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The Grand Plan: Part One

13 Sep

Man oh man, I thought 2008 was the year of change, but 2010 has been giving it a run for it’s money!  Babies, weddings, engagements, elopements, surprise birthdays… I want to pass out on the futon just thinking about it!  This year has been one of change for me as well.  I decided after much thought this year that it was time for me to shake my life up a little.

It started with a trip up the west coast that ended in Portland, Oregon.  I was looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of New York, just a nice, relaxing vacation that would help me unwind.  But something unexpected happened.  Can you fall in love with a city?  I still can’t really explain it, but something in me opened up in Portland.  Out came the need to create with my hands, to draw, to sew marshmallows on a dress and walk down the middle of the street, to take walks in the rain, bike wildly, explore and find a connection between myself and the people around me.

When I got back to Brooklyn I felt… a little lost.  I’m not unhappy with my life here, I love Brooklyn and all the close friends that I’ve made here.  But for the last few months, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I need something else in my life.  I haven’t been able to shake Portland.

You know that saying: when you’re searching for something in your life, oftentimes it finds you.  That phone call that you put out into the universe a few months or years ago is finally returned and perhaps it’s not what you expected.  But it makes sense!  In some weird way, your blind searching paid off.  I feel like that’s true in my case.

For the last few months, I’ve been sketching, dreaming and taking classes.  Lots and lots of classes.  Sewing, wood-working, textile making, screen-printing, ceramics, etc.  I felt like, “OK if I’m going to Portland, I have to create something.”  And create something that is useful and well-made.  I’ve been working my butt off trying to find something I can make… and I think I found it.

To be continued….

Americans, Look!

18 Jun

I caught this video (“The American Look,” 1958) over on Dudecraft this week and couldn’t help thinking about ScoutieGirl and CraftMBA’s Call to Build a Creative Empire.

Right now, as the American economy staggers up and down the stock market, more and more people are turning toward self-employment, creating their own products and marketing their talents as ways of being productive, instead of going to work for large companies and corporations.

Creating something and making a living from it is something that I’m interested in doing myself.  I know that I must be one of many. In the last few months, I’ve noticed a number of blogs and websites begin to offer advice to on running a profitable business from your craft.

But I feel like what’s going on here is more than just artisans and makers getting saavy about the marketplace.

Up until the 70s, the American economy thrived on the services and products made by… Americans!  Made in America was a label found in many places, and our economy and sense of design thrived because of it.  In fact it seems that it was hard to find something that wasn’t made in America before that time.  We made cars, ovens, glassware, typewriters, office cabinets, paper, you name it!  And perhaps I’m going out on a nostalgic limb here, but when you look at something mass-produced from the 1920s-50s, it’s well made.  The average worker took pride in learning a skill, honing it into a craft… and ultimately a beautiful, enduring product.

Perhaps, by helping to build a Creative Empire, we can all take steps towards creating a better future for ourselves and our economy.

I’m interested to know what YOU think about all this.  Building a Creative Empire seems like only the tip of the iceberg.   I’m interested in being part of this movement and whole-heartedly support Tara and Megan’s efforts.  Let’s keep this discussion going!