An Open Letter to My Readers

Hey Folks,

I just wanted to take a moment here to clarify some things about Dude Craft so we have a mutual understanding of what the blog is, as there seems to be some confusion.

Lately, I have been taking a little heat for being "conservative" in terms of the things that I post here on the blog. Which I think is kind of funny, but hey, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Here are some reasons that you may not see the edgiest stuff on the web being featured here...

1. Some of my readers are five years old.

2. Families read this blog together. They are able to connect over a cool project or a striking art piece. I think that would change if I began swearing profusely and posting more sexually charged content.

3. Teachers can safely refer their students to the blog without fear of repercussions from parents or the school system. This is a big one. I used to teach High School and there were tons of blogs I couldn't send my kids to just because of the language. Silly, right? But it's true. People get angry about that stuff. Besides, I feel I'm perfectly capable of expressing myself without swearing, so I don't really feel like I'm censoring myself here anyway.

4. This blog is not for purists. If you believe strongly that all art should be given equal weight and certain art should not get short shrift because it contains sexual situations and coarse language, you will be disappointed here. On the other hand, if you expect this blog to be a dull blade decorated with ponies and rainbows because I feel some moral obligation to do so, you will also, I fear, come away empty. Dude Craft is simply a representation of what I think is cool, funny, or worthwhile. Nothing more, nothing less.

I look at this blog like a dinner party. My guests come from all walks of life and many different belief systems, and each and every one is important to me. I try to make them comfortable. I offer them food and conversation, and I try to honor them by not getting drunk and dancing on the dinner table, while wearing only a hat, singing Lady Marmalade, off key (even if that's what I feel like doing).

I understand that you can't please all the people all the time and those that seek to are walking the razor's edge of mediocrity, but I would, in a totally non-cumbaya way, like this blog to feel inclusive, and that can't be bad, right? I'm not scared of offending people, I just don't want to. That's the bottom line.

Let me know your thoughts on this.




  1. WOW, I am amazed at people. Thanks for this post. It's funny because there is another blog that I read and she had to post something similar. Thanks for not wanting to offend people. Stop by to see me sometime, when you're not too busy.

  2. Totally agree with you Paul!
    Being a new comer to your blog I love the fact that it is YOUR opinion & thoughts.
    If people have a problem with this, or if your blog has evolved (according to your readers) then they can always go else where.
    Keep up the awesome work!
    (oh, I featured you on my own crafting blog, )

  3. Zanthie - Thanks so much for the feature. Yet another awesome Aussie to add to my readership, and from Sydney, no less. I have a lot of Melbourne ladies, but not many from your neck of the woods. Welcome.

  4. Thank you for what you do. I have seen some truly fascinating things that you have brought to light. "Art" encompasses so much, so there isn't a need to try to be everything to everybody, as that is an impossible goal.

    Thank you for being you, sticking to the true you.

    4 & 5 year olds are the coolest people on the planet.

  5. I love your blog and the awesome and unique things you share. I often call my daughter to the computer to share some interesting post you have made. I appreciate your discretion :)

  6. I'm rather new to your blog as well, but I think it's rather enjoyable. I've had to re-launch and re-do a blog several times in my life just to start fresh as my interests no longer matched the audience interests, or a couple of misconstrued keywords have gotten me in a terrible tangle of web trolls. If people feel they want the more risqué, incendiary, or off-color, then maybe it would be a positive change to lose those readers. If it's a "purist" artistic concern, I don't feel it's censorship or pulling back, but rather, an attempt to tailor the content toward a larger audience or the audience you wish to speak to. Art imitates life, and art should speak to the masses. Your content and level of creativity determine which "masses"/audience that will be. On the web, the artist/author can create content to maintain their own personal interest, express what they want and portray what they want. The readers will still come.

  7. Well said! I enjoy your blog and the diversity of stuff shown on it - wouldn't change a thing. It's what you like and it's awesome!

  8. Um... I find it totally and completely baffling that someone would have the nerve to complain about the tone, focus or content ON SOMEONE ELSE'S BLOG. It's... A BLOG. Presumably the point is that it reflects the blog owner's personal choices and interests.

    No seriously. This is totally flippin' baffling to me.


  9. Dude, keep on rocking. I had no idea anybody had a problem with the awesomeness that is your blog.

  10. Anyone who feels your content does not meet their needs, should just cancel their subscription and ask for a refund...

  11. yay! my teacherliness thanks you!

  12. It never occurred to me that this place would be considered "too conservative" and I admire you for keeping it a dinner party rather than a frat party. I think it's very restful to know that I can point anyone I meet towards this blog and it will be civilized and cordial. I don't think you're trying to please all the people, all the time- you're just being... oh... a grown-up.

