Friday, April 4, 2008

On Supporting Handmade and Indy Artists

I spoke about by newest passion, buying or producing handmade or independent items whenever possible, on a recent entry, and I thought I'd talk a little more about it. See, my wonderful grandmother sent me a chunk of money for my recent birthday, and I decided to use it to finally get some of the art I've been salivating over for awhile now. All of the artists have Etsy shops (I'm telling you, Etsy is a magical place!). The first picture is the package I received when I ordered a print from TillyBloom. Not only did I get the totally fabulous print I paid for, but she sent a few business cards, a coupon for free shipping, a note, and a Stash vanilla chai tea-bag for my enjoyment.

The next photo shows what I received from AnneJulie, who I ordered two prints from. She sent along a handwritten note of thanks and an extra little print which is so sweet. So not only did I get the satisfaction of buying art from an independent artist, but I got so much more for the money I spent than I could have done buying a print of something from or a big store somewhere. Not only can you find insanely wonderful things from people producing and selling outside the big corporate box, but you can get those great things on a budget.

It's just made of win.

I'm still waiting to receive a few handmade rubber stamps from a Canadian artist. Soon I know I'm going to break down and purchase this button ring kit. What a cool gift this would make for a child's birthday! And come on, I want to make them, too!

Jewelry? The next time I buy a piece, I'm definitely getting one of these incredible necklaces. (One of the bird ones, because you know I have a Huge Thing for birds.)

So what's my point? Well, mostly to share with you the wonders of Etsy and a small slice of all the extremely talented people producing indy art and handmade items. And you know, whenever I used to think about the movement to steer away from mass produced, big store items, I usually thought about how hard that would be, and how pricey. But I was wrong. I've just used the outlet of Etsy in my quest to commit to handmade. There are so many other ways to find and support artists like this, local artists and people producing all kinds of things right in your area. It can be as simple and fulfilling as going to the farmer's market in the summer. Try the local wine, buy the maple syrup that's made in your area, or the cheese, or whatever. Don't be afraid to make something the next time you want to give someone a gift; I think almost everyone can deeply appreciate the time, effort, and love that goes into a handmade gift. I know that I adore receiving such things.

And I feel so good supporting it!

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