Kim Werker runs Mighty Ugly. She's a writer and freelance editor whose latest book, Make It Mighty Ugly, is coming in the fall of 2014. Kim tries to make something – anything – every day. Many of those things are awful; some are not. Learn more about her work, teaching schedule and ragtag adventures at kimwerker.com.
Shoshana nearly had a heart attack last Friday when she received an hour’s notice before local CBC online and interactive reporter Theresa Lalonde showed up at our house with a charming cameraman. Thankfully she has a policy never to primp, or she wouldn’t have had time to get ready. I, on the other hand, do primp. It was a frenzy.
Also? It was hilarious and fun. And kinda cool to be on the evening news a mere three days after we launched this project. As I told my grandmother to her delight, we didn’t even have to get arrested.
CBC doesn’t allow you to embed their videos (silly CBC), but you can watch the two-minute clip here (hopefully it won’t disappear in a few days).And After you’ve watched the clip, send some happy vibes to Theresa for creating one of the few crafts-related news segments I’ve ever seen that didn’t diminish the topic with cutesy back-handed compliments or cliches. And more than that, she totally grokked it, so if you’re a little confused about what Mighty Ugly is, watching the clip should clear some things up.
(Note: There is no contest, and it’s not about knitting.)
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: