I have been a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator for almost 16 years. I have taken my business all over the country. I’ve demonstrated in Az, Ca, Co, Tx, Ak, Ny, Fl, Al……you get the idea. I love what I do. It is a way to be an artist without actually have to draw a straight line. I still feel a thrill of magic when I see an image appear on a blank piece of paper. Stampin’ has come a long way since I began back in ’96. Back then, we did a lot of rainbow images and a bit of coloring in….now we use fabric, digital programs, and big words like ‘archival’ and ‘big shot.’ It can be hard to keep a home based business going at times, but I absolutely love the people I meet in my efforts.
I have met some very interesting people. I remember a particularly fun group I met with in Alabama. There were on the younger side back then, early 20’s. I taught them all kinds of cool techniques and we had a good time. One gal in particular had some great questions. She always wanted something just out of our range of images. She wanted stamp images of animals….like wolves….eating each other. Or bats….with blood dripping from their fangs. I sweetly informed here that I worked for “stampin’ up”, not “stampin’ down” and we only had happy images. To each his own I suppose.
Some of the people that came to me to learn ended up teaching me a lot more. I have learned a lot about other religions and ways of life through the people I have met. I was teaching a class on Christmas cards one December and one of my students told me she had already made and sent out her Christmas cards. I was impressed! She then continued the story with her mother’s reaction to her ‘home made’ Christmas card. He mother had called her after receiving the card and asked her why in the world she would send out cards with pictures of Dead Goats on them. The student was and had been an owner of a ‘fainting goat farm’ for years. Apparently, her mother didn’t put the two items together in her head. I’m not sure if the goat in question had any sort of Christmas gear on it like…a ribbon or bow….but I can see why someone would wonder.
I’ve come to realize that everyone has their own opinion of what ‘art’ is. One customer/student of mine made really cute Christmas cards that had red, white, and blue dancing skeletons all over them. Why not? I’m sure there was some deep meaning in those cards that the shallow minded just could not comprehend.
If you look back at art history, there was a time period called ‘Dada’, I believe…or Nada…anyway….it was the time period when artists were the ones that decided what ‘art’ was. They would take things like urinals and turn them upside down, label them ‘fountain’ and call it art. It was art because they said it was art. It didn’t really matter what the public thought. I need to look into this a little more I think. I wonder if I could start my own little movement….what if I say that whatever I write is a bestseller? If I just label it so….will I make loads of money? That would be cool. Although, unlike the dada ‘artists’….I do actually care what people think about it. It matters a great deal to me. I would love to write things that inspired people or helped people have a little more hope and compassion in theirs lives. I guess I’m not a dada writer after all…..cause I said so.
photo credit: http://nursenj.health.officelive.com/images/FAINTING.jpg