    If it tells you anything, when I go through the rss reader, this is the blog I save for last.

  13. Well said, I agree. People seem to take vicarious ownership of a blog they follow, and because we sit in the privacy of our homes to read it, we forget it's the intellectual property of the author. Therefore we don't have the authority to dictate what the writer writes. We read it, maybe respond, but we aren't in the position of directing what it says. If we aren't happy with what it says, we have the right to go read something else, period.
    I for one don't believe in censorship, but I do get writing for an intended audience. And I like what you said about being able to express yourself without the explicit language. I wish there were more grownups so articulate!

  14. I just can't understand people complaining about blogs.
    1) It's your blog. written and posted by you. what you choose is your choice. If you don't like it, DON'T READ IT.
    2) Users get what they pay for. (generally speaking, ) you don't get paid for writing a blog - so what are they complaining about? Even if it was subscription only, rule 1 applies - if you don't like it, ...
    3) I really can't understand complaining about what you don't cover. A huge part of the value of blogs is that someone has pre-selected items of a particular interest to post about. If you want to see everything, try google.
    4) If you want to complain, please at least make it constructive. i.e. explain what would help "I'd find it easier to understand with more pictures", not destructive -"UR SITE SUKS LOL"
    5) Rant over. You're doing a good job - keep it up! I'm reading this every day.

  15. Can I complain about not seeing enough of the words I want to see too? I'm very fond of "ennui." Feels good in the mouth.

    Dude, it's your blog. If you don't wanna host yet another is it art/is it porn, then it's your decision.

  16. I wouldn't dream of dictating what a writer
    should blog about any more than I would write to Dan Brown telling him what to plot in his next book. How amusing that others are trying this on! Explicit language - I seem to remember something about swearing being a substitute for a lack of vocabulary (read education...)
    I love reading your words and viewing your choice of works, as it resonates with me. If other readers want something else then they need to move on, not you!
    Keep doing what you do mate.

  17. Ah, I don't really have much to add to the comments above except to add my support.

    It's your blog, Paul, and I really don't see why anyone else feels they can tell you what to do with it.

    I, for one, appreciate the fact that Dudecraft is all about what you like. That gives it a voice. It's not just a random collection of stuff. It has a context.

    Your site is great. Whatever your method or rationale for choosing what to post, I say just keep doing it.

    Unless you don't want to, in which case do something else :D

  18. Leo and I are always pleased!

  19. I like your choices and whilst I'm not into censorship, I do get fed up with those who think art has to be rude or lewd. My own stuff is pretty clean just by the way I look at things and it still is part of the art scene.

    Carry on Dude!

    viv in nz

    ps I'm part of a group called artfibredunedin. If you want a look add .blogspot :)

  20. Paul. I love you and your blog, just the way they are. It's your blog. You get to choose. And what you choose is great. So thanks. Because YOU are great too. xx

  21. How bizarre. The people who are complaining need to a) get a life and b) get their own blog.

  22. You've done a great job of exposing us to a tremendous amount of beautiful art and crafts in a relaxed, personable format. From a former art teacher and current artist, I really like your presentation and relaxed tone of your blog. There's no obligation, moral or otherwise, to the gods of art to give equal weight to anything you don't want to. It's your blog, you can do what you want and I'm glad you're doing it this way!

    There's plenty of blogs out there that people can go to that can make the devil blush if they have the need for that.

  23. I like your blog Paul. It's one of my must reads every day. I like it because it's nice and it covers lots of different things and it always makes me smile.

    I also like that it's about what you like. Which is good because it's your blog. Isn't it?

    Keep it up!

  24. I agree completely with you, and I am really irritated with the people who criticize you because you're not posting what they want to see. I'm sure there are plenty of blogs out there that post that stuff, and they are free to go there. To continue to come here and expect you to change to suit their interests or criticize what you do makes them look like selfish jerks.

    Keep up the great work. There are plenty of people out there who enjoy seeing what you do here.

  25. Um... don't you get to decide what's on your blog? So where do people get off questioning that?

  26. I LOVE your fun, yet very intelligent Blog!!!.. I should have chimed in way sooner!,and you are so right in recognizing that families enjoy your blog together!! So many times I have called my son over to take a gander at something really cool you've posted.
    But, the silver lining is...
    These topics have a way of bringing some of us out of lurkdom! ;-)
    Best Wishes!!!

  27. Who is complaining that your CRAFT BLOG needs to be EDGY?! It seems those things are mutually contradictory...I mean, not as a rule, but c'mon! It's not like you need edge or lewdness or rudeness to get your posts across here. This blog gets the thumbs-up from me, keep at it Paul - I started my own blog recently and you're def an inspiration to me.

