So Etsy…My thoughts on Etsy are wide-ranging. One minute, I love it and the next I don’t. I love what Etsy stands for and what it has done to the crafting community. Yet, sometimes, just sometimes, I think it’s helped create an environment where everyone can sell anything because they can. Now I understand why the website regretsy exists!
As an artist, I completely respect that everyone has an art to share with the world. But not everyone should necessarily be creating certain things. Now don’t get me wrong, as a budding artist, I am definitely proudly guilty of dabbling in different arts and I do believe that with practice and passion comes endless possibilities, but I also think that some people just have a knack for certain arts. Some people are just amazing ceramic designers, while others are not, but maybe they are incredible painters. You get the idea.
I am not trying to rain on anyone’s parade and I would never discourage anyone from following their dream, or from creating. Creating and being creative is rewarding and sometimes life changing, but sometimes just sometimes, I want to tell people, “You can not sell something that you’ve stuck too many scrapbooking stickers on as art. You just can not!” Then I remember that there is a customer for everyone.
What I think really matters is when an artist devotes countless hours and makes countless sacrifices to make a professional and beautiful product. Anyone, including myself in the beginning, can walk into an art store and buy inexpensive bobbins and notions to make something that is attractive. Yet, those days are long gone for me. I find myself buying more expensive items so that my items reflect a higher quality and have a more professional appearance. Or in other words, as I become more skilled, I look for supplies that help project that as well. Because of this, I look at products on etsy in the same light—I want to buy from serious and talented artists. I want to buy from someone who is passionate and it shows in their craftmanship. It’s the same thing that I expect from my shoppers—to expect more from me and my craft.
This is one of the main reasons why I believe and encourage the many artists that are using Etsy to sell gorgeous art. When I find an item or vendor on Etsy that just speaks loudly, I am reminded why I’m following my dream and why I love art; this would be a moment when love Etsy! A great example is from just this week– Etsy introduced me to a vendor by the name of badbooks and I am hooked on her Mail Book!
After I saw the listing for her mail book, I sent her a convo letting her know how much I love this piece and asked if I could feature her on my blog. (My FIRST ever feature, people!) She responded a day or so later saying yes and well, here we are.
You may be wondering why I am featuring her and the truth is simply because her book speaks to me in ways that a product should. It makes me curious. It makes me want to touch and use. It makes me feel. The minute I clicked on her book, not only was I connected through the power of paper and paper crafting, but as a communicator, letter lover, and eco-warrior. I love that she is recycling items to make this book! No harm is done to our planet by the creation of this piece. She is recycling and up-cycling at the same time and that, my friends, makes her worthy alone of being featured on this blog.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, you should always share things that you feel strongly about with positive intent. I am 110% positive intent behind this piece. It’s beautiful! It’s friendly! It’s about paper! Most importantly, the artist has a talent and an art that shines through.
So on to the nitty-gritty details of this product, or rather directly from the mouth of Ms. Helen, is her description:
“Inspired by my love of mail art, patterned envelopes, making books, and recycling.
Each page is a former envelope. Some pages have plastic windows, some have dates etc. printed on. The cover is made from corrugated card. All of which has been through the postal service, so expect some wear and tear.
But here’s the really exciting part.
If you buy this book, it will be sent WITHOUT packaging. Your name and address will be handwritten on the cover and posted as it is, continuing its journey through the postal service.”
Helen, by the way, resides in the wonderful United Kingdom and is a talented freelance graphic designer/illustrator. She loves making books and keeping sketchbooks and idea journals. She can be found as an Etsy vendor selling these wonderful mail books. She also has her own website that you can peruse at your leisure.
Thank you so much Helen for letting me include your work and for being a fellow sister in paper and book designing/loving and planet loving.