Thursday, October 3, 2013

Artistic Lifestyle of Handmade Business Owners As Etsy Changes

6 x 10" acrylic on paper

In lieu of a new painting today I'm posting a wonderful description of the handmade life of an artist or artisan. The writing of Lynn Taylor, owner of the Etsy shop The Amethyst Dragonfly, refreshed me and many others in the midst of the major upheaval on Etsy about changes to the former handmade focus of the site. Forum comments, press, and hot discussions have been flying in all directions after the announcement by Etsy CEO on October 1.


I work in my purple pokadot pajamas at my desk with not quite enough light. Sometimes I forget to eat lunch and mess things up three or four times before I get it right.
My lightbox is made of cardboard and tissue paper, with the sides blown out because my kitty loves to sleep in there. Someday I will make a new one, but not today.
I work late at night when my brain won't go to sleep and late in the morning when I finally wake. I work through the afternoon, until I forget to eat.

Some of my supplies I order from my favorite sources, some I make myself from metal or polyclay, some I pull out of my bead and bauble stash I've been collecting since I was a teen (hello 1980's).
I spread out all over my desk. Mixing and matching, trying out new things. Only sometimes does a cat jump up and scatter it all away.

I still sell few enough things that every time I get an order I say "Oh! Hey!" or "Wow, neat!" or "Hooray!!!" I print those orders out immediately and sometimes even get right to work, even if it is 2 am and I really should go to bed. I write a little note and tuck it in, just to say thanks for ordering from me. It is my honor that you choose something from my little shop.
I make my own little boxes, I stamp my brown paper wrapping with cute little purple dragonflies. I write with purple ink. I sometimes accidentally glue myself together or unreel way too much tape.

I will never be a factory. I will always be just me, working at my desk with not quite enough light, in my purple pokadot pajamas at 2 am when I really should just go to sleep.

I am handmade.

Every artist I know can write a similar lifestyle piece to describe what it is to be a creative person. Other people may not understand us nor be able to quantify us. We may live strange hours, work alone with or without our favorite pet(s), and easily forget to eat when we're "on" with ideas or projects. 

It's who we are! Yes, we can get excited about little things, like an order coming on our computer in the middle of the night or like a spectacular result in our work after so many tries at something new. 

A machine, even one in China, can't duplicate us, try as they may. We are handmade! We are priceless! Our gifts and consequent lifestyle you cannot quantify even though we do participate in the marketplace of the world with price tags on our originals.

No, I don't have polkadot pajamas, but you get the picture! 
 

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