Fran did the Tarot reading that I "won" by participating in her writing project on her blog. It was cool, and one of the things that inspired me to begin Page by Page. Anyway, she asked for numbers, and returned the reading a few days ago. It was a very interesting reading, and I'm not going to share much of it with you, really, except to say that it encouraged me to reach out and maybe start something. Something that I've been putting together in my head for a while now.
As must be obvious by now, I enjoy crafts and crafting. More and more, it is where my passion lies. I've heard over and over, from many people, in many walks of life, in many situations, often enough that is has the ring of truth to it: "follow your passion." I've looked at crafting in a lot of different ways, trying to figure out how to make a paying job of it. I'm not sure I've gotten there yet, but I think there is a path to follow, and I may be taking the first steps.
The paths I DON'T want to take are several. There is nothing wrong with them, they just aren't MY paths. I don't want to own a fabric store (or sewing machine store or yarn store). While I love visiting and shopping in these places, and I know people who own and run them have valuable knowledge that I am willing to share, I don't want to have to think of the people I craft with as my customers. I don't want to have to sell them things to make my living. I also don't want to have to figure out something that I can make enough of and sell enough of to make a living. I don't want to have to travel the craft fair circuit to sell sell sell. Again, I don't mind being a customer of people who do this. I'm sure many of them make a decent living, too... it just isn't ME. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not against selling my stuff. I want to do it in a way that allows me to get paid for my time, though. A respectful, artisan way, without a lot of traveling and packing and unpacking and etc etc...
I do, however, have a vision of what my path could be. Or a vision of an idea... or something. It has to do with artisan advocacy. I'm taking my inspiration from several sources, like Penny Arcade, which has basically everything to do with comics and gaming, and nothing to do with crafting. Still these guys are advocates for gaming and gamers online and in person. They now are involved in PAX (Penny Arcade Expo), a convention and expo for games, gamers and comics, and a charity which will probably raise over a million dollars this year. Cool, huh. It's their job (and they even have employees) to follow their passion.
So, what have I done to start me on my path? Well, here locally, there are a couple of outlets for crafty type people to share their work. One is the Dona Ana Arts Council, which sponsors the Renaissance Fair every November. I will contact them, too, but I haven't taken them on yet. The other outlet would be the Southern New Mexico State Fair. I'm going to meet with the person who is in charge of the arts & crafts building/section/whatever of the fair, and talk about some ways to market participation in the fair by more artists, craftspeople, and artisans. I'm rather excited to share my ideas, and see what the next step for artisan advocacy is.