When I was setting up this blog, I had to pick a description and this was the only thing that made sense to me–craft life vs. real life. You always hear that phrase, “it’s not personal, it’s just business.” There may have been times in my life when I had issues in the workplace because I disagree with that. The way one does business is based upon their ethics and character. There are companies that I do not buy from because I do not like where their money goes or do not like their ethics and I do not want to make them wealthier and have their profits go to a place I do not like or support. I am not the only one, of course. Many people vote with their dollars.
When I first started making jewelry to sell, I was given the advice that I might want to try to keep my jewelry business separate from my personal life. For instance, on Facebook, I set up my jewelry page, Windbent, to be separate from my personal page. The logic of the advice was that people might not buy my jewelry if they didn’t like my religion, or comments I made. Keeping these things separate would be more professional. I personally felt that I didn’t want to feel like I was constantly “hawking my wares” to my friends and that if they really liked the stuff I made vs. just liking me as a person, that they would “fan” or “like” my Windbent page. But, Facebook being Facebook, there are some pages or group pages that do not work if I do not sign up as myself rather than Windbent. Etsy pulls my profile picture instead of my business picture if I am logged into both at the same time. People whom I have never met get upset if they want to “friend” me instead of “like” me and I say no.
I am now in the position of wondering if I should bother to continue keeping distinctly different web presences? If they merge, do I have to constantly censor and monitor what I say to my “real” friends in order not to alienate people who like my jewelry? The people that know me know I’m sarcastic, that I can be blunt, but also that I have a good heart and I am always truthful. People who don’t know me could really be taken aback by my sense of humor or candid responses–especially online with no proper context to my relationship with another person and being unable to hear intonation or inflection.
Here’s the thought that occurred to me today: aren’t the people that like the way I paint, design and manipulate pieces together my “real” friends? Aren’t these the people that support my artistic vision and are likely more like minded? Are they less “real” than someone else just because they didn’t know me in high school? And if people who know me don’t think what I am doing is great, how can they be sincerely supportive of me?
So, craft life vs. real life is a very valid description for everything anyone artistic does on a day to day basis. If you’re reading this, how do you find that balance?