Crafts in the UK will be disproportionately affected by Brexit

The first time I realised craft related businesses were going to be disproportionately affected by Brexit was on Hilltop Cloud’s recent newsletter, Katie assured customers that they shouldn’t feel “guilty” about the sudden discount they were going to receive due to the pound crashing. Afterall, she is getting paid the same…

Problem is, soon her suppliers, and her supplier’s suppliers are going to make increases, and soon small business margins will be further squeezed. This will happen across the entire market.

The next sign, Artesano today announced on facebook they are ceasing trading.

“We have made our best efforts to get stock moving and to fulfil all orders, but once the Brexit was announced last week, our main suppliers took the view not to continue delivering to us.”

We’re not even OUT of the EU yet technically, and it’s starting already.

Small businesses struggle, that is a given. I don’t think this supplier issue was the only factor in their closing up today. Artesano was working on changing their business model, they were trying something new with online sales and new distribution.

Small businesses have to be nimble and take chances to adapt. They have to deal with smaller margins, and smaller scales. There isn’t a lot of “wiggle room.” Running a small business is a risky business on the best days…. but this is going to be like nothing else.

All the businesses we love are at risk right now. Small businesses are often labours of love, and sweat equity, and don’t benefit from big investment. They don’t have the wherewithal to weather this crisis.

As crafters we’re going to notice this most quickly. These businesses rely on other small businesses, they have smaller, niche markets, and they rely on international supply chains.

 

Vultures may delight in picking among the discounted detritus of crashed businesses. I just feel like saying, I hope you’re happy now. It’s positively infuriating.

I’m going to a local meeting tonight to see what is being planned, how we can advocate for our communities, and work towards solutions. I have to do something, because it’s all looking a bit hopeless right now.

 

 

My first best friend was a refugee

Bit of an odd title, but it seemed to only occur to me *today* that my first best friend was a refugee. I was reading Fecility Ford’s article “The Political is Personal.” This post is sort of a tangent from her main point, but I was struck by her description of her child hood, in primary school with many kids who spoke English as a second language. I suddenly realised, and I understood what this meant. I don’t think I had considered how I came to have a first best friend from Laos.


I was around 5 or 6 and I lived down the street from Milo. She was my first real friend. (I had had imaginary friends too.) Her brother Shu-tung (which I thought was a nickname “shoe-tongue”) could ride a 10 speed. I thought he was amazing. Milo could do flips on the railing on the stairs near her house. I thought she was amazing.

We would practice flipping with one leg over that railing til we were dizzzzzzy! You had to wear jeans, because -let me tell you- how much it hurt to do that with bare legs! But Milo could. She really was amazing.

We would explore what I thought was a giant wood behind her house. We’d walk down to the big huge tunnels, scream and get deadly scared. There was a cold, cold stream of water running to the tunnels. We’d try to catch scurrying crayfish. I liked to watch them in the water. We’d put things in the water and watch them float into the tunnels. Horrifying!

I would go over to Milo’s house for dinner. Her mother was so nice to let me go over. My mother told me so. I loved the smell of the dinner cooking at Milo’s house, and the warm fog of rice steam.

I missed Milo so much when she had to move to Springfield. I missed her, and her family. Whenever my mother cooked white rice, I insisted on getting her to put more water in it.

It wasn’t until years later, when I lived in Taiwan that I learned it was probably congee which she served. The smooth rice porridge has a distinctly cozy flavour. It really brought me back in the way only smells and tastes can.

I knew Milo came from far away. I knew it was “on the other side of the earth and you could actually dig a hole to get there.” I knew she was from Laos, that she was Laotian.

I didn’t know she was a refugee. I wouldn’t have known what that even meant.

Until years later, when I was in junior high, and we learned about wars and the truly terrible things. I learned from fellow students of their experiences escaping, literally – on boats. As a young boy, one of my classmates had escaped on a boat, with his entire family from somewhere in Korea. I knew that Milo came through similar circumstances to live in the US.

I realise better now what that meant. And just how lucky I am to have met her and her family. But when I knew her I was really little, I couldn’t have imagined our lives any other way.

She opened up a whole world to me. I never forgot Milo, and I was always inspired by knowing her. I think I was proud in some way. I loved to tell people my first friend was from Laos. It’s one of those things I’ll tell you about me, it’s part of who I am. Knowing her really had a huge effect on me. She made me want to travel and meet more amazing people who could do amazing things.

