We are going to interrupt our normal banter about art to talk a little about the news of the day and some upcoming news here at TPA. If you want to skip to the information about this wonderfully detailed doll, scroll to the bottom of the post.
The Perilous World of Niche Publishing
A number of things have happened over the last few months and especially the last few days, that has really driven home the hard reality of being a niche periodical publisher. Early in the year we saw Metal Clay Artist shut their doors due to their distributor going bankrupt and unable to pay them. Yesterday, we got the news that From Polymer to Art is closing up shop due to the burden of a difficult personal loss. After that announcement I got several texts and messages asking if our magazine is doing okay. The answer is, yes, TPA is doing well. But, we micro publishers do sit very precariously in this world.
I was reminded of this last week when computer issues resulted in nearly 4 days of lost work. Then not one, but two contributors had to pull out due to health and personal issue. To top it off, I tore a cornea a few days ago and was unable to work for any length of time for several days.
As I lay there, eyes closed trying not to move my eyeballs, praying this corneal tear was not a bad one (I have weak corneas so this is not a new thing for me and luckily this wasn’t a bad one), I thought about how easy it would for this business go down. If I couldn’t work for a time, the magazine would simply not happen. Many niche and material specific craft magazines are in a similar boat. There is usually just one or two people holding it together.
Behind the Scenes of The Polymer Arts
For those of you who don’t know, TPA is run out of my home, and I am the only full-time person on the crew. I have a handful of wonderful part-time contractors, a couple amazing volunteers and a distribution partnership with The Great Create (manufacturers and distributors of Lisa Pavelka and Christi Friesen products). I have it so things won’t come to a screeching halt if I am out of commission for any length of time, but nothing further would be produced. So, I have to keep going no matter what to keep this house of cards from falling down.
Now, why would I do this to myself and ultimately to my readers? Simply because there is no other way it could exist. Periodicals are not the cash cows they may seem to be. Every business and service we deal with takes an inordinately large chunk, and then often asks for more. There’s no much left for staffing. So we work more, sleep less and live off your beautiful thank you emails and messages about how we’ve provided motivation, courage, knowledge or inspiration for you to do something you could not or would not do before. These notes may not pay the bills, but they bury any regrets that rise up as we sit editing or number crunching at 3 am.
So bottom line, TPA is not in any danger, but we have our challenges. I like to think that the universe is just checking to see if I really still want to do this. The answer is yes! Just keep supporting the micro businesses you love and depend on with whatever purchases you can afford and we’ll keep working away.
Odd Blog for the month of May
That all said, this coming month, we will have more than our usual share of challenges. The house will be under construction for about a week, I will be relocating my office to another room, and there is also a good possibility I’ll need a minor bit of surgery at some point. On top of all this, there is the Summer issue to get out, which is going to be later than scheduled, although, it should be released before May is up. In other words, it’s going to be nuts, and something will have to give. So here’s the deal …
During the month of May, I am going to reduce the blog to 3 times a week. Even with this, you may be seeing some very brief posts. I’ll do what I can, but please be understanding if things get a little lean over here.
Newsletters, if you get those, will also be on the short side. But, I promise they will be worth opening nonetheless!
Also, if you have general questions, comments, or any kind of query about the magazine or your subscription, to get a quick response, you will want to write my wonderful assistant Kat, not me directly, at connect(not sbray)@thepolymerarts.com, and she will get back to you within one business day.
A Steampunk Fairy
In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful doll by Amanda Haney. I couldn’t go through this week without taking a bow to the polymer fairies. Fairies must be the most commonly produced polymer doll. I know that may not make this seem unique enough to present, but there is a reason for their popularity that can’t be ignore. They are charming, and polymer lends itself to truly fantastical creations.
Amanda’s Steampunk Moon Fairy includes some fun little touches like the moon morphing into (or out of) a gear at the top, and the bones of the wings being replaced with hinged bars and gears. It’s just a fun piece. And fun is certainly a legitimate mode of art.
Find more of Amanda’s skillfully crafted dolls on her pages on Elfwood, a long-standing home for Science Fiction and Fantasy artists to post their portfolios.
If you like this blog, support The Polymer Arts projects with a subscription or an issue of The Polymer Arts magazine, as well as by supporting our advertising partners.