Friday, October 5, 2012

No Muggles

Back in May, I posted this entry: A Muggle's Young Women's Circle Motif. In that entry, I said that I doubted I could get my LDS-specific work into large LDS retailers like Deseret Book or LDS Bookstore because of my Muggle status. I said I would submit, but not be all that surprised at the rejection. Well, I submitted to both, and voila

I'm still a Muggle.

The Deseret Book rejection came this morning and I just shrugged. The one from LDS Bookstore was a week or so ago. While the rejection didn't surprise me, there was something that grinded on me like a pebble in my shoe. The standard "form letter" of rejection read as follows: Thank you for submitting your product. However with most art, we work with two main distributors due to the difficult nature of shipping. I think it would be good to get some more sales experience before you take on a large retailer.

So me, feeling a little snippy that day replied, "So what you're saying is it's not about the quality of the art but the sales experience and business experience of the artist?"

He replied right away. And when I say he, I mean Brandon Young, President of LDS Bookstore.  

Young? He's the President of a large LDS retailer and his last name is Young? Yeah, of course I got rejected. I didn't have the right connections or right last name. Sure, my great-grandfather x4 financed the Kirtland Temple, but he has something like 30,000 descendants by now and I don't share the same last name.

Brother YOUNG's reply is what stuck in my craw. He said, "Well... it's really a combination of a few things. Some of those being the quality of the artwork, the business experience, the price, the demand for the product, etc."

QUALITY of the artwork? First of all, he's the president of the company. He's not an art critic. Second, my prices are about what you would expect for prints. I charge less than $30 for all 12x12 sizes. The reason the YW Poster print (20x20) is more is it's so expensive to have it printed in color and for that size. So of course I'd charge more. So the price argument is a total cop-out.

My Reply:

I understand the business end of it, but as far as quality, I have some mainstream art in a gallery in downtown Mesa (Sundust Gallery) and the reason I don't have many Etsy sales is most of my sales are local so I make the sales on my own (so they don't have shipping costs), and the Etsy shop is relatively new (August 2012). I have been told countless times by fellow friends and other fans of the artwork that it needs to reach a wider population of LDS people. Please contact me when a more unique approach to displaying the temples and other scriptural elements is desired, as that is exactly what my quality of artwork accomplishes. 

And that was that. Chris thinks my last reply was too much, but I disagree. I didn't set out to do this artwork to please people like Brother Young. I don't care if he is president of the company. Plus, since then, I received a custom order from someone I do not know to make a wedding gift for a couple I do not know. That means my Etsy shop is getting more play! I completed the artwork quickly and sent it off. I don't know if the buyer has given it to the couple yet.

Not only that, but I've sold more of my bird motifs on Etsy, and locally I've sold more Temple Prints and another Lehi's Dream print. Sure, I'd love it if business could pick up, but you have to start somewhere.

I also completed a third Halloween print. I titled this one "Stay for a Spell" No one has purchased Halloween art yet, but they are sure fun to do!
Another fun one to do? This "Enjoy the Silence" Depeche Mode tribute:
I added a lengthy description where it was posted on Etsy.  

Depeche Mode released their VIOLATOR album in 1990 and with it is their iconic "Enjoy the Silence" "recorded in 1989 and released on 5 February 1990. Their timeless video directed by The Anton Corbijn takes a "Little Prince" theme (philosophical children's book) where Dave is dressed as a King who appears to have everything in the world, but is just looking for a quiet place to sit. The video with the beautiful European scenery is intercut with black-and-white footage of the band and Brief flashes of the single Violator rose. I agree with Dave Gahan's statement that this Enjoy the Silence video was "Anton at his best."

Why the reference to the World Trade Center? In 1990 a promotional video for Enjoy the Silence was shot by French TV featuring Depeche Mode lip-syncing the song while standing atop the World Trade Center at the WTC rooftop World observatory. This was 11 years before the tragic 9/11 Terrorist Attack and 3 years before the first WTC attack. Google searches can find this video, though if you are in the US, it is hard to find a link where this video is available in the US. I have found it at YouTube, but it is often taken down due to Copyright issues.

"Enjoy the Silence 04" was almost equally successful in the UK, peaking at No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart. In the US, it reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play. This is another iconic and amazing video that some say rivals the original 1990 video. For me, it is close to a tie. It has some "Orwell 1984" like animation which flashes to images of the band from various ETS live performances. The building housing the animated characters (only men, interestingly enough) is consumed by what looks to be vines and thorns and blossoming flowers. At the end, all that chaos was a giant Violator Rose. It just doesn't get better than that. To not include references to "Enjoy the Silence 04" and its video in this Enjoy the Silence tribute would be an incomplete shout out to this masterpiece.

I am currently on another custom project and it is quite the adventure around here during Fall Break! Chris is off until after Monday, so we have more household projects to tackle. Must run for now...

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