Treating yourself or someone else you love to a work of art is magic. I think it’s that special touch of the creation, of it being touched by the hands and soul of the artist that makes it so very special. It’s not only hand-picked, it’s hand-crafted, it almost like a living thing born in the imagination of the maker, shaped by their passionate work and dedication and delivered with a smile, a secret happy dance and a hand-written note to warm your heart.
It does fill me with hope seeing how the second lockdown has opened up a whole new world of artisans to us. All of them who before that have been hiding at arts and craft fairs across the country, small local shows, small local shops. Don’t get me wrong, it’s devastating seeing the impact the quarantine has had on small businesses, it is a deep, painful loss. And just like when loosing something very dear we have the power within us to acknowledge it, express our feelings, share them and then try to move on stronger; the same way there are opportunities that come with the challenge of being locked in. And one of those is to discover artists from all across the country that were unknown to us. To appreciate and spread the word about their wonderful creations. To support them at this dreadful time. This year in which we can’t gift our presence as much as we’d like to, we can instead gift presents that are one of a kind (just like you).
So usually I have a bit of an addiction for discovering artists and makers. Be it at art fairs, online, on social media, through word of mouth, through sites like Etsy or just a google search. Then when there is an occasion I can make a special and unique gift to someone close. This year I concentrated most of my search on those working in the UK as I felt it’s both helping local economy and also saving a little bit the strain on environment without it having to ship from far away ( + faster delivery times too which is a bonus). I’ve bought from around 20 British businesses, majority of which independent artists. This includes festive greeting cards by artists and handmade items. I am positive they will be treasured by the people they will be gifted to. To give is to receive.