Thursday, October 6, 2011


For the past few weeks as I've cruised Google Reader I've noticed tons of DIY's. For some reason some of them started bothering me and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I talked about it with a friend and we came to the conclusion that what is troublesome about some bits of the DIY movement is that it's cheapening independent arts a bit. Let me explain.

It's such an exciting time for all sorts of artists and crafters right now. Etsy and other sites like it have made it easy to shop for just about anything you can imagine made by an artist who puts a lot of love and attention into their craft. A wonderful alternative to shopping in departments stores if you ask me!

So what's so wrong with a little DIY? I don't mind it if someone who has perfected a craft wants to share the details on how to make something they specialize in. That's awesome! Share the love. A DIY post on making a curtain- let 'er rip! A DIY on making some home made ranch dressing- why not?! A DIY post bugs me when you can tell that they are ripping someone else's idea off. Lets be honest, how many things have you seen online that you've thought, "OH! I can totally make that!"? Have you actually made it? Have you tried to make it and it didn't come out quite as nice as the real deal? As someone who has gone the way of Etsy I realize that it takes a lot of effort to do something and to do it well, and have come into a new appreciation for other folks putting a lot of heart into what they make.

I'll be honest, I often see something cool online and think to myself, "Oh I can totally make that" but I know that I either won't actually make it or that if I attempt it- it won't come out as nice as if it was the real deal. And as someone who is trying to make a lil sumptin sumptin I've come into a new appreciation for supporting others who are giving it a go too.

What are your thoughts on the DIY craze?


  1. I completely agree. I personally have the conviction that if you don't really have a talent - don't pretend like you do by simply copying* others... I mean of course everyone is entitled to try new things and write about it, that might even be fun, but at least be honest about your capabilities. Write about how you tried to do this DIY project that you saw somewhere, and then about how hard it was to actually do it... Or what a cool experience it was to do this project... I think it's kind of the same thing with all the people calling themselves photographers these days... Just because you have an big camera with a nice lens it doesn't mean that you actually deserve the title photographer. I just have an iphone and a bunch of apps to make my pictures look nice that doesn't make me a photographer...

    *In general I think it's hard to find blogs that are truly original these days. Every thing is in some form a reproduction of something else... Maybe it's time to call out for a new kind of blogging integrity! Be true to your sources, your audience and let yourself (your own knowledge, capabilities, personality, style, etc.)

  2. This applies to things beyond art as well. I learned the hard way which home improvement projects are worth the DIY effort and which are best left for the pros. (it's never as simple as it looks on TV)

    I have a hard time calling myself a photographer for that very reason.

    But I do think DIY is good for a small percentage of those who attempt something new and become good at it. They become the next generation of experts and hopefully will innovate and add their own flavor to what they do.