Why Craft Wars?
As Marylena and I watched Craft Wars last week I started getting anxious. Hole-E-shit we’re going to be on NATIONAL TV!! Our episode airs tomorrow, August 21st, at 8pm on TLC. I will be the Igor to Marylena’s handmade apron wearing mad craftientist. It was quite the experience for us with a lot of deadlines, pressures and contracts. Now we get to see how we get “painted” to a national audience.
I was worried about the flack I might get from artist friends. Being on a show including a judge who made/makes his fortune with Glitterville might seem to be blasphemy…but the key word here is fortune. Stephen Brown is a multimedia mogul, DIY apostle, and a gateway to the arts. YES crafting can be, and often is, the gateway drug for the arts. How many artists interest in making happened when they were kids making model airplanes, working in woodshop, cutting out collages, or gluing rocks together to make something? Crafting rules!!
The people making a living on their art/ crafting careers are multi media marketers. Christa Assad is a Carhart model (she’s on a poster at our local hardware store), Kristen Kieffer has a great tutorial DVD, Ayumie Horie is a web marketing mastermind, and Brian Jones has a great podcast that everybody should hear who is a maker. The key with these people is not only the quality of their work but their careers. They are not just marketing their work but who they are and in the process use all forms of media to promote. You don’t make a living off of your work you make a living off of your interdisciplinary approach to your career. From gearing up for our cable debut (blogging, FaceBook Fan page, updating my website, taking images of work…etc, etc) making work is just a part of what goes into making a career. My work was a large part of why I was even considered for many of my past and present teaching positions. I have a deepened appreciation for all that the above mentioned people do.
Regardless of the outcome with Craft Wars there is no good or bad PR. There is just PR. If all goes well then great! But who wants to look at your vacation pictures of the beach or the great time you had? They want to know how customs did a strip search after that horrible flight through the thunderstorm and you found a tarantula in your underwear drawer at the hotel. In the end it’s all about how the story gets told and we have no control over how TLC angles it.