Monday, November 19, 2012

flipping the bird

My Origins of the Forest show at My Plastic heart this past September, was a bit of a personal triumph for me. It wasn't the biggest or most grandiose show I have ever done, but every piece in it was crafted amidst great internal opposition, and each one marked a success. During the time I was working on that show, I was struggling with a series of intense personal and emotional challenges, and just getting up in the morning was a victory, let alone finishing a solo show.  After it was all done, and I packed them all (rather hilariously, I might add) into suitcases, and headed to New York to the gallery, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. But it was after the pieces sold - and so quickly! - that I felt my heart swell. You see, I make things all the time, because I'm an artist and it's in my nature, but my true joy, and that most pristine and pure feeling of success and contentment comes when I know that what I've made has made someone happy. That they valued what I do enough to spend a good chunk of their money to bring one of my little guys home, and have that be something that they cherish, and that they are proud to own. It's a kind of high; humbling and flattering and amazing in how it makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

So imagine how my heart sank when I began to see pieces from that show, just over a month since they shipped out, appear on eBay as "buy it now" auctions, far above their original prices. 


Now before I continue, I want to make it clear that I understand that times get tough, tastes change, and sometimes you have to part with artwork you've purchased, so you sell it to fellow collectors. You and I are totally cool. That's not what this is though. This is one person buying my work with the explicit purpose of selling it immediately afterward in order to turn a profit on someone else's hard work. It's lazy, it's disrespectful to my collectors, it messes up the market, and it's totally insulting to me. 

I know that flippers are nothing new, and I also know there's pretty much nothing I can do. I realize that, and I accept it. What I'm asking of you, is that you don't support these people. I realize I don't make as many pieces as people want, and I want you to know that I'm working very hard to change that. I very much want everybody who wants something of mine to be able to get one, not just because it's my livelihood, but because I find so much joy in sharing what I do. 

The bottom line is, flippers are out there, and they do this all the time, to all kinds of artists. But if nobody ever buys from flippers, they will stop wasting their time trying to flip artwork.  So let's all work together to make this a fruitless venture for them, and put them out of business.

To all my fans, friends, and collectors - I love you guys. YOU are the reason I do this, and the work that I make and sell is made for YOU. I'm not going to let a few bad apples spoil it all. I'm going to keep working harder, and keep making you all smile, however I can, because any of this stupid, lazy B.S. will always be outshined by the amazing connections I make with all of you awesome folks.

Amanda Louise Spayd


  1. What a complete disgrace to artists everywhere! I am still hoping to own one of your remarkable pieces one day, but with flippers, it makes the dream even more unobtainable.
    Still saving my pennies...

  2. Oh this leaves me fuming! I had wanted a piece from the Origins of the Forest show and seeing some asshat buying them to resell them really pisses me off. One of these days I will be able to snag one of these, and I love your work like I love cake, but that kinda flipping sux. I will never and have never bought something like that!

  3. this always breaks my heart a little bit.
    my plush is not sought after to this degree, by any means...
    but, it's painful for someone like me too...
    i have wanted one of your fabulous creations for a long time.
    i either miss out...
    they happen to be released at a time
    when i can't justify spending the money...
    or whatever other things life brings at the time...
    but i agree with the commenters before me...
    i never have nor will i ever support
    people that do this stuff.
    friend to friend
    collector to collector
    a different story indeed.
    this is just sad.
    i'm incredibly pleased with the last few lines of your post though...

  4. Oh, I hate that! I'm a plush artist and a few weeks ago at an event I had a man (another vendor) tell me that he wanted to buy a few of my pieces for the purpose of reselling them on eBay and seeing how much he could get for them. I talked him out of it, but no one could understand why I hated the idea so much - after all, once it's bought it's his to do whatever he pleases with. But it's nice to see that someone understands, because the point is that it's not all about the money. The reason I sell my artwork instead of having a "real" job is that it makes me really happy to create something wonderful, and know that each piece is owned by someone who loves and appreciates it. Your work is amazing, and I hope that people will continue to support the artist who put so much time into this over the people trying to capitalize on your hard work. <3

  5. Wow... Just wow... Why is it that artists have to overcome obstacles like these?? This is such an outrage. I definitely send all my support your way and wish you the best of luck with dealing with these types of people. Hopefully the Flipping will stop.

