declare your indie-pendence

We hold this truth to be self-evident, that all urges to make are created equal.

While I might blog in the “indie craft” niche, I have built some pretty strong relationships with the craft establishment. Both Megan and I do workshops with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, attend fine craft shows, and coach more traditional craftspeople. As Megan said in her open letter to the American Craft Council: there is “one craft.”

Yet, I’m often asked: what is indie craft?

Um, well, yeah… so… um, there are owls involved?

But, in light of this great conversation that Megan started, I just want to say the distinction is really simple: indie craft is independent.

After all, that’s where the word comes from. Indie craft developed independently of the traditional craft establishment. It’s not afraid to play by its own rules, create new marketplaces, and forge a new customer base. Indie craft is not defined by woodland creatures, sarcastic buttons, or screen-printed tshirts. It is simply defined as “other.”

Indie is not a definition of quality, as some would like to think.

There is all manner of qualitative differences in indie craft just as there are in establishment craft.

Indie craft is an attitude of self-worth, self-confidence, and self-actualization played out in the creations of a new generation, untethered by the established conventions of the past.

Of course, “indie” is applied to many disciplines. There’s indie rock – come one, ya know you love it – and indie fashion. But I’d venture to bet there’s indie yoga, indie religion (trust me on this one), and indie psychology.

In every field, there’s a need for a certain set to blaze a new trail. To define themselves by their own creation, by their own success rather than by the established norms of their discipline. Sure, the result of this independence may be an aberration of necessary standards. But, more often than not, independence from the establishment causes breakthroughs, XTREME creativity, and a surge of fresh blood into aging veins.

What have you declared your independence from? What constraints, standards, and conventions are holding you back?

Today, declare your own indie-pendence and see what you can create.

{ pride & prejudice book purse by rebound designs }

3 thoughts on “declare your indie-pendence

  1. great post, and very timely for me! In my city, I often feel like the only person whose crafting style differs greatly from all the other “indie” crafters out there. No owls, felt, ironic t-shirts, anywhere in my stuff! It sort of creates a “which of these things is not like the other” vibe at some of the craft shows I’ve done.

    I recently had an unsuccessful show and started thinking of ways to make my stuff fit better with what everyone else had — they were selling and I wasn’t, so clearly that was the solution, right?! Yeah, that lasted about two minutes before I realized that abandoning my niche in favor of making mainstream crafts didn’t feel right to me.

    So, thank you for reinforcing this for me and giving me permission to declare my independence from what everyone else is doing!

  2. I declare my independence from mass produced fashion. I have nothing against mass produced anything, I understand it’s benefits. It is just not the right place for my creativity and love of re-purposed materials.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *