Monday, July 05, 2010

On Being a Kind Beader

Every beader should read this. I hope certain ones in particular do.

Recently I've had some conversations with beaders who have prefaced their email or phone conversation with, "I don't know if you have time for me."

That made me sad.

Since when did beaders feel so inferior to others that they had to apologize for taking up someone's time to ask a simple beading question, or to make a comment about how they admired them? And how hard is it to give that beader a bit of help, or to thank them for the admiration? How horrible to tell someone "I look up to you" and be ignored.

In the beading world, there are layers of artists. There are those that many aspire to be, and there are those that are learning, improving, honing their craft. I get that. There are jewelry artists out there who have truly been touched by the hand of God -- their talent and sense of style and imagination are out of this world. And these are the people that we look up to. I look up to them, too.

However.

Some of these people forget where they started. Everyone started at the beginning. Everyone started wondering where they were going. And I'm sure that at some point, everyone had to ask someone a question.

So please -- for those of you who have people who look up to them -- be kind. Kindness is golden. Kindness is worth more than all the money in the world. Kindness is remembered and passed along. Kindness is held in the heart and it blooms. Kindness can build an artist's confidence, and kindness can encourage someone to grow.

(((Hugs and encouragement all around.)))))

54 comments:

  1. Hey Lori! I caught your post just as Ive gotten on! You are really great and whys that? Bc youre always kind and take the time. I know you have alot of blogs that you look at and cant always answer or make a comment, but its evident you care. So many times people dont acknowlege comments and its like sending things into outer space. So after awhile its like why bother! Your Rock Lori!

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  2. A great and thoughtful article. Thanks!

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  3. this is a really lovely post... i have to tell you that one of the things i love most about blogger/etsy is the sense of it being a community... i know for certain that i would not have grown and stretched the way i have without it... you are right, encouragement and kindness do count...

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  4. hear, hear!

    Couldn't agree more.

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  5. Thank you for this post, Lori! I know how hurtful and disappointing it is to be ignored by someone you admire. That kind of attitude made me afraid to ask questions when I just started learning about the art of beading. That's why now I'm trying to help everyone who has some questions about the things I do.
    I wish there would be more people like you! We all should care a bit more.
    Sincerely,
    Jana

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  6. Exactly, Helmitarha. No one should ever get such a high opinion of themselves that they can't acknowledge someone. I mean, if you're THAT swamped, craft a kind, helpful email that you can cut and paste all the time. Writers send out nicely worded thank you letters all the time -- it's all in being ACKNOWLEDGED for being a human being.

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  7. Thank you Lori for this post. You are one of a few who do answer my posts/questions.I think a perfect example of this is the bead soup comments, my first time around in the soup I got 40 comments w/ the 70+ (?) participants, this time around was even lower, 30/100. I have to admit(@ the risk of sounding like a big baby) that it was a little hurtful,( especially when I had hoped to have an opinion from certain artists) & after I had been so careful to leave a comment for everyone(per your suggestion).It really does mean something to be acknowledged.

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  8. Boot-C, I completely understand. I was the hostess and didn't see 97 posts! :-)

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  9. Something worth mentioning here is that it is much easier (and more personal, IMHO) to respond directly to someone's comment through an email. I work 10 hour days making beads, run 2 Etsy shops, teach, maintain a home solo, and take care of several elderly family members. Busy is an understatment, and conversations are easy for me to lose track of in comments on posts. Emails are centrally located making them much easier to remember.

    So everyone please turn on your email preference in your profile? Pretty please with a dose of Squee on top?

    FabYOUlous post, Lori! <3

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  10. What a lovely post - Lori, you're a very kind, generous & thoughtful lady! We need more like you around!

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  11. Lori~
    I am still new to the beading community and have had this happen where I have made a creation based on an artists design and I got nothin'! :(. I was hurt. I know that I can be sensitive at times but it means alot when you get feedback! Thanks for this post as you are someone we 'newbies' look to and the support you give is outstanding!

    Kristen

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  12. Great post, Lori! I can totally relate to that and it's so nice to read it from someone who is as gifted as you are.

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  13. True about the posts, I must have left more than 100 comments as I'm sure a lot of other BSPgoers have...Never mind! The truth of the matter is, sometimes we forget (the top beaders included)to pause, look at our beginners pieces and think 'Man, I was rubbish...How have I improved since then!'. Then give ourselves a pat in the back and spread the love encouraging one another. Let it be by leaving comments, suggestions or tips ^_^

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  14. Right on, Lori. Some great words of wisdom for all of us...we all started at the beginning and had someone help us along the way! Thank you for the reminder that a little kindness goes a long way.

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  15. ViviBijoux, it's the "top beaders" that I'm really talking about. They're the ones that disappoint me the most.

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  16. I'm sure there are a few out there who think too highly of themselves. But as a whole, I have found this community, bead makers, beaders and jewelry designers to be one of the most overwhelmingly encouraging communities I have been in contact with. One would think we would be in competition with each other. But as one very well known bead maker put it, I'm paraphrasing here, People who buy my beads are probably not going to ONLY buy my beads, they want a variety. So it makes sense for me to promote other beadmakers and designers.
    You could say the same for jewelry. Very few people only buy from one designer. They want a variety.
    Anyway, I am humbled to be a part of it.

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  17. WOW!!! i couldnr agree more!!! i have been a quilter longer than a jeweler and in the quilting world i was used to people being very helpful and open, then i hit the jewelry world and i was in SHOCK!!!! you are different though Lori, i am not counting you in this!! i have had other jewelry artists tell me they dont teach or dont do this or that.....then i see they are! i comment on pics or blogs and very rarely get a response...or my fave....buy stuff from them and never get a thank you, or they dont even chk to see if i have received my order.
    thanks for this post! i think alot of people can relate!

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  18. P.S. I know I missed some posts during the Bead Soup Party. Sometimes if I went through that day and someone had not posted their reveal yet, I forgot to go back and look. It was never intentional. Sometimes I just got so caught up in getting to the next reveal, I forgot to leave a post.

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  19. That's ok, Cindy -- to be honest, that wasn't what this post was about. It was more about beaders who think of so many of us as "little people" or "adoring fans" that don't matter enough to warrant a bit of kindness. After a while, it all catches up. Might take a while, but it does catch up!

    You're fine, Cindy! ((((hugs)))))

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  20. Lori, I love looking at your work and reading your blogs. The number of others' blogs you follow every day is mindboggling. And you have chronic pain. And you have a small child (not in any way related to the previous sentence.) I can't imagine being as busy as you are and am sorry you had to put up with the rudeness, and not just once. I have asked some pretty dumb questions of some pretty talented beaders and was pleased by their graciousness and patience with a newbie. I hope you have more of that type of interaction from now on.

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  21. Carol, it's not just rudeness to me. It's people who email me, or people who come up to me at craft shows, afraid to ask a question or make a comment because some other beader either snapped their head off or was "too big for their britches" and just flat out ignored them. THAT really hurts me, to see people so excited about this craft get stepped on.

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  22. no kidding. i loved this post! i don't consider myself to be a top beader, but since i've been around a LONG time (02), i feel like i know a LOT of information on beading and the like. every week i get emails asking how i started and what products to purchase and what torch is a good beginner torch. i love helping and leading them down the path of PLEASE DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID! lol i think a nice thing for beaders to have is a LINKS page where they can find all the great information they need without having the need to even ask, then they don't feel worried or like they bothered someone. however, the nice thing about a LINKS page is that if you're willing to put one on your site, then most likely you're willing to answer any questions that they might have. :)

    yay for beading! it's the best and i have SO much to learn. i've never submitted my work to a magazine but i decided that this fall i'm going to try. :) who knows, i might just be asking YOU on how to go about getting stuff in mags! :)

    you're the best lori!

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  23. Anonymous3:02 PM

    thanks for this Lori - btw, I see exactly the same thing with photography - I think it's true for every art! - Lisa Cee

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  24. Thanks for this post, Lori. I need to say I have seen both attitudes, people that really care and are friendly to you, and others that let you feel that you are inferior. It has not been a long time since I started blogging, and when I first got out there, I realized that all you "famous" people are so talented and know each other. And I started to wonder where my place in this world could be. But what I love about beading is that you can meet people from all ages, around the world, knowing all kinds of different techniques... Nobody should feel inferior or superior, because we all have our own special talents and we all have our weak spots. Thanks for sharing your thoughts (and by the way you are one of the most caring people I have met in this bead world).