Of course, in all the great places I’ve lived I found out we aren’t all that much different…

And out there, there are people, like us, in terrible need… refugees – who could be future friends and neighbours.

The political really is personal. Indeed.

I decorate with sound

This post was inspired by listening to A Playful Day’s interview with Felicity Ford of Knitsonik. I recommend it highly! What a great adventure in sound, something I didn’t realize was so important. I am funny about sound, and I didn’t even know it.

I decorate with sound. I have certain bells on different doors in my home.  We’ve moved a lot. I’ve moved a lot. Since I lived in Taiwan I’ve had this little black bell. This to me is the sound of home. I hear the bell and I know I’m home.
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I have small “noisy” decorations on other doors too. These mark going through rooms. They announce if someone is coming. They remind you that you’re home.

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Sound is actually far more important to me than I thought. My husband’s voice is very important to me, and I am very sensitive to “ticking” and “drips” kinds of sounds others find innocuous. Anywho! After listening to the episode, I think I can’t “unhear it,” amazing.
So do listen to this episode of A Playful Day – an interview with Knitsonik. As the host rightly points out you may have to listen to it in two sittings, but it’s worth it! I will likely listen again, to be honest.
Felicity spoke about the soundscape around us. She prompted the listener to remember a sound, and explore sound memory. I paused the podcast and got the most amazing memories. They were mixed up with remembering smells. I can rarely remember smells. Try it!
She also spoke about the connection to knitting. The title “Knitsonik” describes her focus. The connection is about marking time in sound, and marking time in stitches. I really never understood the connection until then.
 Great stuff!

How much scaffolding does your creative class or workshop need?

I’ve been very lucky to have gone to a few creative knitting and spinning workshops. Apparently, I’m obsessed with colour work, hence I’ve taken TWO classes on it! This of course led me to compare the experiences and reflect on the differences.

http://www.kariebookish.net

Samples by Karie Bookish

I love learning, but I can’t help myself also paying attention to how the workshops or classes are run. As an experienced trainer I tend to be critical of teaching approaches. I’m always looking at how instructors address a topic and what that experience is like for the learners. Even though my experience is in technical training, it turns out the most important concepts are the same.

  • Let the learners be the heroes. Give them ways to personalize the content and express themselves.
  • Create a context for learning and problem solving. An obstacle course of problems to solve is better than a cable car with a specific path and outcome.
  • Demonstrate steps, provide instructional supports. They need to see what you are doing. Scaffolds and support helps!
  • Give increasing independence over to learners. I do, we do, you do.

Learning can be scary and frustrating at times. The amazing thing is right at the point someone is confused they have a chance for a pivotal learning experience. As a teacher you need to give learners space to get confused and generate problems and good questions. Sometimes you have to let the students make mistakes, so they experience it for themselves. It’s a leap of faith.

For example, I was teaching spindle spinning the other day.  Though I had explained and demonstrated that the “leader” (helping you spin and anchor the new yarn) should be coming from behind the hook (else it might slip). The learner had hooked it from the side, and I knew it was going to slip. Instead of correcting her, I stopped myself and let her make the mistake. The leader slipped and then I called her attention to how she had it hooked. From then on, she certainly knew how to hook the leader on.

Of course, if you have a classroom full of people making lots of interesting mistakes like that you will get some chaos. Structure can help. The more novice learners are, the more structure they need.

What is scaffolding?

When you’re teaching skills you need to give the learners just enough support so they can work on a task without feeling lost. If I’m doing what I’m already capable of, then I’m not learning anything new. There is a  “Zone of Proximal Development” in which I can do tasks just beyond my reach- with some help.

Public domain image

With support, I can extend what I’m able to do, and develop new skills and understanding. In teaching theory, this is called “scaffolding.” Scaffolding could be samples, a demonstration, a template, printed resources, and ad-hoc coaching. Scaffolding balances hands-on practical work as well as demonstration and theory. The supports you provide help a learner understand the steps to take so they can begin the work knowing what to do, and yet be able to make the important mistakes which are pivotal to their personal learning experience.

For the learners, depending on their level of patience, a certain amount of tension will build up to where they literally want you to GET OUT OF THE WAY so they can get started. If you’ve ever taught children, you might have had the experience where they grab something out of your hands. They are like a coiled spring ready to try it out. Demonstrate too long, and you’ll bore people and fizzle out that excitement. However, if you launch too soon, you send people off in all sorts of directions.

