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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Inspiration: What's in the name?

I have recently joined the multitudes at Swap-Bot to try to challenge myself creatively and give myself something to do when the shop is slow. I was turned on to this site when a customer of mine bought a Fairy Nest Bed from my shop to give to her swap partner for a "fairy furniture" swap. I have so far participated in only a handful of swaps and haven't yet received anything from my partners, but I wanted to share a particularly poignant swap with you; "ATC inspired by your Username".
  For those of you who are unfamiliar with ATC or ACEO, Wikipedia has a great article as usual and Swap-Bot has a glossary of terms. Basically they are miniature works of art about 2.5" x 3.5" long. Many Etsy artists sell them, so that you can collect their work without breaking the bank or cluttering your walls. Of course, many crafters like myself make them for fun to trade and not for profit.
  Anyway, I thought this ATC project would be good to share with you as my "username" is my shop name and I often find that what others are inspired by inspires me.
1. Firstly, my shop name went through many iterations. However, from the beginning I was largely influenced by Christina Rossetti's poem, "The Goblin Market". I have loved this poem since I discovered it as a pre-teen. It is a rare one that tells a story without boring you to death. It also captures almost all the rules fairytales are supposed to teach us about not eating fairy food or following fairy music. It is largely about temptation and well the irony is that I am tempting you to buy "fairy" goods. Unfortunately, this name was taken by one of my favorite fairy artists, Brian Froud.

2. Then I tried to imagine where such a market might exist. I thought back to all the "magical" places I have visited over the years and I kept coming back to one image. The following is the closest I have come to the deer clearing I used to visit in the woods behind our house. It is the dappled light and variety of greens that appeal to me mostly.
3. Then I need to put a name to this image and place in my imagination; a glen. This fit particularly well because my father's name is Glenn, which I have always thought was telling of his Irish heritage and in many ways it felt that I had come from such a "glen" (pun intended). Thus the name was born and a more cohesive branding was possible.

You will see lots of articles in Etsy's The Storque about choosing your shop name carefully and researching to make sure no one else has it, and this is for a reason. It should be easy to remember, say something about your shop's intentions and not be used by so many others that it is hard to distinguish you from everyone else.

Below is a picture of the ATC I created. It is my first attempt at something so small and it came out a but like a funerary card, but I am hoping it reaches someone who has never heard of Christine Rossetti and in turn, finds as much joy as I do in reading her work.

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