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  25. Oh Nicki. I'm not famous. I have SOOOO far to go. I just like to write, and like to bead, and like to share and encourage.

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  26. after BSP, you are now famous, madame chef!

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  27. I really liked your post. Everything you wrote was true-I think everyone (not only beaders) need to be kinder.

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  28. Very well said, thanks!

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  29. Lori, what a great post. What you have said is so true. I do see a lot of beaders who have the attitude of "can't be bothered" but many more who love to share and pass along info!
    Bead Happy!
    Michelle

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  30. Amen sister. I have had several hurtful experiences and wanted to fade away. I decided that because of the way they acted it left a bad taste in my mouth.I wasn't so impressed anymore.
    Those who are willing to share and give credit to those who helped them, become my favorite artists.

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  31. What a great post Lori! We were all beginners and needed advice/help. I totally agree...we should try to help each other out as best we can:)

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  32. Wonderful post, Lori! I do agree, but I'm not sure all top designers necessarily think they are above. I've seen Some "seasoned" and very kind designers being taken advantage of. I think a lot of people are guarded and afraid to give away information in fear of being taken advantage of in some way, which is unfortunate. The kindness or unkindness can go both ways! There's always a flip side or reasons for behavior. I'm not saying it's right, it's just the way it is sometimes. If someone seems guarded with information, maybe something has happened to them to make them that way, that's all I'm trying to say. I would probably freely give information until someone has given me reason not to. I had a blog reader send me a personal email asking me about the cording and beading silk that I use in my designs and what sizes are best for this bead or that bead and so on and where to purchase. I was actually kind of flattered! I gave her all the info. she wanted, but I didn't get an email back or a thank you for all the information I gave her! It took me sometime and experience to figure all that stuff out. I would freely give info. anyway, but it would have been nice to get an acknowledgment email or a thank you back.

    Thank you for your visiting my blog and for your comments! I appreciate it so much! And thanks for participating in my giveaway! :)

    xoxo,
    Erin

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  33. Great post, I have been snubbed in the past by a few artists that I thought were kind and helpful but it turns out they are only that way to those in their cliques. I appreciate it when someone takes the time to respond to posts or e-mails. I know they are busy but like you said even a kindly written form letter would be better than nothing. Thanks for another great post!

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  34. I completely agree with you Lori! I have been so frustrated because I have left comment after comment on someone's blog and on Facebook, yet never get anything back...not an acknowledgement, nothing. I really appreciate people who go the extra mile to be kind and respond once in awhile, and that's why I try to do the same. Of course, everyone is human and emails or comments get overlooked once in awhile, but if someone repeatedly tries to interact with you and you continually ignore them, I think that sucks! So thanks for your post!

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  35. Lori that was a great post and so well said!

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  36. As always Lori you hit the nail right on the head...I admire you & your lovely art...
    Jelveh
    Peace

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  37. A very down to earth post. You're great and you're humble. Thank you for sharing.

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  38. Great post Lori, it has been very daunting entering this brand new world and then to find that you all seem to not know each other but also seem to know each other on a persanol level.

    But in most cases I have found most of you to be very kind and generous in your praise, advice and encouragement.

    So thank you to all you very accomplished beading artisans, your kindness out shines those that are your polar opposites.

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  39. Erin, I agree, it DOES go both ways. Recently, and Etsy seller offered me a treasure trove of information about photographing jewelry in natural light, and I made sure to send her a heart-felt thank you.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  40. ******* Blogger is having a bad hiccup about posting the rest of the comments, and I'm trying to get them to fix it, so never fear -- I'll get you published! *******

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  41. I think we should use kindness in all our actions, not only pertaining to questions relating to jewelry:) Thank you for the post, Lori

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  42. Hey Lori--I was slightly disappointed in the last bead soup party because the comments were not as prolific as the first ones. I tried to pass it off as "Everyone's busy" but it still rankled a bit. I know I hit every blog that was part of the bead soup get-together and went back to several who didn't have their pieces up on their days for various reasons.

