Sunday, September 18, 2011

slippery soapbox



Everything looks the same and it’s depressing. This neo-shabby-grungy-romantic style is everywhere (thank you the internet, thank you etsy, thank you belle armoire and the likes). It was quite fun when it first appeared, a nice change, some fresh air but now… everyone seemed to have jumped in the bandwagon..Similar components, similar style, similar background… That you’re inspired by someone or some style is fine per-se, that is how you progress but what I see is more than inspiration…it’s not trying to interpret something you like…it’s channeling something you like and that sells… to me it’s equal to selling your soul… I know, there’s nothing new under the sun… I know there is some kind of synchronicity… I know there is coincidence… but in this internet age, it’s hard to believe in coincidence… do a search on etsy, just a few key words and you’ll get the point… I know, I know.. you have to make a living but does that mean you have to sell your soul in order to sell your stuff? I can understand the appeal this kind of stuff has for both the seller and the customer, and maybe that appeal has to do with synchronicity… you know, these things that tells stories of a glorious past… We live very troubled times, we’re insecure about the future, a lot of us don’t know about our roots, a lot of us have hardly anything left from our ancestors (because those things were deemed as garbage a few decades ago and were thrown away) so we need comfort and we invent a past that never was or we romanticize a past that did exist.. And I’m no different… I love things of the past, things that have lived, things that tell a story… I only wish that the stories told with the stuff I see everywhere were not the same… To me creation, considering there is nothing new under the sun, is about taking some ingredients that exist and making something new from them and it is not taking some ingredients that exist and making something similar (and I don’t say the exact same, I say similar… like it could have been made by the same person) … but don’t get me wrong… to learn a technique you sometimes make things that are similar… but you don’t go selling it and boast about it as being original.. you try to mature it first, to grow out of it ( literally) … but then again… it might not be about creation…just about making a living in a trouble economy, just about being part of the rat race (hope I don’t offend any real rats, they are real cute little creatures)… I talk about the neo-shabby-grungy-romantic style but I could have talked about the steampunk style…but the story is quite the same… a very nice and welcoming change that turned into something close to an indigestion…
Feel free to comment, feel free to throw virtual stones at me, feel free to add nuances to my point of view… and feel free to correct my pidgin English… feel free to share your point of view...

addendum : this post is just a rant... nothing more... It saddens me to see conformity when we ought to see diversity... this said I know there is another side to the medal... I know there are some very creative people out there... I just wish there would be more of them... and all the people linked to my side bar fall into this category... :)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Je comprends tout ce que tu dis et je suis globalement d'accord (nous en avions d'ailleurs déjà parlé par mail).
Mais je ne vois pas très bien où tu veux en venir et j'espère que tu ne vas pas nous faire la mauvaise blague de supprimer ton blog.
J'ai juste envie de te dire de ne pas t'occuper des autres et de continuer ton chemin.
Dieu reconnaîtra les siens ;-)
Bises,
LM

lyle baxter said...

you are so right, but thats history repeating itself ! look at all those who worked in rembrandts style! all you can do is try to do your art work in a way thats exclusive to you . and ignore the rest!we humans are always looking for the "easy" way!

Palimpa Lim said...

Hm. I agree. And I thank you for "saying" out "loud" what I thought so often!
And then again... I don't think that all these neo-shabby-grungy-romantic-people "sell their souls"! Many of them really, really love what they do and are very creative, if you look closer, though you always think that you've seen this one (or a similar one) before. It may be mainstream, okay, but... so what!
I don't have a problem with the neo-shabby-romantic style or the steampunk style or any other style (though I must admit: if I read "steampunk" in the header on etsy, I hardly ever click it), but I have a problem with all the sellers out there who buy cheap chinese metal somethings, add a swarovski bead, hang it from a chain and call it handmade jewelry - or even arts!
I don't mean simple but lovingly handmade necklaces. Sometimes less is more. Oh, yes! But... well... I'm positive you get me...
I think there are sellers on one side and creative people or artists on the other.
Hugs!

Vintage Green said...

I can't even tell you how many times I have "heard" Nina Bagley
say the same thing. In fact I did listen to an interview of her (online) where she covered the subject again . I have also read it again and again on blogs. And I agree with you, blogs and etsy are probably the major cause and culprit of it.(wonderful as they both are) And it's not just jewelry, it's a lot of things. Sometimes I take a break from visiting some of my favorite sites because I DON'T want to be influenced by them. And sometimes I go to a site and think.....I already did that exact thing!!!
When I had work in stores the owners would tell me that people took photos of it. Gee, why do you think???!!!

I love you my dear sister/friend, and believe me, YOU are an original!!!

Anonymous said...

Mais tu as raison ça fait du bien de râler!
Dans les rocailles c'est exactement la même chose. Je continue à aller sur les forum en espérant voir arriver des "petites" nouvelles un peu originales mais je ne vois pas venir grand chose...
Mais au moins, il y a une nouvelle brodeuse ;-)

Air Bohemia said...

I call it "the clever North wind"...when you need to get away, follow your soul, let the wind be your guide...look into the eye of the elephant...or do what I do... ANOTHER BLOG...LOL...

Boy Steph, we must be on the same restless page, I'm so sick of the same shabby white blogs with nothing new, no spirit, no memories, just RETAIL...we need more than inspiration, we need soul and soul sisters!

I think a new name might be in order as well...Estelle...of the starlight perhaps, but it was my Granny's name, you know, the one that threw away my family artifacts...I have none, it wasn't practical for them then...so...this 'wild thing' is what it is...a dreamer!!!

Estelle

Boot ~C said...

I totally agree w/ all you've said here. I also think the magazines are as much to blame as anyone else. instead of showing new works, they choose/encourage the same old thing, issue after issue.The last time I bought Belle Armiore there were no less than 15 floral necklace/bibs. Really? there weren't say a full dozen other ideas we could have seen? And then you have the people that make it w/ their look & whine about being copied(state shaped necklaces w/ a cut out heart anyone?)when all they did was do what has been done before. I am glad you wrote this!

Seth said...

A very thought provoking post. Thanks for highlighting this tricky issue. Originality and creativity are at the heart of every artist so seeing the same work over and over can be disheartening. But the positive side of this is that when a new idea or a twist on an old idea emerges, it is even more exciting and inspiring.

Bohemian said...

Thankfully I create for Bliss & recognize I would never make a living from it and so there is no pressure to perform, conform or care what anyone thinks about anything I Create. I'm thankful that those who have one of my Creations appreciated my hard work and cherish their piece(s) and for me that is the essence of Art... in whatever form it might take... the Creation of something that might delight the eyes, the senses and bring Joy to others and to self. I would have to agree with your assessment, originality can be sparse, especially if it doesn't sell and one intends to try to make a Living at it... I suppose more is made of what is in demand... but what bothers me even more are those who are convinced they invented the wheel... it's all been done before & the inspiration for it is usually either from Nature or another Artist that someone was inspired and/or mentored by... and then, then if you keep at it..., it will evolve into what your Heart and Soul wishes to give birth to in an Art Form. My Hope has always been that all Artists, Crafters and Creative Souls just continue to saturate the World with Beauty... because certainly there is enough ugliness abounding nowadays... which is sad.

Dawn... The Bohemian

alek said...

Everything is there always and its exhausting -
Ionesco
Well sometimes its also exhilarating - i agree - its ups and downs i've got something to send you
And when you gonna post some of this stuff on that devilly etsy....
Oops i've been away for ages and need your address again bzzz i can feel a ramble coming so i'm off to the space acadamy in the stars
Sweet dreams
A