Thursday, April 28, 2011

Be Positive About Your Art!

Chainmail Armor Vambrace
When I was young I was quite gawky. When I got to be a teenager the gawkiness had pretty much completely set in. I was too tall for my weight and too skinny for my height. I was clumsy and awkward. Add to this entire mix that I had a strong like for math, science, SciFi and Fantasy. People called me nerd, geek and a few things I do not want to mention here. People bullied me and beat me up and made my life miserable.

I guess you might say that not much has changed. I am still quite gawky and awkward. Though now I am over weight for my height and under tall for my weight. People still call me names and if I had not found ingenious ways to avoid fights they would probably still be beating me up. And yes, people still call me names. One important thing has changed over the years.

When I learned how to make chainmail as a gawky, geeky, awkward 13 year old some my have thought that would put the final nail in the coffin so to speak. Here is a kid with no friends and not a really great chance of getting any making something that has been obsolete since about 1400AD Yep, that ought to get him some attention. And attention it did get me.

No one in the area I grew up made chainmail. No one in my area had any idea how to make it. And though there were not that many of my peers that were impressed a few people saw my work and loved it. They were so impressed by it that they asked me to make things for them. Over the years I have gotten really good at making chainmail. I have gotten very fast at it and have created things that people would want to wear in public all the time and not just at a Renaissance Fair or costume party.

Am I the best chainmailer in the world? In my mind I am quite sure that I am. Actually, there are probably a lot more people out there making chainmail better than me. There are probably people out there who make better jewelery than me. There are probably people out there who are much faster than me. But in my mind, I am the best.

My point is, I see a lot of negativity out there in the world. Know where I see it the most? I see it the most in crafters and artists who think everyone is better than they are. Why would anyone demean their own work? I think the whole point of doing what you love is loving what you do. Be the best that you can. I am not the best chainmailer that has ever lived anywhere except my mind. And I am 100% okay with that.

If you craft, if you create art, if you doodle, if you glue macaroni together in the shape of a cabin, more power to you. Even more power to you if you think that you are the best at it. Of course, keep in mind it may not be the greatest of ideas to tell everyone you are the best at something. (That little tidbit comes from experience.) But in your own mind you have created something. You are the creator. You should be happy about it.

You'll find that if you start taking pride in your craft/art that it will bleed into other areas of your life. It could make you a happier person in general. It will at least give you the knowledge that you are positive about your art. Ask yourself why you started doing it in the first place.


  1. I can sympathize with your experiences... It was hard and it is still hard to deal with some things.

    I loved your message of positivity. We don't need to put ourselves and our craft down - there are already too many people doing that.

    Best of luck!


  2. But...I only call you names because I love you. If I could kick the collective asses of everyone who called you a name when you were a kid, I totally would.

    In my book, you are the best chainmailer in the world.

    Now I have to go punch a kitten or something to get all this mushy off of me.

  3. newest follower from the etsy handmadeology team!

  4. I used to be a teacher, really stressed, worked daft 80 hour weeks and thought I wasn't creative... started knitting to destress when I was on longterm sick and discovered that actually, I *AM* creative! Still have days when I wonder why on earth people buy my stuff, but the fact is - they do! So I can't be all bad. You are now the best chainmail maker in my head too :-)