We’ll be at the very first Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this weekend, doing Mighty Ugly workshops at our booth from 10AM-1PM each day! I’ll be speaking about Mighty Ugly and creativity, too, at 4PM on Sunday.
Come say hello, and get your ugly on!
Here I am with Shoshana and another ugly doll at CBC Vancouver, after doing a wee interview for The Early Edition about the event:
Tomorrow, November 4th, Shoshana and I will spend the day at the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre in Vancouver as part of the Exhibition at the CreativeMix conference. The Exhibition is free and open to the public, so come by between 9am and 4pm! Make something ugly, say hello, and check out all the other exhibits by creative people in Vancouver.
It’s hard to believe the Summit of Awesome has come and gone. I hadn’t been sure what to expect in the weeks leading up to it; I just knew I’d pack Shoshana and all the Mighty Ugly gear into the trunk of my car because it’s too much to take on the train with my own luggage, and then we’d see how it all played out. I knew I’d love seeing my crafty Portland friends, and I hoped I’d make some new ones. I wasn’t sure if people would enjoy an ugly workshop. I was excited to meet Jena Coray and to lead a session with her. I thought for weeks and weeks about how to structure my own session.
And dude, the Summit really was awesome. All of it. Every part of it. Y’all should go pay some love to the people at Hello Craft, who put on the conference. They’re amazing.
I have so much to write about my trip that I’ve decided just to keep it thematic. Mighty Ugly stuff here, the other stuff on my blog. Sorry to make you go to both places, but it was too daunting to do all in one piece!
Ok, so. Shoshana met some famous crafters.
1. Kelly Rand from Hello Craft; 2. Heather Mann from Craft Fail, Dollar Store Crafts and Croq Zine; 3. Ok, no famous person here, but check out Shoshana and her swag; 4. Diane Gilleland from Craftypod; 5. Susan Beal, author, blogger, and jewelry-maker extraordinaire; 6. Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace
Participants in the workshop session really seemed to enjoy themselves. I can’t wait to process the videos. When I do I’ll blog about them here, so for now, take a look at some pics from the session (clicking the link in the caption will take you to that full photo on Flickr).
1. Lee Makin’ Mighty Ugly, 2. Vanessa’s creature wasn’t looking very ugly…, 3. Kelly Draws a Face, 4. Kelly’s Creature, 5. Monica’s Creature, 6. Miranda’s Creature, 7. My Ugly Creature, 8. Mighty Ugly Workshop: Class Photo, 9. Mighty Ugly Creatures from the Summit of Awesome
On Friday, I gave a talk titled Taking the Pressure Off: When Ugly Is Mighty. Lemme tell ya, so many things fell into place for me during the session. So a huge thank-you to all the participants who journeyed with me through that. I loved talking with you all about how we hold ourselves back and how we might benefit from some ugly in pushing ourselves forward. I hope you’ll keep me posted on any adventures you embark upon! And stay tuned here for some fleshing-out of ideas. I have lots to write about.
The post I write on my blog is going to be longer and more rambly. Head on over there for more on the Summit of Awesome. And say hello if we met there! I miss you already.
The Summit of Awesome is an annual conference that brings together crafters and makers from across the U.S. to learn, grow, and be prosperous in this ever-changing economy.
- Mighty Ugly: Challenge Yourself to Make Some Ugly – Without even realizing it, since we were kids we’ve taken on some major pressure to create pretty, good-looking, cute, and dare I say even perfect things. When we have a tough time of it, sometimes we give up. We limit our crafting to the techniques and mediums we feel most confident with. We judge ourselves harshly enough that we even feel great stress. Well let’s turn all that upside-down, shall we? Come spend an hour making a creature that’s hideous. On purpose. Free your mind. Giggle nervously. Relax into the safety of failure, which in this case is kinda pretty. It’s the Mighty Ugly project, and it’s time you took the challenge.
- How to Pitch a Magazine or Blog (with Jena Covey) – Every crafty entrepreneur loves press coverage, but you can’t wait for the press to find you – you have to knock right on the virtual door of media outlets and introduce yourself! We’ll discuss how to pitch your shop and products to blogs and magazines: which publications you should pitch to, the dos and don’ts to include in your intro email, what to expect, how to follow up, how to approach an editor or blogger about writing an article or a guest post, and much more. You’ll find the confidence you need to get out there and start showing the press how awesome you are!
- Taking the Pressure Off: When Ugly is Mighty – Ever have crafts block? The ideas dry up, even when you feel huge pressure to be making things for business or just for fun. Ever have an idea for a new product, but you can’t quite seem to make it look or feel right? Of course you have. As crafters, we spend much of our time striving for beauty and even for perfection, and we avoid the squirmy uncomfortableness that comes with exploring beauty’s nasty underbelly: hideousness. So let’s talk about ugly stuff. If we allow ourselves to go there, we can end up inspired in ways we never imagined, fearless and fuelled up to create magnificently beautiful things. That’s what this talk is about. You should come.
If you’re going to the Summit, make sure to say hello to Shoshana – it’ll be her first time across the border, and she’ll be nervous. We’ll have loads of Mighty Ugly Moo mini-cards to hand out, and I’m going to make up buttons, too. So saying hello to Shoshana will be rewarded with prizes!
When the idea for Mighty Ugly pounced on me while I was riding the bus a couple of weeks ago, I knew I wanted to explore it both online and in person. So I invited a dozen crafty friends over for an experiment last night, and I didn’t tell them what was up.
And I learned a lot over the course of the evening. I was surprised by how uncomfortable some people felt about the goal of making something ugly. I’d anticipated people would dive into the hilarity, and that there would be lots of laughter and silliness. There certainly was a good bit of laughter, but the overall tone of the evening was more serious than I’d thought it would be. Which is not a complaint! That’s why I wanted to do the experiment.
Almost everyone who came sells their crafts at fairs and online, which might be why the discomfort level was so high. When people focus much of their time and energy on making beautiful things that others will buy, it’s very foreign to flout every instinct they have.
I’d certainly like to do another experiment sometime soon, with people who don’t craft for a living.
I’ll share more photos and videos from the evening as I’m able to process them, and I hope some of the participants will share their own thoughts about the experiment. For now I’m most comfortable throwing up a video of myself with no editing. So here I am, talking about Wilbur: