Monday 13 February 2017

to model or not...?

This morning Annette posted a comment on my last blog about the release the Two Pegs pattern and I started writing a response to her, then realised it was an interesting question and wanted to share this with my other blog readers...and I welcome opinions anyone else has to offer

this is Annettes comment
I love the new dress pattern. It is going on my wishlist for when I finish up a few of my works in progress. It would be great to see the dress modelled by someone :-)

This is my response - which I want to open to all who might want to give feedback

I've numbered some of my points if people want to address specific statements

Hi Annette,
thanks for your positive response. I often feel ambivalent about showing garments on real models, I wax and wane about some of the pros and cons, such as....
1) personally I seldom select a pattern based on seeing it worn by someone else. This means I'm likely extrapolating my own behaviour onto what I think others would do.

2) I'm only an amateur photographer and a one woman enterprise - so lack confidence in how well I can do the pictures.

Due to my extremely insular personality (ASD - Aspergers) I have huge anxieties about approaching any woman and asking her to model. On a philosophical level I think this should be paid work too, not a personal favour.

I couldn't afford to have pictures done by a professional photographer and that involves other tangential issues such as hiring/paying models, studio or other locations/props, copyright releases et al...

Can't help but be aware in this business many independent design companies who are profitable do use professional photographers, studios and models and one of my problems with it is wondering how "realistic" these pictures are. On beautiful, slender, tall women, posing with perfect lighting (is that dress pinned in at the back? is that collar starched rigid to sit like that...?)...are you really getting what you see? I know on a philosophical level that the advertising industry relies on trying to sell us dreams and aspirations. It would be absurdly counterproductive that they ever showed an unattractive view of the product to be marketed.

3) This last point is the one I will probably get some feedback on....!!! Please be gentle with me!

The majority of tiny independent pattern businesses rely on a model of using a stable of pattern testers who trial the pattern and instructions before they get published. When the designer releases the pattern there is the fantastic benefit of having a group of people who will endorse the design, blog about and provide pictures of themselves modelling the garment.

This is a fantastic model and virtually all small independent designers I know of use it. There are big Facebook groups who have been set up to support the model and provide groups of willing volunteers.

REVELATION....I don't get my patterns tested using this model. I am the only one who sews all the samples, checks, double checks and triple checks the instructions. Consequently, I don't have access to photos that tester groups provide.

Three years ago when I started out I did get my first 3 patterns tested in a group I set up. Regrettably I found the whole process enormously stressful. I don't do interactions with people (I'm crying with stress just writing this, because I know few will understand)

I get crippled with anxiety, I will spend hours, days, weeks consumed with nausea and gut aches because I can't figure out what people mean. I become paranoid, paralysed and catatonic with fear.

Why would I want to put myself in that place? That is why 2 years ago I decided to take the risk of just doing it all by myself. Fortunately I have only had feedback twice about minor issues with pattern instructions. Distaste for interacting with people is a downside of Aspergers, but extreme, obsessive dedication to detail is an upside.

It would be interesting to hear what others think, but please don't be disparaging to me in regard to the way my head works!

.....If anyone wants to volunteer to coordinate and handle a tester group for me I will mint you a medal, or at least barter such services in exchange for art?

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