Tag: #yarngraffiti

Process Post 8

No, I’m not going to monetize my site

Look, I understand. Completely. Some people, especially ones named Trevor Battye, become so desperate for cash that they decide to monetize their wedding invites. Obtaining a high quality of  life is hard. Getting a job that pays well enough to maintain that life is even harder. So if I too was desperate, I would probably monetize a lot of things.

That said, my website is about yarn graffiti, and as far as I know, most people don’t get paid for (admittedly mild) vandalism.

What I do is a hobby. Yarn bombing has never been a monetized endeavour. It’s just supposed to be . . . fun? Don’t get me wrong, you can have fun at a job and make money too. But just because what you’re doing doesn’t pay, it doesn’t mean that it’s inherently foolish or worth less of your time.

For example, I do sell the crochet toys and accessories I make. I’ve been casually running an Instagram account for two years, selling my wares to friends, family, and strangers. Sometimes I get requests for custom items, which I enjoy making. I’ve been to a couple craft conventions and made a small profit from those. It’s a side profession that I don’t take too seriously.

Yarn bombing, however, is a completely different story. I came into this class wanting to do something fun. My first thoughts weren’t “how am I going to make the money back that I had to spend on this site?” but “what can I do that will be fun, creative, and over the top?” So I went with a yarn graffiti site.

Ads are ugly and I had no intention of putting them on my site. I hadn’t even considered ads before it was brought up in class. Why would I have? The way our websites were talked about up until then was “they are your portfolios!” Do people usually put ads in their portfolios? I don’t know.

This week we read about The Toast shutting down, despite its attempts to incorporate ads. This was a site that needed to do this in order to support labour costs. I don’t have to do that, so I might as well not even bother.

Another way I could monetize is to sell my yarn bombing services aka put a price on my hobby. Think of a hobby you have; let’s say you collect bottle caps. Are you going to charge someone because you’re technically cleaning the streets of garbage? Of course not. It’s your hobby, and usually people don’t put a price on theirs. I can’t speak for everyone, of course. But no, I do not want to charge anything for my graffiti.

It defeats the purpose of the art and I can afford yarn with money from my real job, thank you very much.

As for data trails, my job requires me to Google lots of different stuff, and I rarely ever like/comment/share something on Facebook, the only social media I use other than Instagram. I doubt anyone is getting any useful data from me or about me, honestly. If I’m being naive and they are, well darn. They’ve yet to manipulate my mind as far as I know.

Process Post 2

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This week was a pleasant struggle, to say the least. I’ve never been much of “tech” person, but my adaptability usually makes up for my incompetence.

That said, I struggled for about three hours trying to get the slider on my home page to work.

Starting out, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do. My two big interests (or at least the only interests I can really maintain while balancing school and work) right now are crocheting and Alan Moore’s well-know graphic novels. It seemed natural that I should try and fit these two things together in my blog to create the ultimate passion project.

Unfortunately, I had some struggles. How could I bring together the relatively benign act of crochet crafting and the gritty, dark, and often violent texts of V for Vendetta and Watchmen?

The answer came relatively quickly. I had always loved the art of “yarn graffiti.” I first found out about this through Yarn Bombing by Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain. I thought it was a pretty good way to link yarn creations and anarchy, so I developed my website’s layout with that in mind: cute, yet “dangerous.” As the authors write in Yarn Bombing, “While many may…never have considered yarn and anarchy to be congruous terms, yarn craft and activism have a long history together” (22). This is something I’d like to remember as I “tag” different places with crochet.

For my website, I used a flowery background and decided to accompany my posts with V for Vendetta and Watchmen gifs to set a tone. These things were included on my vision board, and my overall idea was for the blog to be fun and light-hearted, while also commenting on how boring-looking campuses don’t do much for students who are supposed to be “engaged.”

Keeping things from getting boring has always been important to me. This is why I want to keep my posts short, colourful, and interesting so my work doesn’t end up being “a waste product, a valueless byproduct in the production of literate citizens” as Erin Glass described what most student work becomes in her article “Why we need Social Paper.”

I posted my first yarn bomb with a little title about how it went. I also did a write-up on the “talking to strangers” exercise, mimicking the style of Rorschach’s journal entries in Watchmen. Most of this week was used experimenting with aesthetics. At the moment, I feel like the the two overarching ones of crochet and graphic novels aren’t matching up perfectly, but I hope to smooth that out as the course goes on.

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Glass, Erin. “Why We Need Social Paper.” CUNY Academic Commons. N.p., 11 Dec. 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2018.

Moore, Mandy and Prain, Leanne. Yarn Bombing. New York: Arsenal Pulp, 2010. Print.