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Ugly and Awesome All at a Summit

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.

Shoshana and famous crafters1. 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).

Mighty Ugly session at the Summit of Awesome1. 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.

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Mighty Ugly at the Summit of Awesome

Summit of Awesome graphicShoshana and I are going to hit the road in a couple of weeks, with a trunkful of Mighty Ugly. We’re chill and modest, so we’re thinking of it as our INTERNATIONAL DEBUT.

The Summit of Awesome is put on by promoters of handmade business Hello Craft, and here’s how they describe it:

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.
The sessions strike a good balance between business and crafts, and I’ll be leading three of them:
  • 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!

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