What is CraftNight?
CraftNight is crafts in a bar run by your Craft Captain, JP, every Wednesday, at Akbar on Sunset and Fountain in beautiful Silverlake, California. Run by artists for all people, CraftNight strives to bring forth both the unrealized and established artistic talents of the greater public. We perform this mission by incorporating an atmosphere of bohemia and great cordiality. We are also founders of the Neo Enthusiasm Movement.
Who Runs CraftNight?
Julianna (JP) Parr runs CraftNight. I’m a freelance artist, you can catch my work here. My mission, besides making art myself, is to help make art accessible and fun.
What is the official glue of CraftNight?
Aleene’s original TACKY GLUE in the gold bottle… but we also use glitter glue, glue sticks, and mod podge, on occasion.
Isn’t crafting for children? Why don’t you craft for/with kids?
Doing crafts greatly enhances hand-eye coordination, social skills, self confidence, and luck. All age groups can benefit from learning and implementing such abilities. My focus is on adults, because kids are already doing crafts in school. Kids don’t need prompting when it comes to crafts. I’ve never had a kid tell me “Oh, I need a couple of cocktails before I do macaroni art!” However, adults, many of whom are done with school, can especially benefit from a relaxing evening of playing around with craft supplies. Adults forget to de-stress and simply play, using just their hands and their guts to create stuff.
Isn’t crafting frivolous and silly, a pastime that’s not important, like success, fame and fortune?
At this time in our world, when television, movies, billboards and radio are constantly telling us what we should be doing, what we should be liking, and what we should be buying, CraftNight steps in to say “Do whatever the heck you want, make it YOURS.” Advertising (and the resulting society that mirrors it) dictates our “fun” experiences to the point of where there’s this fever pitch of what “fun” is! Taking part in frivolous fun activity is a lost art. We need to invent ways of making fun that are natural and strange, not pre-packaged and perfected by market researchers! Ideas are born from experimentation, construction, conversation, new people, new things, etc. Crafting isn’t just fun, it’s activism, it’s reclaiming leisure for the people and creating organic good times.
Why don’t you have x-acto knives and hot glue at CraftNight?
I’ve been running CraftNight for 9+ years in a bar. Suffice it to say, alcohol, knives and hot glue do not mix.
My Craft doesn’t look like something made by Martha Stewart, my craft isn’t useful.
There is a time and place for Martha Stewart, and if you want to aspire to that type of crafting, more power to you. Martha’s fine and dandy, I watch her show sometimes. CraftNight’s type of crafting, however, specifically targets craft projects that are of no real use to anyone. The point is, you’ve taken your hard-earned leisure time to do something for the actual fun of it. Kind of like getting there is half the fun, it’s about the journey of your craft, not the finished project. We don’t endorse a protestant work ethic at CraftNight, nor do we support any kind of utilization of final works.
My craft sucks, I hate it, it’s not perfect.
Oh… my goodness. This is exactly why CraftNight exists. Get over yourself and declare independence and stop worrying so much! Egad! Let’s take a moment to take a tour of the existentialist view of crafting: Hooray, life is meaningless! Make your own meaning! Out of all the stars in the heavens, all the planets and all the half-eaten donuts in the world and all the wars, famine and pestilence… YOUR craft sucks?!? Your craft not only doesn’t suck, it’s not important enough to suck, it’s white noise in a world of interconnected molecules on their way to a molecule conference in the universe. Or maybe your craft is the MOST important thing in the world, and it’s “suckiness” is to be celebrated. Your craft is as ugly or as beautiful as you want it to be, it is up to you, “suckiness” and “perfection” are in the eye of the beholder. Before you get all hung-up on perfection, think to yourself about the definition of perfection. Perfection is biased, it’s based on ideas of what are desired elements. What’s “perfect” this week will be shunned next week. Perfection is fickle, a fad, not to be taken too seriously. CrafNight is not your critical art teacher, your bullying sibling or that well-meaning friend who told you “You’re doing it wrong.” There is no wrong. There is only craft.
Why don’t you have contests?
Everything that everyone makes at CraftNight is beautiful. Comparison has no practical significance.
Can I bring my own Craft Project to Akbar?
Of COURSE you can bring your own craft! As long as you’re not doing anything crazily toxic like spray-painting or casting resin, you are welcome to bring your own work to the bar. We’ve had people making books in here, knitting, cutting paper, etc. I just provide supplies every week because what are the odds of the average patron walking into the bar with craft supplies?!?
I want to bring a lot of people to CraftNight, should I give you notice before this happens?
YES! PLEASE give me notice before you haul in over 10 people to CraftNight! I generally try to have enough supplies for 36 people, and an average night sees at least 30 crafters. If you tell me you’re coming, I can make sure I have enough supplies on hand.
Why are you doing this?
I grew up in the 70s, I had a new-agey book from my hippy school’s reading club, it was called “The Good Feelin’ Book” where the book had questions and you could write down your thoughts. One of the questions was “If you could write anything in the sky with a sky-writer plane, what would your message say?” I was 8 years old, and there was no hesitation, my message to the world was “FREE ART LESSONS!” I was never told that I couldn’t be an artist when I was little, my parents supported and nurtured my artistic leanings. Sadly, I found out that this isn’t how everyone was raised! I’m here to help people realize that making things like macaroni art isn’t scary or erroneous or invalid, it is healthy, positive, essential and FUN! I BELIEVE IN YOU! COME TO CRAFTNIGHT!!!