    For those who commented, I really appreciated the insightful and thoughtful comments on my pieces. It helped me look at what I created in a new light. It also gave me some direction of where to go next time I wanna stretch out of my box.

    About the comment about email--that might work for a lot of people. It won't work for me since I have 4 email boxes I have to monitor because of my job. My personal one gets answered about once a week. *grins* I prefer to post on the blog. However, I think that idea would work for a lot of other busy people who have only one or two email boxes.

    I do believe in what comes around, goes around. So I hope everyone reads this and say--"Can I improve my acts of kindness today?"

    Great Post, Lori!

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  43. Donna DiCaterino10:18 AM

    I have to say that Lori practices what she preaches. I have probably driven her crazy asking how to's and where to's and she is always so gracious to answer me; probably sometimes more than once with the same question.

    You are so kind, Lori, and I greatly appreciate all the help you've given me over the years! You are actually the first person to come to mind when I "wonder" about something beading related!

    You are so appreciated!

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  44. Hi Lori! Thanks for always having kind things to say on my blog! I really appreciate your post, and I have felt exactly this way many times. To be unsure of what I am doing sometimes, and look for guidance, and admit that I am inspired by someone, and then to be snubbed or not acknowledged, it hurts. I try not to take anything for granted, and I have met the most amazing people here. I will admit I probably forget things sometimes, as I work a regular 40 hour a week day job, but I do my best. I hope to get to know you better also!

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  45. What a beautiful post, Lori and how true is everything you've said! What a wonderful place this world would be with more people like you! THANK YOU, you really made my day!
    Lots of love, Sanda xoxo

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  46. Thanks, Lori!
    The silver clay do you mean? I just LOOOOOVE it, I can't have enough of it! I destroyed few things in the begining,LOL but this is a part of the learning process, isn't it? I'm still learning a lot( without destroying) and I love the creative freedom that this material gives you! It's magic!
    Hugs, Sanda xoxo

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  47. There are unkind people in all areas of life. But certain areas you expect would attract the nicer ones. Like crafters. Or veterinarians. Hmm, can't think of any other, shame...

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  48. Lori, my browser has been down and I'm only now starting to catch up with my favourite blogs. I thought your post on kindness was quite exceptional and you certainly practice what you preach. For me, kindness has always been the most important quality I look for in a person and I'm overjoyed to find out that you feel the same way.

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  49. Hi Lori-
    You are spot on as usual.
    What I have noticed from some comments is that people are craving a sense of community. I crave that as well. I try very, very hard to personally respond to every comment I get...although with the bead soup and the Mad Tea Party all hitting about the same time I know I failed a bit in that. I LOVE it when I can just hit reply on my email and like Juls said I would love it if everyone turned that on. I have at least 4 email accounts and monitor them feverishly so I understand that might be a challenge to some. But it bums me out when I see "noreply@blogger.com" as the return address. It feels like I have lost the link with someone.

    I can recall a certain bead artist whose blog is the first one I found back in 2007 before I knew what a blog was...she actually took the time to respond to me personally and now all these years later we are really great friends. I swore at that time that I would always take the time to respond. It is my duty and a responsibility of belonging to the community.

    I tried to comment on all the Bead Soups, even went back to those I thought I missed (although some never did post that I saw). If I missed making a comment it was purely an oversight.

    I believe fervently in helping those who ask. I am always open to sharing what I know and praising those I see. I am inspired every single day by the beauty of what I see around me and that includes all the great jewelry out there. I am not sure which beaders you are referring to but it makes me a bit sad that you felt something like this had to be said. I don't consider myself at the top of anything, but just riding along on this thrill ride with everyone else. I thank you for your insight and inspiration daily, Miss Lori.

    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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  50. Kindness is golden. This is a great post.

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  51. thanks for such a lovely post!

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  52. Thank you...we just started our blog about four months ago and are trying to "do something different."
    My daughter gave me the blog as a gift and it is a wonderful thing but intimidating to have your things "out there." You are so sweet to write about this!

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  53. Anonymous4:02 AM

    Love the blog

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