Social Media and Makers: The Saga of Stuff

Stuff. All over social media. Stuff. Stuff that’s new, stuff that will help you do this part of your craft easier, stuff that will help you do that part of your art better, stuff that’s popular, stuff that you want gotta have right now right now right now buy buy buy!

It’s overwhelming just typing all of that.

Every time I go onto social media (the primary people with whom I interact are artists and makers) I’m bombarded with stuff.

“This is THE ONLY ink you’ll ever need!”

“If you aren’t using THIS tool for your canvas, then you aren’t doing it right!”

“If you aren’t using THESE crochet hooks then what are you even doing?”

“Look at these NEW stamps! If you had these new stamps you would be SO much happier!”

Anybody else feel that way?

There’s stuff coming out every week. So many new products.

Now don’t get me wrong; I would absolutely love to have all of those brand new, awesome things. I can’t, though.

And so?

Well, I save my money so that I can buy that product I see everyone using. I save and save and by the time I’ve saved up enough two things happen;

1.) It’s typically now on clearance (Hooray! Clearance makes me happy!) and

2.) Everyone has moved on to the next big thing.

It can be a blessing, though, to not have the crafty things other people on social media are using.

Yes, you heard me right. A blessing.

A friend and I were talking one day and they confided in me that they actually missed the days when they hadn’t had as much. That the over abundance of product they now possessed was actually stifling their creativity.

Let’s use a stamp positioner as an example of how a product can make you less creative. I am only using it as an example. I will throat punch anyone who tries to take my stamp positioner away 😆

If you have a stamp positioner it’s very easy to stamp things evenly and get a great impression.

Let’s say you don’t have a stamp positioner. Let’s say that you have clear stamps but nothing to attach them to.

What do you do? How do you stamp without the positioner? How do you make sure things are lined up neatly and that you get a good impression?

You figure it out by thinking creatively.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with having every single thing on the market. If that makes you happy then by all means carry on, my wayward son 🎶

My point is this; there’s a lot of new products coming out all the time and it can be overwhelming.

Things to remember:

  • It’s okay if you don’t have one in every color.
  • It’s okay if you don’t have the latest and greatest.
  • Your art is just as good as that other person’s even if you don’t have the products they do
  • You don’t need to have every single thing other people have (but if you do and it makes you happy then go for it!)
  • You can make meaningful art without having every product under the sun
  • Sometimes less truly is more

Until next time,

Trees, bees, cheddar cheese,

Samantha

PS

In an upcoming post I will be discussing the impact that product bombardment from social media has on artists who reside outside the US.

PPS

In a future post I will also be touching on not being able to obtain products and the feelings of envy it can cause

15 thoughts on “Social Media and Makers: The Saga of Stuff

  1. I love this article !!! I feel like that a lot!!! Ooo shiny new! So cute must have, then I look and at my my cute new things that I still haven’t used and feel guilty…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely agree that too much stuff stifles creativity. I can’t tell you how many times I have limited my options on a project and how it makes me so happy to be creative and figure out new ways to do things. I often am too overwhelmed in my craft room at the moment to even create in there. That is another topic you could talk about… the art of organization which is a hobby in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback and for the topic suggestion. I think that that would be a great thing to discuss.

      Like

    1. Thank you, Sandhya. I apologize for not seeing your comment before now. I’m really glad that so many people can relate to this 💚

      Like

  3. There are similar threads on Splitcoast Stampers. Most stampers there agree that we’re stressed over the sheer amount of product being released all the time. And disappointed that after you buy something, you can no longer find posts or videos for inspiration using said product beyond what was put out on release day/week. There are very few bloggers who use retired or clearance product based on a misguided fear that viewers will revolt if we can’t buy the same exact thing today. A frequent poster on SCS decided to take the chance after she went on a spending freeze. She was greatly surprised and relieved to have no backlash, and thrilled to have supportive followers. We need more brave bloggers like that… and perhaps a couple challenge sites that actually insist upon the use of older products. The only one I know of still running is Retro Rubber, whose rule is the stamp must be at least a year old. Darnell Krauss used to run a NBUS Challenge (Never Before Used Stuff) but switched gears to a Twofer Challenge, but still strongly encourages using your NBUS or neglected products. Companies must be making money off of us with all of these releases. Until crafters/consumers stop giving in to the pressure, they’ll continue to burden us with more product than we could ever buy. I personally have great reduced my crafting budget this year and after the local stamp and scrapbook expo, I will be on a spending freeze until Christmas as I have all the paper, glue, stamps, and ink I could possibly use in my lifetime. I’m allowing myself crafty Christmas and birthday gifts, but beyond that I really want to put a dent in what I already own.

    I have a possible blog topic for you related to all this. Something that helped me realize I had enough (actually more than I need) was to catalog my supplies. We all dread major overhauls or organizations, but it truly helped me stop buying. I use Evernote to catalog not only my stamps, but ink, paper packs, glitter pastes, you name it! It runs on all phones and all computers… so when you’re at Hobby Lobby and see something you think you can’t live without, you can search Evernote to see if you already own it (raise your hand if you ever bought a duplicate by accident) or if you have something similar enough that you realize you don’t need another. Take butterfly stamps…. we all got’em, and some of us have several sets of them. In Evernote you can tag each product with key words, sentiments, and manufacturer names. I can query for butterfly and see every butterfly stamp I own. Or ‘thank you’ sentiments to compare fonts. Or Easter stamps. You get the idea. Some folks prefer to make a binder and stamp every set and swatch every ink pad. That only helps me for online shopping. It doesn’t help when I’m at Joann and am tempted. There are other apps for inventory control some folks are using for their craft stash. Either way though, when you touch every item you own, get inspired to use them, and realize how many similar things you have and where you have gaps in your hoard, er I mean ‘collection’. I find cataloging helps reign in the spending and the constant need for MORE. I’ve decided rather than be ashamed of how much I have already bought, I’m just more determined to use all those virgin stamps and unused products.

    Sorry I rambled on! This is something I’ve thought about A LOT the last year or so!!! We need to spread the word so manufacturers, bloggers, influencers, etc learn that consumers have met their mental and financial thresholds!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I so greatly appreciate your thoughtful replies. I didn’t know other people have already touched on this topic but I’m glad to hear it.
      The majority of the stamps I own are older. I personally don’t have a single reservation about using things that others have moved on from. I understand why some would, though.
      I feel that if I am using the same things as everyone else then I’m just another flower card in a sea filled to the brim, choking, completely oversaturated with flower cards.
      Whereas if I’m using a stamp that maybe was all the rage a year or three ago (or maybe was never popular) to make a card, it will stand out from the current, trending homogeneous cards that literally all use the same exact products.
      I am very much intrigued by this Evernote app and I think it would be a great blog post topic to try it myself and use that to further address the “stuff-magedon”. Thank you for the suggestion.
      I feel almost guilty as a design team member (although not too guilty as the companies I work with are small) because in a way I’m taking part in perpetrating the further bombardment of products.

      Like

    1. Thank you so much, Flo! I’m so sorry for missing your comment. I really appreciate your support and kind words throughout this whole blog series. You’re a great friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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