Saturday, August 14, 2010

This is Handmade

Penny Nickels had an idea. Let's show people what goes into the crafts that we make. Not as a tutorial or how-to, in fact let's show what it's REALLY like. Which is to say: boring.

As Penny says:

Have you ever spent 40 hours on a project, only to be offered 20 dollars for all of your hard work?

I think it's because most buyers don't understand how long it takes to make stuff. I think it's because buyers think what we do is "fun", so somehow, we haven't earned a fair hourly wage.

She created a new blog, This is Handmade, where various artisans are sharing 5 minute videos of the work as it is created. This week, I filmed myself and submitted the video. The point is to show the work. It's not fun, necessarily. It's tedious. It's slow work. I don't expect that ANYONE will ever watch the video start to finish, and why should they? There's no big reveal at the end. It may come as a surprise, but I can't complete a project in 5 minutes. I doubt anyone can. And if you base art on a standard wage - say $10 an hour - it can be a little discouraging when a project takes 4 or 5 or 10 or 100 hours and someone only wants to pay you $20.

To be fair, I price my own craft work to sell. My etsy listings reflect what I think is fair for the particular item. And, honestly, it's all underpriced. Regardless of your opinion of my talent or abilities, everything takes time. And materials. And there is a real output of cost on my end that I don't compensate myself for, which is my own choice. However, I still wanted to make a video - to demonstrate why I can't discount the items that I sell. Why I decline requests for custom work at a discounted rate. And why everyone should appreciate - just a little - the technical abilities, skill, talent, and creativity that goes into handmade art.



Giggly said...

I hate to tell you, but I watched the whole thing! :) I was mainly waiting for a Ruckus cameo. :D

Mr X Stitch said...

Can you do another one where you are singing along to it? :)

Maybe there should be a second set of these where we all sing and goof around along to the tunes..?!