I’m having a BIG sale this friday y’all! I’m not calling it black Friday, because you do NOT have to get up at 4 in the morning to stand in line to wait. You wake up at your normal time, drink a cup of coffee, and leisurely get on your computer, visit my etsy shop and buy happy handmade goods for your friends and family.
BUT you have to be a fan on facebook or follow me on twitter to get the details and codes on Friday morning! That is very important. I don’t want you to miss out.
I am just going to come out and say what I am thinking. Get ready. I think you should buy more handmade this Christmas. I think it’s more meaningful and I think we (as Americans) need to be more conscious about where the money we are spending goes. I am so sick and tired of seeing people buying tacky purses and gross picture frames that were mass manufactured for less than a penny, which were a rip-off of a knock-off of a rip-off of an artist 10 years ago. you know those picture frames I’m talking about – that “distressed wood” with the shabby chic paint on it. They look aged, but they were “Made in China.”
I am putting my foot down with myself. I am going to support my crafter friends. I am going to support the people that are just trying to change the world with an original thought. So if at all possible, I am going to buy handmade. I will be posting links of friends and artists that I admire that make beautiful and unique gifts. I will probably do the bulk of my shopping at Renegade Craft in Austin (and I’ll be there too!) I currently live in a state that is VERY slow to adopt any sort of new thing. But I think Mississippi can step up their game. I do. We can boast with visionaries such as Jim Henson, Elvis Presley, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and OPRAH! Bam. That alone should tell me that there is hope for my state. I want to see retailers in Mississippi start seeking out local artists to carry in their shop. I want to see a change. THIS Christmas. Yes. Even if it’s just two gifts you give that are handmade, that would be a start.
I feel so much better now that I’ve put this out there now.
A friend of mine posted a TED talk on my facebook wall yesterday by the brilliant designer Marian Bantjes. Of course I have been a huge fan of her work for many years. She is very famous. I guarantee that you have seen her work, whether you know it or not. And when you see her work, you know it’s her and you don’t forget it. My friend said, “This talk’s subject reminds me so much of you.” I was a bit cynical at first, because how could anything involving Marian remind someone of me. That’s crazy. BUT he was right. EVERYTHING SHE SAID is exactly what I have found to be true for myself. I cannot get this talk out of my head. It is me. She explains what I am doing and why I’m doing it.
I have found that when I am when the truest to myself, I get a response. Little Things Studio is the visual representation of myself. Everything I make, it is so personal. It’s why I don’t take all the daily requests for “Can you put this quote with this other pattern?” I can’t. I won’t. Because that would make it their art, and not mine. When someone asks me to do something, I want to put my entire self into it. Those are the most rewarding projects. That is the work I actually like. (Designers, I know you know what I’m talking about.) Those are the things that get me out of bed everyday. Those are the things that keep me working late by myself on a Friday night, rather than hanging out with friends. I want to make work that makes me feel alive. I put down art when I was 11 years old and did not pick it up until I was 27. I completely cut off what I should have been doing. But the thing I am most thankful for is that I actually changed. I fought to start living again.
What do you want to do when you retire?
What work do you want to do for free?
What do you love?
What comes naturally?
What am I good at?
What work doesn’t feel like work?
THOSE are the questions I am so thankful to have found the answer to. I was not living before. I was working in the corporate offices of a bank in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. I had to wear pantyhose and closed-toe shoes! I will do my best to work in a place now where I can wear jeans, because that’s me. I do my best work when I’m me. I am still astounded at the response I had from my Art of the Beat piece. I can’t help but feel hopeful about my future when I heard Marian’s talk.
Please watch Marian’s talk if you can relate to anything I am saying.
And please visit Marian’s site and just gaze in wonder at her amazing work.