I still remember the 'disgust' in my relatives' face when I proudly showed my latest card creation, they were nodding with a fake approving smile, feigning interest in my card making skills the same way a parent would do with their own child. I couldn't help to be gutted when that happened, after all, I did spend the good part of an hour making it. I had to resign myself to the fact that not everyone like 'handmade', 'craft' or 'diy' or any code word for 'it must be crap, you haven't bought it from a shop' knee-jerk reaction to anything lovingly handcrafted yet often rejected in stealth derision.
Should we blame the rampant consumerism where everything is 'Ikea-ed' to almost extinction where people are sold a lifestyle fooling themselves that it's unique to them whilst it's very clear that all our home decor are starting to look depressingly the same except the different hues. Have we become that shallow that we don't appreciate the slight flaws yet skillful craftsmanship of various objects made with love and dedication ?
I started paper crafting a few years back to distract myself from my many mental issues: manic depression and agoraphobia. I soon discovered that this newly found hobby was healing me from within and nearly bankrupted me at the same time; yep, with obsession comes addiction to buy anything that would 'enhance' my card making. At least, I am happy doing something I enjoy and share with the lucky few who, hopefully, will appreciate my creations.
Granted my first work of 'heart' was, well, a bit lacking but my disapproving encounters I mentioned earlier happened when I believe I reached a good level of proficiency so this form of 'craft rebuttal' was a bit unexpected, maybe I'm too sensitive or gave my creativity to someone who couldn't nor wouldn't appreciate the skills involved.
To some a card is just a folded printed piece of card-stock with a crude design and cheesy sentiment in the inside and that will do for them. In a way mass produced cards are what lithography is to a one off painting; you get the serialised impression of art but none of the original features and artistic charm with intended flaws and textures.
I've met many paper crafters like myself who are totally dedicated to this hobby turned passion where we share our creations through blogs and/or social media websites. I'm always in awe of their creative outputs and it cheers me up to see the wonderful artistic abilities by just using some papers, glue and what-have-yous. I see the beauty but also the time spent on something unique and I know they've poured their heart into it.
So next time you received a handmade greeting card and it's not totally to your mass-produced standard just remember to be graceful as it's a token of craftsmanship and affection rolled into one, I don't think you can get that from your local card store by swiping your debit card through a cold terminal unit.