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: