Thursday, June 24, 2010

Annual Etsy Party and the DIY movement

Last week was Etsy's Annual Party for crafters and artisans. There were tons of local artists and the entire thing was run by Amanda Fisher who was wonderful. There was make your own terrariums and a great DIY movie on the crafters movement in the US. I had a great time meeting new faces and sitting in the comfie couches at the independent studio in NoDa. It was fun to meet a number of fellow crafters and my favorite was getting to watch Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl. AND THE CUPCAKES! Moist bites of delectable strawberry sunlight. I was seduced by cupcakes.
Watching the video really gave me a chance to see artists all over the country making it and not at their craft. For me the interesting thing to see that most artists start out at a similar income level and experience. The marked difference between successful artists started not at the level they began on, but where they grew to. It's a good reminder to all of us that success involves learning from your mistakes as much as anything. And being willing to think that there can be better ways of doing things out there. The most successful artists looked for ways to do things better and the least successful artists talked about how the industry has not changed in 100 yrs or 1,000 yrs. Technology moves forward, the question is if you will embrace the change or not.
The other thing I noticed was automation. At some point any artist has to accept that systems allow a person to get more done. This involves moving from a hobby to a trade. I thought this was a great movie and wonderful insight into living wages as an artist. Because the drive for any artist is to develop unique one of a kind pieces and that has to balance against the cost of doing business.

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