We currently have time to reflect on our interests, our relationships, our society, and ourselves. With hardship, fear, and upheaval all around us, I am not alone in pondering history, plague, the balance of power, and the relationship of cultures.
When I roam a ruin or museum, I think about how we have so beautifully captured our entire human experience in art and architecture. Trapped in time it waits for us to admire it and ponder our relationship to it. What about our lives is greater than ourselves? What binds us to each other?
If we look beyond our lifetime and previous generations, the location of our ancestors becomes dubious and we blend into one.
No matter how modern our lives, how removed from nature, how independent we’ve become, we are connected together through the air we breathe, the spaces we share and the food someone else planted.
We are also connected by the fact that we all use our hands. We can use them to hurt each other or we can use them to create something beautiful.
I started Artem to return to using my hands for work. I design with a pencil or pen. The artisans of Her Future Coalition use their hands to bring my drawings into reality.
We have time today to think about what we’ll value when the new world order is established.
What do we have around us that make us feel connected to another person? Maybe you have a painting by an aunt or a woman you met at an art fair. Or maybe you have a baby sweater your grandmother made. Perhaps one of your fondest memories is eating a meal someone made completely from scratch.
People who make things by hand inject love into their work. It is a love for their ability, a love for the person who will receive the creation, and a love for themselves.
By noticing how we feel when we touch something handmade, we set ourselves on a path to wonder how it was made, how much time it took, and how it reached us. Most importantly, we will think of the person who made it. The energy she put into her creation transfers to us.
Right now, workshops and studios sit empty. The future of many artisans is uncertain. When the world opens up again, we will determine its direction.
Together, we can keep handmade artistry and our connection to each other alive.