Too much open-ended hands-on practice will leave novice learners really confused. (‘How do I do this? What am I supposed to be doing?’) Too much theory/demo can put experienced learners in a passive mode, especially if they are familiar with the content. (‘Ugh, when are we going to get started? I know this stuff already!’)

What kinds of learning supports and scaffolding do you use?

The notion of “learning styles” is one of those theories that sounds so intuitively right, but is so completely wrong, and has been debunked many times but still persists. We’re all visual learners, aural learners, tactile learners: we’re all that – depending on our physical capabilities. We all need to interact with new concepts in multiple ways. The supports you provide can help learners benefit from all the modes.

Samples by Karie Bookish

Colourwork samples by Karie Bookish http://www.kariebookish.net

There’s a scale from low interactivity to high activity with the different learning supports you can provide in creative workshops. The trick is to ensure you use a blend of learning supports.

  • Samples: Let learners interact with completed samples or samples-in-progress. By looking at example work, they can get an idea of how techniques are used.
  • Lecture: Passive learners listen to a speaker, focus on theory or concepts. Can be more interactive with guided discussions.
  • Demonstration: Passive learners observe someone working on a specific task. Most hand-work requires demonstration.
  • Handouts: Learners can follow printed instructions or use worksheets to complete tasks. Hand out notes of main topics, links and references for learners as well. If you mention a book or a service, tell people about it.
  • Discussion: Learners develop questions and use dialog to express their understand and more experienced instructors provide correction as they form the mental concepts.

You can combine them in varying amounts depending on the content and the experience levels of your audience. For example, you can capture learners’ attention for a lecture or demonstration; and then let them work and practice using samples, templates and handouts. By using discussion, you can help give learners a chance to explain their budding sense of comprehension and you can also provide correction.

A comparison: A class versus a workshop

I notice in the craft world we use the terms class and workshop interchangeably, but I think we can make a more clear distinction between classes and workshops.

  • Class: Some theory, a structured schedule, specific activities.
  • Workshop: Little theory or demonstrations. Learners work in a less-structured, self-directed manner with expert support.

I wouldn’t make a value judgement – one is not better than the other.  However, I do think certain topics and certain audiences benefit from different approaches.

I was able to attend Karie Westermann’s Scandinavian Knitting class at The Glen Gallery in Culleybackey (of all places!) last Saturday. She was very clear in her approach, and she gave us ways to experience the concepts in a hands-on way. At one point she joked we were going to “wreck the shop” which meant hunting around for colours in the shop to find colour combinations, after she had explained some colour wheel basics. This gave us a low-risk way to play with colour and consider how they would affect a design. Then, when she picked up the colour theory again, we had all taken some time to consider these effects, and we could compare the choices others had made. Karie also gave us a way to be creative if we wanted to with custom designing on graph paper, or follow the specific sample design. Having that suited some participants better. This simple hands-on activity of colour picking also let us feel like we were getting started on something without getting into the main project without guidance. Design, afterall, was one of the learning objectives of the course.

In comparison, at Hazel Tindall‘s Fair Isle Colour Work workshop earlier this year, we got immediately to work with little demonstration or theory. We sat down to a pre-knit cuff and immediately got started on a specific design in which we all did one of two patterns. By limiting the project to two specific designs, we could focus on the practical skills of holding the two yarns, colour dominance and tension. We didn’t touch on design because it wasn’t a learning objective of the course.

As people came up with questions, Hazel would collect people with a similar question and answer that in an ad-hoc demo. I think this is a classic example of a workshop model. We were working along with an expert available to help us over our individual hurdles.

In a way, I felt the workshop probably suited many of the participants who were already experienced in colourwork, and had specific technique questions. It’s possible they would have been annoyed by basic introduction or demo in a more structured class, and just itching to just get started. Hazel has lots of experience teaching, so she knows what suits these audiences.

There was an enormous selection of colours to choose from, but we didn’t engage in a specific discussion about why you’d choose certain colours over another, or what effect it might have.  I was probably one of the people who felt a little lost since this was my first time attempting to use two colours at the same time. Though thankfully I had read through Knitsonik’s Stranded Colourwork book so I had a good idea about colour and contrast.

