By Abigail Janzen
Has the increased commercialization of a certain holiday been getting you down? Right after Christmas I was already being bombarded with overflowing ads (in my already broken mailbox) of candies and gifts that I just had to buy in order to make friends, family or a significant other feel loved this month.
Just the thought of entering a big-box store to hand over my money for a “gift” that has been mass produced and will likely be forgotten or broken within the year (planned obsolescence) can be depressing.
I find that making or buying handmade gifts is much more rewarding for all parties. In this way, I am supporting myself and/or other local artisan vendors in my own community. We build each other up by purchasing from each other, referring/recommending to others and sharing our skills through demos and workshops.
You can be sure that human rights are respected in the making of the products and are more ecologically sound than mass-produced “gifts.” When buying handmade you are supporting an individual who has put positive energy, creativity and love into the product. The best part is that the receiver of the gift will feel this energy! Handmade is the essence of connecting to the real world and to real individuals who are passionate about their work.
Reconsider contributing to the already overflowing pockets of corporations. Feel good about your hard-earned funds being part of an economic model that truly rewards hard work, talent and uniqueness. Buying and giving handmade is, at heart, a loving act.
So here is my gift to you—skill sharing!
For this art craft, I am recycling and up-cycling materials and items that I already have on hand. The Loteria tablet cards are from numerous games played during Christmas. The frame was picked up months ago at a yard sale and I spray-painted it red. I have a massive amount of cardboard and paper just waiting to be molded into unique pieces. Enjoy!
Abigail Janzen is a founding member of Dulce Upfront, a community multimedia arts collective. She is a fulltime artist and hosts workshops. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.