, the classroom is open 24/7. All students should plan to check into the classroom at least 5 days out of 7, review the feed and make their own comments as well as ask questions. You will get out of this class what you give it. We need your full commitment and attention as the class will move along to cover many topics.
3. Students MUST have a viable, up and running, ***functional blog*** and be comfortable with using it by the time sign ups begin November 16, 2015. Blogger, Blogspot and Wordpress all have unpaid formats that serve many well. I will not have time to help anyone set up a blog, but the good news is that it is not difficult and you can do it in a couple hours' time....or less.
Students must also have access to a photo editing program so that they can make collages. I recommend http://www.picmonkey.com/ There is a free version and you can learn to make a collage in under 15 minutes.
4. There will be THREE blog hops during the class. DATES will be:
Friday Jan 29
Friday February 26
Friday April 1
5. Students must plan to participate in all of the hops or they will not be permitted to continue the class.
In such a case, there would also be no refund of class fees. No exceptions.
Taking on this class is about determination and commitment, seeing a task through from beginning to end. That's why there will be no exceptions....there cannot be, to be true to the purpose of the class.
6. Class materials you will need:
a subscription to VOGUE or at least a couple of current copies
a journal or planner with a calendar in it and a place for notes
findings, etc to make the line you plan to produce in class. While it is certainly not mandatory that everything a student uses come from B'sue Boutiques, the sponsoring website, it *is* required that focals and representative pieces be used as B'sue Boutiques will be promoting this class.
Since sign ups are November 16-18 and acceptance will occur that week as well, you will have plenty of time to procure what you need for the first blog hop and reveal **of your theme for your line** on January 29, 2016.
7. All those applying should be members of the B'sue Boutiques Creative Group and for easy communication via Facebook messenger, they should be sure that they have sent me, Brenda Sue Lansdowne, a friend request.
8. I will be building a line this year along with the class. I will be checking in there every day at least several times to answer questions and lead discussions. I will also be available by private message at Facebook if you have quick questions.
I will be taking a great deal of time to present ideas, links, video, etc for class group discussion and I will be a part of those discussions.
I will be happy to make sure certain materials are available to you for your line. As soon as you are accepted, make a quick inventory review and let me know ASAP if you are lacking something I can get for you.
My commitment to be available is as deep or deeper as the commitment that will be required from you as a student.
But just like many of you, I have a day job and I won't neglect the Creative Group for this class. So, each student will have to dig in, do research, do creative soul-searching, spend time in personal discovery. I won't have to hold your hand to help you get there---if going in, you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
9. If you find you need personal, one on one clarification of class points, extra advice, etc the cost is 40.00 for 45 minutes of one on one time.
I don't think you will need that. No one did last class, and we were all finding our way! Many were surprised by the twists and turns the class took, and I'd never taught it before. We did just fine!
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS:
Again, sign ups are November 16-18, 2015. No signups can be accepted before or after. The only way this would be extended is if the class did not fill as anticipated.
1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request to enter the class on November 16, 2016....do it sooner than later. I will continue to accept requests through November 18 unless we fill before then.
2. Send no more than three paragraphs telling me about your chosen theme to work on in the class and what you hope to achieve in joining us. Tell me a little about the components you will use.
Also: I will need to be certain that you feel confident that you will meet all deadlines and be able to complete the class.
If you are accepted into the class, payment in full will be expected within 48 hours in order to hold your space. Payment can be made by PayPal or by Visa/MC.
3. Please have at least two line themes in mind for your application. Last year floral and sea life themes were extremely popular. I can only accept two students doing a similar theme. Beyond that you will need to select something else to be accepted into the class.
You may choose a fashion line theme, or a gift line theme for your jewelry line.
FASHION LINE THEMES might be:
style based: Steampunk, Victorian, Boho, Retro
GIFT LINE THEMES might be:
professions based (i.e., teacher jewelry)
These are JUST SUGGESTIONS. ;-)
CLASS PLANS: What to Expect, Month by Month
A list of accepted students along with their blog URLS will be made available on this blog by December 4, 2015. If students wish to test their blogs by writing posts about being accepted into the class, after that list is published, it would be great!
