~ Borrowing from a facebook post I made today, spurred on by a ridiculous and erroneously reported story this past week (TV news and in print) of an Etsy "KNITTER" who makes just under a million dollars a year ($80,000 a month - KNITTING, if you are to believe the headline). Most of us who create, knew this was going to turn out to be more fiction than fact, but the reports did serve as a huge discouragement to others. What they neglected to point out, right up front, was that this woman has a small army of people working for her and (MOST IMPORTANTLY), she is importing items, and NOT knitting them herself. I am not going to give any further exposure to her OR the reports by posting links - they are plentiful on the net ~
I knit. I sew. I make jewelry. Among other things. I will NEVER make a million dollars a year doing what I do - that which makes my heart and hands happy - that which I love. (I also do a lot of it to keep myself awake at night, enjoying family instead of sleeping on the couch!)
I give away almost ALL of my pieces these days, to family and dear friends. I also give away my "trade secrets", freely and happily, to anyone who has taken the time and/or worked up the courage to ask me for them! I will NEVER make a million dollars at that rate.
I create with my OWN hands. Just me. By myself. I will NEVER make a million dollars at that rate. I don't buy from overseas sweatshops. I don't embellish with pieces of lace, and then lay claim to something as my own. I QUIT selling because I can't compete with those who DO operate this way. Quitting selling does NOT mean I have quit creating - I will always do it, because it's in my heart - it's a piece of who I am, and anyone who knows me knows this to be true.
No sour grapes, truly. But, if you're going to import and lay claim to things as your own designs and handwork then, by golly, OWN THAT SHIT! Be proud enough of yourself and exactly how you are achieving the success to put it in the headline, right next to where you tell people you're a "KNITTER".
No, I will NEVER make a million dollars with my crafting, nor do I ever expect to. But, I'm happy doing what I do, and wouldn't have it any other way. I can sleep at night knowing that I haven't lied about what I do, serving to discourage others who may be trying to make a few bucks, by twisting or omitting the truth and making someone else feel they are failing miserably at the game.
CARRY ON, MY ARTISAN FRIENDS - follow your heart! STRIVE TO BE ORIGINAL (and by that I don't mean not using patterns if you want, etc., but make it your "own" - put yourself into it!), AND ABOVE ALL, BE HONEST! We may be quintessential starving artists, but we come by that title honestly, and by our OWN hands. BE PROUD OF THAT!