We DIG the Underground
Another great article written by Tammy Kingan from the CustomMade Maker Success Team.
It happens in 65 cities across the US with an average of 750 attendees per city and 1200 new participating artists every month… can you guess what it is?
It’s the RAW Natural Born Artists movement, started in 2005 by Heidi Luerra when she moved out to Los Angeles and wanted to stand out as a fashion designer. In a city like LA, where everyone is just trying to “make it,” Heidi did what others wish they could — she came up with something that not only helped her get noticed, but helped other creative people around her too. She threw her first RAW showcase and officially found her calling.
RAW is unlike any other artist organization I’ve ever seen before. Monthly showcases across the country have artisans that create jewelry, paintings, clothing, sculpture and other physical pieces while also highlighting performance art, film, hairstyles, make-up, and music.
On any given RAW showcase night, you will see an independent film, a fashion show, live music, an art gallery, and some form of performance all supplied by local artists in your area all for a mere ten dollars. The best part of all this is that it changes every month!
The artists are hand-picked and, because of the young demographic, they are one of the fastest growing artist movements in the country. In fact, RAW recently expanded to Australia with expected launches in Europe and China in the upcoming year.
RAW artists get the opportunity to promote their work online as well, which explains just part of why the movement is spreading like wildfire. Utilizing social media as well as physical showcases have given RAW artists the ultimate promotion vehicle and CustomMade has officially become a part of it.
With the economy still creeping its way back, a lot of young Americans have been struggling to establish themselves and get relevant work experience for the future. According to the US Department of Labor, less than 45% of Americans between 16-25 years old were employed in August 2011, which is significantly lower than previous years.
Who will hire a 30 year old that does not have a fair share of experience in their field? Not many people. RAW understands this. They assist by promoting online, showcasing work physically, while also offering art-to-business opportunities that are pre-approved by the RAW staff so that emerging artists can take advantage and not get taken advantage of.
CustomMade has teamed up with RAW to help these amazing young artists reach a whole new community. RAW and CustomMade share the same vision- offering new marketing opportunities to small-time artisans. We love to support our local economy and really believe that we can change the lives of artisans by offering possibilities that have never existed to them before. Check out our first CustomMade RAW Artist- Lauren Blais (one of my personal favorites!).
For a RAW showcase in your area you can go to: http://www.rawartists.org/showcases