Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Craft Guerillas and the World Wide Web

My friend Renee Blackwell has just started blogging and has thought of a brilliant idea to harvest the power of the blogs......
"I'm having a great give away. No strings attached, whatsoever! You are welcome to pass this blog offer along to friends, co-workers and family. Here's the deal...Go to my website: reneeblackwelldesign.com Go to the "stackable ring" page- Pick one stackable ring you would love to wear, (stones only), choose your size and e-mail me these details along with where it should be sent. Anywhere in the world! (You don't need to go thru' the ordering process...just an e-mail with mailing address...)

These will be sent from Australia on Fridays.... This offer is good until August 12th."

This is a real offer, Renee thought of it as a way of connecting with people who might like her jewelery throughout the world. What I really like about this is that it subverts the gallery/commercial system that all artists are supposed to be desperate to be part of. The Internet has broken open this system and put the economic power back into the hands of artists.

Taking your work around to galleries and shops used to be an expensive and humiliating exercise. Ten years ago when I first set up my studio I would travel long distances and set up meetings with "retail outlets" and when I got there they would have the meeting outside on a bench, or not be there and tell me to come back tomorrow or any number of other depressing scenarios. I once went to a lot of trouble to set up a meeting in Byron Bay (400 kilometres from where I live) and the shop owner suggested I meet her at the side of the road at a place bizarrely named Billienudgel (!) and show her my pots from the boot of the car.
"....oh you'd like to show me your art and talk about me stocking it....Why don't we meet here....in the MIDDLE OF THE SAHARA DESERT?"
I didn't do it but the fact that someone would think it is Ok to treat professional artists this way is outrageous.

Selling direct subverts all this. The only trouble with selling direct is that it is hard to get an audience. That is where the Internet comes into it's full power. I call those who practice these subversive activities "craft guerrillas"

Craft Guerillas Unite! Dependence on the system or voluntary poverty is not our fate!

2 comments:

Studio Terrafemina said...

Oh yes I have had a few of those kinds of experiences too. The one gallery carrying some of my bowls right now treats me a wee bit... well, royalty.
HA! :D
It is very VERY nice indeed.
Oh and I have treid to email you about the very inspiring give away offer from your wonderfull jewler friend. And my computer is not set up for the internal email that keeps popping up. So I hope this can count...If i can then I will get you my email addy in a less public forum if you email me at terrafeminaatgmaildotcom. Yup Yup great Idea. Peridot would by my colour choice and my ring size is 5.
Ya from Vancouver Island Canada.

Steph Bond @ Bondville said...

Here here! And bloggers love to write about gorgeous things - I love it that our online community is a world of good karma and support for artists. I'm horrified that some retailers are so unprofessional! You would think that the better the artist-retailer relationship, the more would be sold for both parties. It's really only win-win in my opinion.