I observed as someone knitting next to me started working with colour choices that didn’t have much contrast. I didn’t feel it was my place as a fellow student to say anything, but in the end, she certainly learned how important colour intensity and contrast is to colour work. In a workshop you are given space to make mistakes so you can learn what you need to. Each person will have their own individual hurdles.

To compare, you could say that Hazel’s class was more hands-on, while Karie gave more theory and concepts. One wasn’t better than the other, it’s down to your learning objectives you have and approach suits what kinds of learners you have.

Novice learners will benefit from more structure, and experienced learners need more open-ended practice and a chance to get coaching on-demand.

Workshop planning tips

A definition of good training is the right content for the right audience at the right time. In real life, however, you will end up with a room full of people with mixed abilities and experience. This makes it hard if you have novices alongside more experienced learners who all need different content and different times. Here are some tips to help plan your workshops.

Define who your learner is: What is are the prerequisite skills required? This will help you limit what you need to cover and help communicate to potential participants if this is the right course for them.

Define your learning objectives: What is the special focus of your workshop? What are the main things you want people to take away? What can you cover in the amount of time you have? Prioritize and review what is important. For example if a specific technique is a priority and you don’t have time to delve into design, limit what designs are provided.

Warm-up activity: Provide a simple activity to warm up without throwing absolutely everything at the learner. In her spindle spinning workshop, Abby Franquemont lets people draft and spin fibre right in their fingers before they even touch a spindle. She also shows making yarn with a stick and pretty much teaches you the evolution of the spindle while letting you experience in a low-risk activity.

Create an obstacle course: In the example I gave above, Karie’s course emphasized design by letting learners look at design sources, and draft their own design on paper. As a comparison, Hazel left this element out of her shorter workshop, so learners would focus on colour and knitting technique. Define what activities will highlight the learning objectives.

Bonus and challenge activities: Planning small detours for more experienced learners can give them something to work on, while novice learners catch up.

Demonstrations: Practice and prepare your demontrations. Keep them as brief as possible for people to get started. Give just enough information. Provide printed materials with notes about the tasks and concepts.

Step away: Give learners space to make mistakes, especially ones which they can do with low-risk. Don’t pounce on learners right when they are about to make their own discovery. Instead, stand back and provide support and prompt insight with questions.

Dealing with larger groups: Depending on the size of your group, you may or may not have time for general introductions or discussions. You can let people speak in small groups however, and elect one person to report to the larger class what they learned or discovered.

And most importantly…

Get feedback: I think it’s odd that at almost every in-person creative workshop I’ve ever done, they never ask for feedback. I find that strange. As a teacher, I crave feedback, and work hard to make sure I get it. It’s the only way I can improve. Bring your own feedback forms, make them anonymous and tell people how much you appreciate feedback.

I hope that helps! If you have questions about planning workshops, I’d be happy to help. Ping me for a virtual cup of tea via Skype chat or Google Hangout to talk about planning your next workshop.

Why I turned off my IFTTT recipe for auto-posting Instagram to Twitter

Isn’t it annoying that Twitter will show “cards” including a summary and image in your twitter feed when you post most links, but it won’t show images from Instagram links? When you share via Instagram you do have the option to connect several networks and automatically post to them. However when you do, your image won’t be included on Twitter. I always found this annoying when I see others share these updates. I call it a #zombiegram. See? No picture.

zombie-gram

At one point, Twitter used to show Instagram images in the main flow of twitter stream, but they turned it off in 2012. Sure, why show media from a competing social network? (Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012.) So for the last few years people have come up with some work arounds.

If this then that to the rescue?

An obvious solution is to re-post the same image manually on Twitter after you use Instagram (nicer filters of course!) But why does that extra few clicks seem like a giant pain?

Instead you can use an IFTTT recipe. The “If this then that” recipes can be used to set up lots of automated services. It’s a rather cool tool! For example, Get an email if there will be rain in your area tomorrow or Tweet your Facebook status updates.

To deal with Twitter ignoring Instagram images, there are a few recipes that will automatically post your Instagram picture as a native Twitter image, and link to your full Instagram post.

There’s two annoying things about this.

  1. Often users have different instagram IDs from their Twitter IDs. Why this is so is completely beyond me! FYI – If you use the native Instagram share to Twitter it will correct the ID if the user has also connected their Twitter account.
  2. Unless you’re really careful how you write the first characters of your Instagram post, you’ll likely get cropped @mentions and #hashtags.