Our first month begins with class in session January 5, 2016. A bit prior to this date the private Facebook classroom will be opened and accepted students will have access so they can network a bit with others in the class and get comfortable.
FIRST MONTH, beginning January 5, 2016:
1. We'll talk about why we chose our lines and why we think our choice was practical.
2. I will request you begin to do some internet research on current trends in fashion. Think about what sort of clothing would go with the sort of jewelry you plan to design and form into a line. Begin to define your customer....their age, their design style, what they can spend.
We will discuss what it means to be 'artisically generous'.
3. As previously mentioned, everyone should have a sub to VOGUE, the fashion forecaster. If you don't understand why, it will be explained in class. I will link out to you any available internet blog sites, videos, etc that will help you to understand the role fashion plays in art.
And no kidding, if you haven't seen THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, it's not just a fun chick flick. It's more fact than fiction. There is a real trickle-down effect from the fashion world to trend in jewelry craft. While it may make your stomach turn as an artisan jewelry maker-designer, the facts cannot be avoided and you've got to be open minded about it.
4. There will be discussion of jewelry design periods, the Golden Age of Jewelry Design, successful designers past and present.
5. You will also be examining your design style via making collages of your photos and sharing the collages in class. These collages will not be shared outside of the class by me....and should not be, by you, until our first blog hop.
6. The FIRST BLOG HOP is JANUARY 29, 2016. Blog hop posts will show pictures of past work via your collages as well as stepped out photos. You can talk about your past processes. If you are an alumnus, you can talk about what you have learned about your style and process in working the last year. You will also share a bit about the line you'll be crafting in the class and what you hope to achieve.
SECOND MONTH begins February 1, 2016
In this module, the second month, we will discuss:
1. Are you a hobbyist, a maker, or a production designer? What's the difference? Does it matter?
2. One of a kind designing vs a line of jewelry that can be reprised in production or in limited edition.
3. How much time should you spend creating pieces for practical resale?
4. What have you found to be key, or go-to elements in your past work? Should that be changed? Again, collages may be used as a teaching/discovery tool.
5. PRICEPOINTS: The pyramid system also a *brief* discussion of pricing formulas
6. Wholesaling a line vs retailing it.....which makes more sense to you?
BLOG HOP FEBRUARY 26th This time you'll talk about your design influences, lessons learned from examining your collages, and what you have discovered: are you a hobbyist, a maker, or a production designer? Are you one and have a desire to convert up.....or down?
As many pix as possible should accompany your blog hop posts.
Third month or module begins March 3, 2016
We will discuss:
1. The inportance of a schedule and productive channeling of energies
2. Will you take on custom work and can you meet customer deadlines?
3. Developing your brand via good photos, marketing, blogging and packaging. Making a social media promotion schedule.
4. Best business practices.
5. Garnering return business.
6. Where do you sell? Where do you hope to sell? Will you continue to grow your line? Will you create sub lines or new lines?
What IS a sub line?
THE FINAL BLOG HOP is APRIL 1, 2016.
We will finish the class with discussion of what we have done, announcement of the winner of best in class and the runner up. Winner will receive a 100.00 shopping pass to B'sue Boutiques and the runner up will receive a 50.00 shopping pass.
Judges for this part of the class are Marica Zammit, Tammy Adams, Cynthia Wainscott and myself. Marica, Tammy and Cynthia are alumni (Cynthia is also a Design Team member) and will be observing the class silently unless something comes up they may want to address.....then they may enter a discussion after messaging me.
Gloria Allen is our class admin (and past alumnus) and will also be observing. She is not participating this time, but will be assisted by Design Team member, Marcia Tuzzolino, who is.
After final discussions and time for all students to pull class notes from our discussions (I will post a synopsis of things discussed for each module at the end of the time spent) we will close the classroom for 2016, and those who have completed the course will now become alumni. The tentative date for closing the classroom page is April 19, 2016.
It will be my pleasure to admit them to our special alumni group where they can network with yet others who have taken the class and continue the discussion!
Time to paw through your treasures, move things around on your workbenches, and think seriously about taking this class.
Are YOU up for the challenge?
I hope to see you in class!