“Rebel. It’s a term that isn’t for everyone. To some, it sparks that energy of youthful bravado, of trying to figure things out for yourself, of not wanting to be told how to do things or live your life. To others, it seems disrespectful, contentious, undisciplined. DISOBEDIENT, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.” – Me, from my About page.
So I get questions, mostly from folks who are unfamiliar with me and my philosophy. One of the questions I get asked the most is “what does it mean to be a Fiber Rebel?”
I address this to some degree on my About page, because it really is something I feel strongly about, and I’d say this idea has shaped my entire career. It’s all about pushing boundaries in a way that allows me to expand my skills and my art.
To me, it’s important to try to forge my own paths, using classic ideas and techniques as a jumping-off point in order to grow and develop my own practice. You can see that progress through my portfolio, and by looking over my career and accomplishments. I’m always looking forward, while using the tools and skills honed in the past to build upon my development as a fiber artist.
Being a Fiber Rebel is an attitude. It’s not just about spinning or fiber arts; it’s a whole way of looking at one’s art and community. It’s about creating the things that one wants to see and nurture in that community, as well.
My list of Important Values for the Three Ravens Community includes:
- Self care
- Regeneration and Healing
- Genuine connection
I want it to be joyous, magical, intuitive, radical, political. I want sustainability and harmony and small, conscious living as my goals.
So see… it’s not just a catchy phrase: it’s a philosophy. This is not just a manifesto: it’s something embodied in my work, community, and being.
My yarn and fiber are actually supplemental to this work, not the other way around. This is a pretty different model than a lot of other fiber artists follow. [there’s me being a rebel again.] There’s nothing wrong with doing it the other way, let me make that clear. You do you, as I always say. It’s important to run your business and live your life in the way that makes the most sense to you. But for me?
To me, teaching comes first. Making things that bring me joy comes next, and hopefully people will want to buy those things and bring that joy into their home or their projects. Making things specifically to sell comes last. I envision a system for Three Ravens where I teach, and students and community members see the supplies I make and want to add them to their stash for creative purposes. Maybe some folks follow me for inspiration and they find my creations part of that inspirational experience. But first and foremost, the teaching and demonstrations.
And here’s the interesting part: I’m trusting those in my community to support what they love and get value from.
See, I trust my community. I trust you to support my work because you find it valuable and useful and inspiring and educational.
I trust you to allow me to move beyond a transactional model of business into something sustainable and ethically aligned to my philosophy, something beyond Capitalism and truly meaningful.
I know that’s a bit of a dream, but I believe it’s achievable. In fact, it’s already been happening for me, I just haven’t talked about it much!
You may have noticed that I offer a LOT of free content. That’s by design. I don’t want anyone to be priced out of knowledge or inspiration. And I have had so many people help me in my journey, that I feel compelled to share with others in turn.
Of course, free content doesn’t pay the bills. But there is plenty of content that I offer within my Patreon that folks can pay for that balances things out. And these days, I am adding a “pay-what-you-can” option to my offerings. And that has been a joy to do, because we all support each other in that sort of model. This month, Lida can pay, even if Kyle can’t. Next month, Kyle picks up the tab, so to speak, while Lida maybe doesn’t have that cash to spare.
Sure, there may be some months where no one’s got the cash. But that hasn’t happened yet. And again… I trust my community. People pay for things they value. My people pay for the things they value.
So expect more emphasis on my Patreon. But also expect more pay-what-you-can options, because folks at every financial level are welcome to my party.
This feels good for me. This feels honest and open and in alignment with my values. I hope it does for you, as well.