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Still a Zombiegram

My other main problem with this is it means your Instagram > Twitter post is still a zombiegram. I notice that when people I follow on Twitter use either IFTTT or the native Instagram sharing option, it’s like a ghost of a post. All the action is over on Instagram and the Twitter share is merely a residual image.

Unsurprisingly, most of the creative people I follow are heavily focused on Instagram. Being a visual social network, it lends itself to artists and craftspeople. So even though the native images are on Twitter, they still aren’t interacting on Twitter. I interact with the Twitter pics and then I realize the conversation is elsewhere anyway. You would still need to click through to the original Instagram post.

Control what you post

Another strange effect I noticed after I set up IFTTT is that I was limiting posting Instagram as much knowing it would go to Twitter. I’m usually pretty careful about what I post on Twitter or how frequently I post. I worry about “my mix”, because my Twitter feed is a weird combo of craft/marketing/technology. I don’t want to drown people in yarn on Twitter. When I was just sharing on Instagram, I didn’t seem to mind sharing frequently, where I know it’s going to be all craft/nature/travel. Over there, it’s more clear why people are following my posts. On the other hand, I rarely share political images on Instagram.

So here’s a solution! Instead of auto-posting everything you can choose what you post. There are two useful options:

  1. Be more selective. Use the Instagram to Twitter IFTTT recipe where you can use a hashtag to mark which Instagram posts to share on Twitter.
  2. Use Tumblr as an intermediary, so you can select to just share to Tumblr those things you want to post to Twitter. Here’s a tutorial.

The thing is, I don’t think I’m going to use it. I’ll go back to sharing selected images manually. I actually don’t use Instagram as much as I intend to. I don’t pay attention to what is happening on Instagram as much as Twitter, but I’d like to. I like that it’s less spammy, less newsy, and more easy to control what I see. I don’t mind that it is an escape from reality. I like that sometimes.

So for now, I’m turning off my auto-tweeting of my Instagram images, and I’m going to probably be sharing more on Instagram too @nearlythere

Affordable art: More accessible than ever

I would kindly request that people stop buying mass-produced prints from dead artists. Art, real art by living artists, has never been more accessible and affordable than it is now. As a BONUS,  you get more than just some decorative objects in your home. Houzz, a decorating site, argues that original art “brings richness and personality to the home — factory-made furniture and slickly printed posters simply cannot compete.” You might be thinking that original art is way out of your budget and only for rich snobs. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Start your collection

In the day to day of life, it’s easy to forget The Big Stuff That Matters. Look around your walls. Are they filled with gigantic printed posters? Department store prints? Are your walls blank? That’s sad. Your walls or shelves can be windows into a vision of a world you want to live in; they can make you smile; start conversations with guests; remind you of what you value and hold dear.

Having that vision expressed by living artists who speak your local or cultural language-or use images from your region- will be more evocative and meaningful. Likewise if they are artists from other places in the world you love. This is why living with living art is wonderful.

Collecting art for profit is for a**holes with no taste. Collect art because it means something to you. Because an image or object expresses something that you can’t say in words. Because it reminds you of who you want to be.

Set a budget to get an idea of what is affordable for you. Perhaps you will budget that you can spend 1% for art each year. If your salary is 20,000 you might set your budget to 200. Or if your salary is 60,000 you might spend 600. You don’t necessarily need to spend it all in one place. If you have a grip on debt and reduce spending on dumb stuff you don’t need, you will find you do have money you can dedicate to collecting actual art. Most of the pieces I’ve bought have been between £20 to 200.

The Arts Council in England has a good guide to buying art which includes some terminology about art, media and formats if you’re unfamiliar. If you’re in the UK, there are also a number of schemes to help make art more affordable by providing interest-free loans to purchase. Own Art can turn an art purchase into a manageable £10 a month payment, and there are the same programs in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Why buy art by living artists?

There’s something magical about having a piece by a living artist. You can own something they have touched and created out of nothing. You can own something that never existed before. And it’s wholly unique and yours only. That is special.

Artists choose a challenging life, often of incredible frugality because they are compelled to say something about the world we live in. You might think they are “living the dream” but it is an arduous path of self doubt, solitude, introspection, rejection; altogether more lonely than you think. They are providing a valuable service, though we make a terrible mistake when we compare them to essentials such as doctors. Artists are tastemakers who influence material culture and express something unique about life and our time. They continually slough off the previous generations’ vision and replace it with a new vision that better reflects our time.

