Buried Treasure! Do The Work, Stay Out Of The Results

Buried Treasure Collaboration

Artist Seth Apter is again hosting the entertaining Buried Treasure Collaboration. Each year, participants repost a favorite blast-from-the-past write up and then share their links on Seth's blog, The Altered Page.  Click here to check out the list, a fun-tastic variety of interesting reads. 

I don't know about you, but I have a constant struggle with time management. Balancing work, family, domestic duties, etc often leaves little breathing room for creative time. When a few minutes (or hours) are found, it can be too easy to spend it online "social marketing". Suddenly the day (okay, week) is over, the studio is still empty .... and then it is  time to tackle the next round of obligations.

With this challenge in mind, I am sharing the 1st segment of my three part interview with artist & etsy seller Meredith Dada, which originally appeared here March 2010:  

Do The Work, Stay Out Of The Results:
Creating, Identity & The Social Marketing Circle

A couple of weeks ago I was wandering around in the Etsy Forums when the command "Do The Work ....Stay out of the results" made me stop.  This eye-catching post from Etsy seller Meredith Dada is mainly her conversation with another artist about creating, identity & social marketing. It really clicked with some questions I've been mulling over about what it means to be an artist. It seems to have struck a lot of nerves; there are 37 pages of comments.

Meredith is a mixed media artist and self proclaimed "bead-a-holic." She comes from a family of crafters and artists. Always creative, she inherited her grandmother's bead collection years ago and then...  "Everything fell into place for me. I finally feel that I have combined  all of my favorite forms of artistic media into one process... My work has a meditative quality, since each bead is glued into place  one at a time. This process is my time to relax, and recharge"

Meredith will be popping by for visit in the next week or so. Please join us for a chat. We'll be talking about art and creativity, while enjoying photos of her colorful  pieces.  But for now here is her thought provoking forum post:

Do The Work ....Stay out of the results

Sales....Circles...Network....Tweet....Renew...Oh My!I am still  fairly new to this whole world of creating and selling said creations.  Don't get me wrong.I am having a great time learning how to run my  little shop, take photos, network, show in galleries, etc. I did feel a  bit overwhelmed yesterday, so I went to visit an artist friend of mine.  The business side of this process has really been a downer and I needed  David to cheer me up. He is a very successful ceramic artist, but kind  of  a hermit. I arrived at his home studio where he was already sipping  sangria at 10am and glazing a stunning sculpture piece. He is a shy man,  who works in his studio, gardens, goes for hikes, and has a very small  circle of friends. No website, no Twitter, no Facebook, no cell phone! I  pointed these facts out to him and asked him how he promotes himself  without these things, yet still has top galleries showing his work,  collectors, television features, and consistent sales. He pointed out to  me that he also has, a modest house, a used car, and a simple life.

David: "If I wanted to be rich, I made a poor career choice. I do my work, put it in a few places and let it be. It takes time."

Me:  "What if you don't want to be rich, but you want to be able to live and  do what you love, but there is so much competition out there. I feel  like such a small fish in this huge pond. I'm afraid I will never be  seen. I haven't even sold anything yet during this Christmas rush. I've  hardly sold anything period!"

David: "Do the work, stay out of the results"

Me: "What the heck does that mean?"

David:"  You are a small fish, deal with it. Just do your work, do it well and  with integrity. Do the work to please yourself and maybe the rest will  come, maybe not. Maybe you always drive a used car. Maybe you don't sell  and have to work two jobs, so what! You work just to sell...you kill  the spirit!"

Me: "But if I don't sell my work, I don't feel like I can call myself an artist."

David: "What would you say if I told you, You are not a woman?"

Me: "I would beg to differ."

David: " What would you say if I told you, You are not an artist?"

Me: "I would probably be hurt."

David:  "There is your problem! Fact...you are a woman, yes? To say different  would be laughable. You would laugh at my stupidity to say otherwise!  Yet I say you are not an artist and it hurts you because you don't  believe it is fact! If you don't believe how will anyone else believe?  You are too worried about results! Do the work little fish."

I poured myself a large glass of sangria. 

To see the original thread with oodles of comments, click here.   

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you make it back here next week for Meredith's visitIn the mean time check out her
blog meredithdada.blogspot.com 
twitter http://twitter.com/meredithdada
online shop www.meredithdada.etsy.com

For Part 2 of my interview with Meredith Dada CLICK HERE

For Part 3 which includes a tour of her art studio CLICK HERE


Back In 2012 - If you haven't yet entered the 7/26/12 random drawing that I am hosting for SpinYourWorld on Etsy, just leave a comment on my blog before then & your name goes into the hat. 3 winners will be selected to receive either a hand dyed drawstring backpack or handpainted glow in the dark keychain. Click here for photos of prizes


  1. Do your work...little fish!! Sage advice! I will start saying this every day!! Sigh!

  2. This post and discussion really hits home. Just the questions about time use, marketing, social media, and time management that I have been stuggling with. So, thank you. From one little fish.

  3. wise words......i think i will discard my shell & grow gills!