The online art (& craft) revolution: Culture jamming with unusual and beautiful gifts

0 Posted by - December 14, 2009 - Blog, Design, Visual art
El Maíz Es Nuestro by Favianna Rodriguez

El Maíz Es Nuestro by Favianna Rodriguez

Tired of selecting from global capitalism’s factory produced, sweatshop tainted, ecologically nightmarish mass produced junk? If you haven’t sworn off shopping altogether, join the art and craft revolution, the new economy of buying directly from independent creators online.

A bevy of websites have sprung up that help buyers connect with artists directly who want to sell their work – glass sculpture, jewelry, wood furniture, paintings, prints, photography, metal work, textiles.

And if you’re a creator, check these websites out for marketplaces for your work. All of them offer opportunities for anyone to sell. is one such marketplace, serving up fascinating and affordable ceramics, jewelry, prints, metal sculpture, woodwork and fiber art directly from artists from around the world (altho’ with a dominance of N American contributors). The site is one of the easiest to search and so finding things of interest is a pleasure. offers up prints of artist work – not just the same impressionists and surrealists whose work clogs up print shops everywhere, but original work not filtered and preselected through problematic historical privileging or exclusive art markets. Create an account , upload a file and start selling your work if you want. Or tell your favourite artist friend to get their work up on the site. and artfire are two more online marketplaces for handmade items. Etsy has hundreds of thousands of contributors from all over the world – again, mostly N America, but with representation from every continent. Artfire is a small business in Arizona with a big heart. These are definitely a craft oriented websites including bath and beauty stuff, books and zines, candles, ceramics, clothing, toys, furniture, quilts, needlework, but also including prints and photography.

On a smaller scale, there is the beautiful and political print work of the Just Seeds Collective (see Favianna Rodriguez’ print featured above) and the remarkable posters from the Beehive Collective. And there is also our very own Seripop artist group right here in Montreal. No doubt there are lots of others – let us know of any we’ve missed.

If the season to give gifts is upon us, buying directly from the creators is the fairest way to go. This revolution is all about squeezing out the middlemen, short-circuiting the global industrial economic cash register, and supporting original art. Can’t go wrong.

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