Pinterest and a Million Martha Stewarts

Pinterest and a Million Martha Stewarts

It wasn’t long ago that comparing someone to Martha Stewart was the highest “crafty” compliment one could pay. The name was singularly synonymous with DIY culture. But if Ms. Stewart wears the creative crown, she now reigns over millions of imaginative minions in the land of Pinterest. This ingenious collective of the world’s creativity — what the company’s CEO Ben Silbermann calls a “catalog of ideas” — now lays claim to the largest resource of creative inspiration that’s proving everyone and anyone can be an artist.

This is the world we live in: Creativity is a click away and comes with step-by-step guidance — which is just as it should be. Not everyone can look at a pile of twigs, a ball of yarn and an empty tissue box and make an elegant vase (that’s pronounced “vahz”). So find someone who can and get them to show you how, with big pictures and few words. There’s something extremely cathartic and wonderfully childlike in following instructions and making sure you color within the lines.

But that’s the one thing missing from the Pinterest click: the coaching. Memes of Pinterest “fails” are more and more prevalent on the Internet. Wouldn’t it be helpful if the original Pinner were standing over you, holding your hand and cheering you on, ensuring your success? That’s where Bottle & Bottega has one-upped Pinterest, another triumph in the epic battle of Man vs. Machine. We’re your safe haven in the artistic realm. A real-life artist guides you gradually down the creative road until you can find your own way (typically within two hours and a couple of glasses of wine). The best part: You do it all in the company of other Martha Stewart wannabes to ensure your success — and fun!

Does it diminish your creative effort or the end result to follow, replicate, or enhance someone else’s design? Certainly not. True artists have always learned at the feet of a master. Some go on to create amazing works of their own, to be sure, but much of the work can be said to be derivative. And it doesn’t matter. The uniqueness — and therefore the beauty — of each creation lies in each inimitable brushstroke, pencil line, swirl, glue drop, glittery pattern…. You get the point.

You may not believe that every creation you find on Pinterest or that you create at Bottle & Bottega is “art,” but you’d be missing the point. What matters most is that “crafty” is now COOL and more accessible than ever. And everyone wants in on the action. The rise of the sipping and painting industry is proof positive of that. Whether we admit it or not, most of us are a little jealous of artists — their eccentricity, their ability to express themselves without inhibition, to create something from nothing…. Because that kind of talent is an enviable gift: The act of creating something can be liberating, intensely emotional, and energizing; presenting that beautiful something (it’s in the eye of the beholder, remember!) to the world for anyone to experience is courageous and inspiring.

So, get your pin on and your paint on! Become the artist you always wanted to be! You’ll soon discover, like so many others, the satisfaction and pride that come from simply making something with your own two hands. Call it art or don’t, it doesn’t matter. You made it, and that’s so cool.

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