Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Life You Make

Can't get enough of the Craft in America PBS series? We're always hard at work building you new episodes, but in the mean time you can see a preview of fine artist-cum-documentarian Dylan Stryznski's planned short film about craft artists who make their living selling their work at fairs and festivals all over the country. Stryznski has shot a bunch of footage; now he's looking to crowdsource funding to shoot more and edit it all into shape.

From the Kickstarter's mission statement: 

"[The Life You Make is] a story about a particular intersection of art & commerce, community and the essential American spirit...

When I graduated from art school I was lead to believe that the only way to make a living as an artist was by developing some sort of academic fallback or working an unrelated day job while struggling to maintain an artistic practice in the evening. That only 1% of my classmates would be working as artists a decade after graduation was a figure often cited by my professors. Simply put I was taught to believe that real artists didn't really make a living from their work.

In spite of or as a result of all this I was attracted to the idea of traveling and selling my work at street shows. If nothing else it sounded like a great way to spend a summer; seeing the country while paying for it all with artwork. My girlfriend and I decided that it was something that we wanted to try. Fast forward eleven years and it has become for us a way of life. Even at its worst, I cannot imagine trading for any other type of living...

The ideals of these artists often remain un-corrupted by the need to generate income. If anything it is a necessity that drives them to work harder. It infuses the best of their work with a palpable urgency. These artists prove that producing work to sell is not always selling out...

This film takes the audience in to the studios and homes of America’s working artists as well as on the road. It is a story of lives lived to the fullest that can inspire everyone to do it themselves."

For more details check out his Kickstarter here!

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