You’re responsible to your community, to your customers, to your employees and to your art.” Seth Godin
What if…. artists created lines of products that could be both handmade AND mass produced here in the U.S.? Artwork could then be both affordable to the poorest and least educated, and can also help employee them.
What if artists could combine their natural talent with the know how of experts to determine the best use of time and materials?
Having a line like this to go along with their one of a kind, or limited production pieces would allow artists to change the world. And every artist I know wants to help make a better world.
Artists could pay people by the piece. Workers who wanted to, or needed to, could work from home, or in their own studio to make ends meet, or at a co-op work shop where workers could meet to socialize while they work. Paying by the piece allows people to pick up a project and set it down as need be, being both fair to the worker and the employer.
Artists, you will never be able to out create Target. And if Target doesn’t steal your design outright… they will damn sure use it for inspiration for their products they are going to have made in China. And then you know what? You and I are going to help support Target’s corporate greed by buying from them, because their advertising and marketing is so creative and hip. That’s where the money goes.
The saddest thing about this is that it’s killing off our American craft galleries.
I was at a workshop given by Jennifer Perkins of the Naughty Secretary Club last year. Jennifer and her Austin Craft Mafia had crafting shows on DYI Network and HGTV. When she told the class those shows had been canceled, I asked her why she didn’t wholesale her line of vintage inspired jewelry. She said “We indie artists are a suspicious group”. Then some girl in the class turned to me and practically screamed in my ear “I like knowing Jennifer’s pieces are handmade by only her!!!” I just stared at the irate girl for a few seconds, not knowing why she had yelled at me. Then I blinked my eyes, ignored her rudeness, and turned back to an 8 month pregnant Jennifer, and said “Jen, if you think your life is crazy busy now, you just wait till that baby gets here.” Another 50 year oldish woman in the workshop looked at me and we did an imaginary belly bump in our heads.
We are all sick of buying imports. We want to buy handmades from artists, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to.
The fairest trade begins at home. I’d love to help start this revolution of mass produced American craft here in our own U.S. of A. And I have a plan.