You don’t owe anything to artists, but supporting them by purchasing their artwork has a massive positive effect on their lives. Once you start supporting artists, you may find you feel a warm connection to them and want to follow their progress and help promote them. You become a fan and supporter. I bought a painting from Amanda Blake and I love to follow her progress, and share images of her new work. This is a very different relationship than buying a printed poster by a dead artist, because I might actually be helping her gain an audience.

I was touched by Amanda Blake’s painting of a woman sitting with so much stuff, memory and nostalgia. I can certainly relate to that.

Amanda Blake

Discover in person

Keep an eye out for ‘studio open days’ where groups of artists in a local area will decide on one day to invite the public in so they can view work. Go with a friend, visit studios, meet artists in your area or maybe in a city or town you love to visit.

On the first Thursday night each month, Belfast has an art event, Late Night for Art which can make it easier for people to access galleries and see what is going on in person. Your local art community might have similar events. Keep an eye out for ‘small works’ exhibitions at galleries. These shows offer an opportunity for you to see smaller and usually more affordable pieces of art. In Sligo, Ireland, the Yeats Society has an annual small-works exhibition where you can snap up lovely sculptures and paintings.

Independent restaurants and cafés also often have artwork for sale by local artists. The Rabbit Rooms in Bangor have a great selection of work. For example, they have paintings by Andrew Hamilton of MyTarPit.com I purchased this one a few years ago. I love the way he transforms unloved prints and paintings into something fresh and fun. This creature has a sewn on sparkly laser zapping this cottage.

My Tar Pit

Art schools have their shows in the spring and summer. These degree shows are a good chance to see affordable art and support someone and have a positive impact on their lives. There’s so much great work, and very affordable.

Student shows are great! I was amazed recently at a student show at GMIT in Mayo. I was delighted to make my purchase and see the little red dot get placed next to this painting by Ciara McCormack. This meant the painting was sold and it would be coming home with me soon after the show finished. Ciara did a series of paintings from film images, she also staged scenes, filmed or photographed them and then painted them. I loved the narrative quality and movement in this isolated figure on a height.

by Ciara McCormack
Discover online

Pinterest and Instagram will help you discover and find artists. On Pinterest, start searching  something you’re familiar with and you know you’d like. Abstract or figurative (realistic)? Colourful or muted? Painting, Prints or Collage? You can even start by searching for specific artist names or genres if you’re familiar with some of those.

For example I was searching for a gift for a dear friend of mine. She loves French surrealist artist Odilon Redon, whose evocative images came from his from dreams. If I start there, and look on Pinterest I can see there are people who have boards dedicated to ‘Surrealist art’ or ‘Symbolist art.’ These folks might pin images from dead artists like Redon, but they also pin works by contemporary living artists. This is where you can find familiar topics and connections. Pinterest is a great resource to find similar work collected by casual curators.

Prints, editions and multiples

You may find that single original objects/images/sculpture are just beyond your price range. Some artists will create editions of their work. They might have a concept or idea they want to explore in several ways.

I was talking with an artist friend recently which made me think about affordable art. She doesn’t believe in making $5000 USD easel paintings. She actually wants to make art people can afford. There is a populist legacy in art that many contemporary artists are dedicated to. If they can’t sell their original paintings at low prices, they produce high-quality prints. Some also produce multiples of sculptures and objects.

For example, David Hochbaum is an artist who combines media (photography, drawing, painting, sculpture) to create magical images and dream objects. He does multiples of certain works, where there’s a slight variation between the objects in a series. This could be why he was able to make this a more affordable item.

I found something quite special in his collection that will be the perfect gift for my friend. Two little bird houses, standing in conversation. It refers to an in-joke we’ve had since highschool. I was nearly in tears when I saw it – it’s just so perfect! I knew this gift would tickle her brain, remind her of her dear friend who loves her when she passes by it in her house. I also know that because it’s by a living artist, that thrill will crackle when she thinks of how special it is. Here it is on her shelf at home🙂

David Hochbaum - Affordable art

So don’t think that art is out of your reach.  Of course I’ve pointed out events and locations nearby me in Ireland, but it’s likely you have a cafe near you, or even an art school near you getting ready for their Christmas sale. Keep an eye out and give it a look. It will likely be more affordable than you expect. Art has never been more accessible, enjoy it!

If you have discovered some affordable art, I’d love to hear whose work you purchase, where you bought it and why you chose it.