Monday, December 3, 2007

Take the Pledge

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

This year I took the Handmade Pledge. Have you?

Being an artist, I feel very strongly about supporting other artists. This doesn’t just mean I provide verbal or written support or encouragement. To me it also means I put my money where my mouth is. I personally (and thankfully) know the feeling of having someone enjoy my work enough to invest money in it and me. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. So why not spread the love and the wealth?

That’s why I took the pledge to buy handmade this holiday season. While I may not be able to do this for my entire gift list (because someone on my list wants a hot plate for candle making), doing some of it this way and doing it consciously makes a difference to artists out there. It makes a difference to people on my gift list, too. It makes a difference to me. Win, win, win.

When you buy and give handmade items, a little love gets passed through the object itself. It means more to the giver and receiver because it is a unique item and took time and thought to make and pick out. The person to whom you give it really sees that you “get” them and what they are into. Giving someone an iPod or a digital camera may say you “get” that person is into music or photography. If you give them a handmade iPod cozy with a rhino on it you are saying, “I know you are into rhinos and collect them. I value that in you as a person." If you give them a handmade pendant with a camera on it, you say more about the connection to the person that you share. You know them. You know what moves them. They and their uniqueness move you. And you took the time to find something that was “made for them”, not manufactured in an assembly line.

The massive consumerism that the more industrialized cultures of the world live with is causing us to lose our connections with people. We buy from faceless big-box stores and grocers. We shop like sheep for the next big thing. When was the last time you spoke with the person who made what you are buying? Personally, I really enjoy making that connection with an artist. I enjoy creating that relationship with people who invest in my work. Some love gets passed through this exchange as well.

That’s why I encourage you to take the handmade pledge, even if you cannot do it for your entire list. Some of anything makes a difference. Help me spread the love.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list*!

Etsy – buy and sell all things handmade
Trunkt – art and design buyers guide
i shop indie - supporting independent designers
Artisans Market - unique handcrafted art and gifts
IndiePublic: not an online shop but a great way to find independent artists to buy from

(*I am not officially endorsing any of these sites. Use at your discretion.)

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