  6. If I were you, I'd report this seller to eBay and let them know that this is infringing on your ability to do business fairly, especially if this seller is representing themselves as your vendor or wholesaler in order to flip these, and also if you have an eBay account yourself. At the very least, you should flag this seller. A lot of people might purchase these on eBay because they genuinely like your work, but didn't know that they could purchase directly from you.
    On the other hand, it seems like there are more than a few people willing to pay higher prices for your work because it IS collectible, which might mean you should take stock of your pricing and make some adjustments.
    Either way, people like this really suck. Talk about being lazy and untruthful.

  7. I had no idea that this abhorrent practice existed! Shame on them! I just became aware of you through friends and am totally in love with your work. I sure hope that one day I'll be able give one a home. Ss everything always sold at galleries? Nothing in the shop, I see. BooHoo! xxD

  8. Thank you for your thoughtful post! Your creatures give me a fond ache in my chest, your work is exquisite. But I also apologize for the pressure it may have put on you to have been one of many to tell you, to your face, that I look forward to being able to collect an original. We recognize you work extremely hard, and put love into every creation, and to demand more of you is selfish and inconsiderate; so I apologize. And I look forward to pushing -myself- harder to be able to collect one of your creatures one day :)

  9. Well said. I'll never support flippers. They're scum. It breaks my heart to see artist pieces being treated this way.

  10. I understand the outrage the artist and her followers feel. I am also in love with her work and have been searching for a piece for months. I have also sent her emails, but understandably, have not received a response. Flippers see an opportunity and capitalize on it. My suggestion is for Amanda to create her own outlet channels (perhaps an ebay store) which will reduce the incentive for flippers to resell her artwork. Expression of outrage is healthy, however reducing flipping opportunities can only be accomplished through shrewd business decisions.

  11. I'm so glad to have found your website. I was really moved by artistry in the figures when I stumbled up 'The Maker'. Keep up the good work.
    Hopefully this will not be a continuing issue for you. I hope the culprit steps up to make things right with you (it's a huge weight of douche-baggery this turd will have to live with otherwise). I make my own little things that I'm just beginning to sell. I don't know if it's the same for you but determining a "fair price" is a huge pain for me. I can't begin to imagine how much this must chap your ass. Keep up the good work though. Integrity counts in life and your effort shows! ;)

  12. Hi Amanda! I stumbled on The Maker on YouTube and immediately thought, "That is one of Amanda's dolls!" I knew if it wasn't than someone was a little too inspired by you. The Maker was beautiful and your dolls were perfect! I had to come to tell you that! I'm sorry to read about the person trying to flip your creations. I think that some people don't realize how much of themselves the artists put into what they make and what it means to them and others. I'm incredibly proud of all that you have accomplished!

  13. Please sell your dolls for higher prices then, you are clearly under the market if something like this happens. I dont mean that rude or in the 'haha your own fault' way - im a fellow artist and I have enough of seeing original and creative artists going down because they dont demand what they deserve. look at how high these flippers sell your work and raise your own-set price. please.

  14. Ryniak is having similar issues, following Designer Con this month. The answer, unfortunately, is for the artist to try and make more pieces so that people can actually own a piece of their work! When there is a shortage of goods, people WILL become desperate, after months of not being able to own anything, and head for ebay. It's the nature of the beast. Double the efforts when possible, limit one piece per household for any sale, and your art will fall into the hands of people who love it. Also, less pieces for special events and more for online sales will help your true fans achieve their hope of owning a DB!


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