It’s always been a challenge to make a living as an artist. And like everything else, the world of crafting has changed and grown and since the advent of the internet.
An entire community has grown up of makers who were previously working in isolation, and while opportunities for exposure and selling-points seem to abound: there are Etsy shops and offline meet-ups and blogs and tutorials and images and inspiration, but there’s also a lot of work that goes into building and maintaining this network, and many of those doing the work go unthanked and unpaid.
Becky Johnson of Sweetie Pie Press is one of those who’s making a craft of crafting here in Toronto. Not only is she a crochet-master and a maker of zines and artist-made buttons, but she’s also a long time integral member of the local craft scene. She’s been involved in important craft events around the city including the Good Catch Craft Fairs back in the day, and is the coordinator and co-founder of the City of Craft events.
She’s also a dedicated blogger who uses that platform to (literally) freely share her love of crafting.
Becky builds community connections through her posts about craft and art-related events happening around the city, and recommended boutiques and handmade sellers from around North America, along the occasional free how-to.
Beyond this, though, her blog is also a unique view on the inner workings of a full-time artist’s life: how she spends her time, what she thinks about, what she’s working on.
As she plans her annual summer tour of North American craft fairs and handmade sellers, Becky’s beloved car, “Boris,” has unexpectedly kicked the bucket, and so Becky has started a kickstarter project looking to raise $6500 to finance the road trip. Vancouver’s Got Craft? fair has offered to match donations up to $1000, and so far the project is at nearly $4000, with 15 days to go.
Check out the page and think about giving. If you make a pledge, your credit card will only be charged if the project reaches it’s goal. Beyond the health benefits of giving and the opportunity to be a modern day patron of the arts, you can get something more tangible out of the deal. Becky has set up a reward system for giving that starts at $5 or more, with a postcard from the road all the way to a custom in-your-home installation in exchange for a $5000 pledge. Sure beats the PBS funding drive.
If you’re a blog reader, an inspired maker or artist or a craft event attendee, think about giving back to a community that’s given you so much.