I love to browse the Artisan Crafts gallery, read the artist's description and have a look at the comments people leave behind. I sometimes read comments like this:
- "Wow! That looks great, like it's mass produced!"
- "It's not perfect of course, there's some mistakes since it's handmade."
- "I think that the fingerprints/imperfections are ok, because they make it look handmade."
- "Crafts can't be perfect, we're not machines."
... and I cringe every time! Worst of all, sometimes it's the very artist the one putting down their work. I want to tell everyone to STOP thinking less of your work and your skills, and be proud of everything you do! I'm here to encourage you to always do your best, always appreciate your work, and always be proud of everything you do! Handmade is the best!!!
Handmade is always best
When was the last time anyone complained that their drawings aren't as good as a printer's? Or who ever said speed cameras take the best photos? A crafter is no less talented, and no less of an artist! Name any factory-made item, and I can guarantee that there's many handmade versions that are superior in every way. You can try it for yourself: look for pens, plushies, vases or scarfs. It's a fun game to play
You're better than a machine
You have the best tools there is: your eyes, your hands and your brain. A machine only does what it's told, it doesn't have your creativity or your keen senses. Most production needs to be quality checked by humans anyway! Machines are not flawless. Have you ever examined factory made toys? Try it, you'll easily pick up mistakes in all of them: visible seams, poor fit, lame paint jobs, etc. You won't find a single commercial toy that is perfect (I tried - there aren't any), but any crafter that respects itself will always do their absolute best to achieve a quality job. Some of the most precise jobs HAVE to be completed by human hands, like assembling expensive precision watches or painting perfect straight lines on Rolls-Royce's. So no, I'll never take this as an excuse and neither should you.
Always strive for perfection
Realistically speaking perfection is not always achievable, but that shouldn't stop you to always try your absolute best, not "good enough" or "I don't have the precision of a machine". It's ok if you're still developing your skills: by always trying to achieve perfection, you'll improve faster than just settling for "this is all I can do". I'm convinced that artisan crafters can achieve everything, no matter how big, small, intricate, detailed, or crazy. Keep trying and never give up!
Exhibit C: It amazes me how perfect is this miniature. The color, translucency, texture and consistency of everything is exactly like it should be, and creates the most beautiful illusion of realism.
Love what you do. Be proud!
Never let anyone put you down.
Never let anyone tell you you're not an artist.
Never let anyone haggle down your prices.
Never let anyone convince you that your crafts are less impressive or valuable than what you can buy in a store.
Love what you do, be your number one fan! That way you'll never let anyone put down what you do. I want all crafters to feel empowered and talented, be confident in your work and in our community, you're all awesome.
Wear your handmade jewelry to that office party.
Sport your painted shoes every day.
Display that beautiful sculpture in the most visible spot of your house.
Fill your walls with your framed fusing beads crafts.
Tell all your friends that you'll make the cake toppers for their weddings.
BE PROUD OF EVERYTHING YOU DO!
Just don't confuse constructive criticism as something wrong, we all need criticism as a way to grow and improve. I want you to be proud of what you do and never let anyone tell you your work is meaningless, I'm not telling you to get all defensive and stop listening to opinions. There's a very important difference.
Tell us what you think
I want to know your experiences and your opinion! Please leave a comment below, don't be afraid.