Saw some beautiful work on FB tonight: Alice steampunk boots. The Australian-based company, Pendragon Shoes, makes all kinds of fantasy footwear. This is some beautiful stuff, and a lot more varied and creative than much of what you see at regional Ren Faires:
And the Alice boots in question?
Beautiful, and clearly, at a glance, handmade. $875, which while I don’t have that to drop on any footwear, to me is perfectly reasonable. I can see how much work and love went into these. Yet people were outraged. Someone posted pics of these and said “$875? Why?” If I have to tell you why…you really don’t get it. And there are loads of women out there who would drop $300+ on designer footwear, which is NOT handmade, but manufactured in bulk, for the sake of a name. These are only for special occasions, you say? A lot to pay for something you wouldn’t wear everyday? Well, I wouldn’t wear designer footwear with sequins or rhinestones every day, either, and I suspect that if I did, these would hold up better.
No, this isn’t an ad for the company. But it reminded me of the reaction I often get to my puppets. Also handmade, taking about a week to do (with a lot of downtime for drying, painting, baking, etc). I price those from $60-$220 (only one goes above $200) and while a lot of people do get it, most don’t. They jump back as if burned when I tell them the price.
Stumblebum (above, $165) and Baphie, as examples. (Baphie got broken in transition from the last Con, but he was never for sale, and is repairable). Fully articulated, you can tell they’re one of a kind and not off a shelf from any store.
Again, not an ad. I’m just pointing out: respect artists and artisans. It’s sad what we’ll pay for mass-produced crap, yet we would turn our nose up at things like this, or hand-carved furniture, or paintings, or anything creative, unique, and beautiful. And then we tell our kids to stifle those creative outlets, not to rely on them, because who can make a living doing that?
This is why!
If it speaks to you, sings to you, touches your soul…maybe it should be yours. And maybe the artist deserves to be paid fairly for their ability, much like any other skill. Support the arts, and let more beauty into the world.