I stumbled across the most beautiful blog entry. Check it out here. And it made me stop and think.
I have always experienced crafters as extremely generous. Ask for help on a message board and people are immediately ready to offer their support and ideas. Run out of something at a crop? Six people will usually offer you theirs. I know that I am always thrilled to help a crafter in need, whatever it is.
But then, there's a weird thing called public recognition.
Don't get me wrong. I think that there are many people who are deeply generous with their time and expertise. But, there's some weird cut throat stuff that goes on too. From secret message boards to accusations of design theft to actual theft, we seem to be fighting a lot. Some examples:
1. I belong to an e-mail mailing list for art quilters. There has been a spate of negativity about people who come on to announce that they've been accepted into a quilt show or won a contest. "How do you think it makes those of us who didn't get in feel?!"
2. I frequent a scrapbooking message board where a poster was recently caught stealing layouts. She posted other people's work (including their photos, some of their family) in her gallery.
3. I recently took a beading class where we didn't finish the project in class. So, I decided to take the project on a trip with me. I didn't want to carry around the entire folder full of instructions, so I decided to photocopy part of them at a reduced size. No go. The words "copy, copy, copy, copy, copy" came up in big black letters across the text.
I think all three of these events are related. Number three is based on fear of number two. Number two is based on wanting the success of number one.
I guess the question is, is it inevitable? Do a few rotten apples spoil it for everyone else? Are we overreacting? Not reacting enough?
I don't know.
But, in light of the warm and wonderful blog entry from Poppalina, I vow to do my best to continue to bring a spirit of generosity to the table. For me, craft is about creating something personal. All of my artwork expresses who I am in literal or figurative ways. I choose to share it (and myself by extension) freely with my friends, family, and over the internet. I'd like to think that that's not something I'll ever regret.
Thanks for listening.