A funny thing happened to me this week. Ok, so on the scale whereby death resides at zero and Doug Stanhope resides at ten it wasn’t an eight or a nine but it was certainly a five. Ish. Anyway, I’d been on the Kraken Kreations Facebook page where I’d posted pics of my latest products, namely these deeply funky and festive reindeer, handsewn with buttons and mounted on silver-painted canvas, which will go on sale in my shop nearer Crimbo.
I know, I know, they are frigging gorgeous. Festive without being cheesy, colourful without resorting to traditional colourways. Thing is, not long after posting these pics I got a message from someone telling me that they, and I quote, “just don’t get them”. That’s right, someone had seen my wares and made the effort of messaging me to say that they just didn’t like my product.
Now, kraken lovers, this bothered me. No, not because I am precious about what I make because I go out of my way to create bags, cases, covers and bunting that stand out from the crowd. You know by now that I am up to here with ditzy florals and every conceivable shade of pink and have made it my mission to create antidotes with lime greens and searing oranges. That means I’m more than happy to not to suit everyone. In fact it’s a weird mark of honour.
No, I was bothered because I can never quite get my head around those people who tell crafters directly that they don’t like what they make. It’s weird. It’s as if they’re personally affronted because they have seen a product that they wouldn’t actually buy, a bit like walking through John Lewis and berating every assistant because they sell cheese graters and you already have a cheese grater.
Look, at it this way: I see loads of crafted products that I hate. Skip loads. Yet I don’t feel obliged to tell said crafters that I think their efforts are wasted because someone, somewhere, will love and buy these products with gay abandon. Yes, I gag at every pastel-pink, butterfly-covered ‘home sweet home’ but millions of humans don’t. Then again there are people out there who gag at my turquoise slouch bags while millions of others don’t. It’s called choice and for every item we see that we adore we see thousands of others that we hate.
So if you ever get the urge to tell a crafter that their glittery sock puppets are vile, throw them a bone, simply because they- or should that be we – are providing the world with choice. Unless you want every crafter to sell the same product to the same shape, size and colour try rejoicing in the fact that, out there, are are more ideas, styles, colours and shapes than you ever imagined. That’s got to be worth hating every fifth frame art you see, hasn’t it? I think so. Now, where did I put that lurid psychedelic cotton fabric that I bought a while ago? I can feel another Christmas reindeer coming on.