In a world where corporate loss is subsidized and corporate gain is relatively tax free, it’s nice to know there are some souls out there who still believe in making art by hand. We’re not talking about the art you buy at the local Marshalls store to match your couch, or the christmas ornaments from Walmart that all coordinate because they were made in the same factory far away – we’re talking about someone getting an idea for a design, and being able to think of nothing else until that design becomes real as a result of their skills and talent.
Last weekend, it was a dovetailed board lying in the dirt at a flea market that caught my eye. I could see the dog I wanted to paint on that board — down to the mischievous expression on his face. Other projects went to the back burner until I could meet this creation. When he was completed, I sat him on our sideboard to watch him for a few days, until this weekend’s craft fair. Then I get the ultimate pleasure of hearing – “He looks just like my dog. I have to have him!” I know that someone else will enjoy this little piece of art, because I reached down and picked up a board from the dirt.
Crafters have something that corporations do not have – each other. So this weekend, if you are in a craft show, or just attending a craft show – buy something! Bring home your own original piece of art. Even if you don’t have the money, offer to help another artist out with a website, or an etsy shop. Join Linkedin and talk to other artists and offer advice or just listen to what they are doing. Subscribe to their blogs, make their shops your etsy favorites, or just tell them how much you love what they do.
If you are an artist – get out the word to buy handmade. Jeweler’s can make their own pins. Artists can paint a beautiful sign. Our potential customers need to understand that there is simply no comparison between the $19.99 pair of “Monet” earrings at Kohls and the $65.00 handmade silver earrings you have put your heart into.
If you are not an artist or a crafter — just know that we live to see someone excited about our art. I don’t expect everyone to buy my jewelry, or appreciate my paintings, but I still love to hear to complements from the wonderful folk who stop by. If you support those middle americans who are fed up with Wall Street shenanigans, the best way to say it is to buy handmade.