Have you ever made something for someone that was handmade and you can just tell that they did not appreciate your time/effort/craft/art and maybe they were even bold enough to say, “Ok, that’s nice, but where is my real gift?”
I have. It hurts. I truly believe that those who do not appreciate your work, ultimately, do not deserve your work.
The difficulty remains that those who do not craft nor produce artwork, cannot understand the thought/time/materials/effort/money that goes into each and every project.
Crafters unite. Let us be heard!
When an artist selects the materials needed to make the artwork, they usually have the person in mind from inception of the project. Everything from the pattern, materials required, colour pallet and size of project all take on a valuable role in the end product. The appreciation of the time it takes to sift through patterns, trial and error of perhaps a new stitch, that may include frogging the project many, many times, to getting the proper sizing and colours that work well together, is severely lacking.
Store-bought gift giving seems to be more socially acceptable as fads and trends fuel the present marketplace. Those who buy things at a store (in person or virtual) may have a false sense of guarantee that there will be a happy gift receiver as it may be the newest or best thing on the market.
I believe that a unique gift that is produced particularly for the individual with love in your heart is the way to go. It does involve much more effort than perhaps a click, click, click. It’s unique and personalized. They have stores at the local mall that are all about personalizing items by engraving names, sayings, etc. What’s the main difference? Perception.
When I think about all of the projects that I completed for people who are crafters or have seen what it takes to make something by hand, it makes it all worth while.
The one thing that I would like to highlight for all of those who are not crafters is that there is often a significant gap between what the project costs, including all of the materials and a decent wage/hour, and the price a potential buyer is willing to pay for often a priceless one-of-a-kind product.
I propose that an invoice should be provided with each handmade gift itemizing:
- cost of materials
- time spent on choosing pattern
- element of difficulty (rated by a beginner/intermediate/expert level grading system with an appropriate “tax” for each, increasing exponentially with each increase in difficulty)
- actual time spent on project billed at a wage of at least current minimum wage
Perhaps this could make a difference, one project at a time. Who’s with me???
Let us all remember that handmade items do not need to be “perfect” and very often are far from it. Stand out. Make a statement. Make others jealous that they are not as fortunate having the talent to make such art.
In conclusion, the gift giver is in the power seat. The gift receiver needs to remember that the giver did not have to give the receiver a damn thing.
We should all remember to:
- Respect the giver for making the choice
- Recognize the difference between made-with-love and mass produced
- Be happy with all that you have
Please comment with your experiences with gift giving.