Hipster vs. Artist: the War that DOESN’T EXIST
Watched the HitRECord livestream at Sundance last night with all possible glee and fangirlishness. Woke up angry this morning. Why? Because at every pop culture mass event I have ever been to, there’s always a douche who tries to start up the Hipster debate. Only this time Joe, a guy I usually trust to cut other people’s bullshit, actually gave him the mic. Unleashing a stream of wank about how ‘indie means flannel’ and ‘hipsters are those guys who dress like artists but don’t actually make anything’. Well what the fuck do artists dress like, then? Tell me so I can obey this instantly decoded norm.
It’s been years since the word ‘hipster’ first reared its ugly head, and tbh I thought the word was pretty cool. I think it’s cool now. Why do people hate it so much? What do hipsters do that’s so bloody annoying?
Here are some things I have heard people say about hipsters. They dress in plaid and Converse and skinny jeans. They drink a beer called Pabst Blue Ribbon, and when they can’t get that they drink microbrews. They eat organic and buy funny stuff on Etsy or Urban Outfitters. They use Lomography cameras. Their flats are full of knitted octopodes (I always thought octopi was plural for octopus, but I was wrong) and indie comics and bicycle gear. They like farmer’s markets, secondhand bookshops, The National, Sigur Ros, Regina Spektor, and every French or Japanese film ever.
Dear artists: These are exactly the people you want buying your work. These people will obsessively collect your short films, your steampunk jewellery, your crocheted bags, your keychain fobs you made out of Sherlock chibis, and they will bypass the evil artist-screwing machine of Urban Outfitters for your handmade Doctor Who scarf. And you know what? You don’t have the right to sneer at them just because you made that scarf and they didn’t. Especially if they want to buy it from you.
My favourite uncle has a model rocket straight out of Tintin that he got for his birthday. He wears ironic t-shirts with Chairman Mao on them, Spiderman boxers, stovepipe jeans and Paul Smith trainers. He loves Hayao Miyazaki and Wong Kar-Wai films. He is responsible for getting me into Batman, Asterix, Tintin, Guy Delisle…is partly responsible, in fact, for me being an illustrator and especially an animator. He also runs an international travel agency that was recently featured in Conde Nast Traveller. Just because someone is a hipster and not an artist doesn’t mean they can’t get awesome shit done. So stop using words to define and deride a person’s entirety and get some of your own shit done.
This has been a rant. Thanks. And, um, sorry. I’ll post some fanart in a bit.