democratizing creativity, good or bad? Part 1

Call me a curmudgeon, but I am personally sick and tired of the crass commercialization and ubiquity of craft and creative supplies.  I am not happy  that big corporations have co-opted what used to be fun past-time and beaten it to within an inch of its life. In their attempt to democratize creativity, they’ve only succeeded in removing what was so fun about it in the first place: the serendipity of creation.


blast from the past: JesPlayin Pencil cups

My feeling this way started a few years back but really came to a head yesterday.  I took a trip to the last Hell-Mart I knew of that carried bolts of fabric (I know, I know, it is Hell-Mart after all).  I hadn’t been to this particular store in a while because it is out of my way, so I didn’t know what was in store. As soon as I drove up, I knew they had recently remodeled, and my heart sank.  (What is this need to make everything shiny-new and THE SAME as the others?)

I could tell that the assortment of very cost-effective bolts of fabric of old had been replaced by their new and hideous pre-cut and packaged fabrics.  Each store now had the exact same packages of pre-cut fabrics and supplies. Gone was the excitement of wondering what great deals their buyers had scored to pass on to me.  What was so great about the old arrangement was that each store held different fabrics. But I guess this would go against Hell-Mart’s business model of everything being the exact same in Topeka as in Tallahassee…

Like I said, this is Hell-Mart, and I shouldn’t expect too much. They are not in the creativity business, they are in the money-making business.

Next…Part 2:  Cute useless things.  Stay tuned

4 thoughts on “democratizing creativity, good or bad? Part 1

  1. Libby says:

    Feels good to get it off your chest, doesn’t it. I was sitting here reading, laughing, and feeling your pain. Personally, I’m tired of starting projects that I can’t finish because none of our stores even carry zippers, or piping, or the sewing notions I need in the right color. Oh, and all the thread is either those basic quilter’s colors, blue, black, or white. And that gold denim thread. So I put project after project aside.

    Where I live, I am surrounded by counties round about the same size and since WM drove out the independent stores and now that it’s lacking we have to drive to major cities for everything. Yarn, fabric, patterns, anything. Crafting impulsively only adds to my frustration and I refuse to be frustrated about crafting. So, I make lists or needed items, draft my other ideas for later, and force myself into a contentment with crafting with what I have. I’ve made it a game of testing my creative abilities. lol

  2. Heather says:

    I was wondering why the WM near us doesnt have fabric anymore. I wanted some fleece for a no-sew blanket and remembered they used to have so many options. Their craft aisle is laughable anyway though – everything is in a kit that looks as though it wouldnt take 1 drop of creativity to put it together – I want to do a project, not a jigsaw puzzle. I guess I have to stick to the true craft/hobby stores and pay higher prices.

  3. Eliss says:

    I don’t bother with WalMart at all for my crafts. I stick to Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or this fabric store not too far from me.

  4. lawanda says:

    I agree; pretty much everything has been taken over by big business. I may start making road trips
    to Columbus to the fabric shops there. I am glad that many artist are starting their own businesses and blogs to fight back. We all need to continue working towards our artistic dreams and continue to support small businesses.

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