    This reminds me of "A True Account of Talking to the Sun on Fire Island" by Frank O'hara. Especially this part:

    "Just keep on
    like I do and pay no attention. You'll
    find that people always will complain
    about the atmosphere, either too hot
    or too cold too bright or too dark, days
    too short or too long.

    If you don't appear
    at all one day they think you're lazy
    or dead. Just keep right on, I like it."

  28. I have been reading your blog for a few months now and have thoroughly enjoyed all that you post. Sometimes I bring my kids over to see things that might be of particular interest to them so I, for one, have been glad that there has not been swearing or nudity that I have to shield them from. I say, keep the format! Oh, and thanks for highlighting so many interesting things!

  29. Thanks everyone. I don't know why only some of your comments are appearing here, but I'm getting them all in my email and I appreciate all the input!

  30. Like everyone above me has commented, this is your blog and you decide what goes in it. Simple as that.

    I follow your blog because I like the things you feature and I have never thought the things you post as being conservative. In my personal opinion, if someone wants something edgier, they should find another blog and add it to their blog reading list along side Dude Craft rather than asking you to change.

  31. Paul, I love your blog the way it is!

    And for those who don't find it "edgy" enough then stop reading! I don't understand why people waste their time and energy being critical - I bet they just aren't creative enough to produce their own awesome blogs!

  32. Keep it up! Thanks for considering your readers' concerns, both reasonable and unreasonable. I love how often I find things on your blog that I like, too.

  33. Thank you for keeping it 'dinner party'! My boys and I throughly enjoy your blog and would hate to see it change.

    It's your blog and you should do with it what you feel is best. The complainers should start their own blog where they control the content (perhaps this would give them something to do other than being snarky).

  34. we love your blog and my 6 year iold loves the fact she can visit without us having to read it first :) there are plenty of other blogs out there with more controversial content - this is you blog and you rock it :)

  35. I enjoy the content you post and that you do give a heads up if a link may be NSFW, I access this from work on occasion and it's nice to know I won't set off a net nanny filter for stopping by.

  36. I just wanted to voice my support for what you are saying here. Really love the blog and appreciate your high standards.

  37. I like your blog and like the exposure to different artists. I was suprised to read this as I have never thought of it as not being edgy. I think that you have found your niche while using your standards. I like that this is something that families can look at together and that I can click a link from work with out worry.

    Keep the things that you find interesting coming.

  38. keep up the good work! you're blogs amazing... there are plenty of places to find "exotic" risqué art online... thanks for keeping it the way it is.

  39. I thought a blod was meant to be individual and a refelction of the bloggers thoughts and opinions. That said why should you adapt it for the wishes and wants of others?? Its a big world and it's a good job we are all different and if people come along read this and don't like it............well hey there are plenty of other blogs to go and read.

    Keep it just they way YOU want it Craft dude. If it anint broke don't fix it.

  40. Sorry above comment is very badly mistyped. I got carried away :)

  41. I have never been bored by DudeCraft or spent a time looking at your site that I didn't walk away inspired, awed and/or amused. I was actually really surprised that you would need to write any sort of disclaimer about NOT having anything foul in your posts. One would think that would only need to happen for the opposite...Right?

    I love your blog and would prefer if you didn't change a thing, thank you very much!

  42. Paul --

    I enjoy your blog. I'm a homeschooling mom and so I appreciate your keeping it clean. My kids love art and I love sharing what you post with them. Thanks for keeping it clean!!

    God bless,

  43. My students and I (I'm a 4th grade teacher in Mexico)love the things you post. My co-wokers also enjoy, and are left open-mouthed at your choices.
    As many above wrote, it's your blog, and you post what you want. Thanks for keeping it this way...I feel many more are exposed to good stuff by you doing it your way.

  44. I love your blog and am so grateful that I stumbled onto it. I check it pretty much daily to see what new and interesting things you have to share and I usually end up sharing with at least one or two other people and so-on....

    Keep on keeping on, Paul. For me, you are an arbiter of cool.

  45. Paul,

    I enjoy your blog as it is. Don't change a thing, unless YOU want to. It's YOUR blog for crying out loud. ;P

    I have seen so many new and interesting things here, and there have been things that I knew would appeal to my 10, 13, and 19 year old children - so I often share it with them. Keep up the great work!

  46. I, too, have been enjoying this blog immensely as it is. The art you highlight tends to be amazing without falling into categories that already have their own mass markets. Keep up the good work!

  47. you know what? I like just the way you are :o)

  48. Very fun and inspirational blog, I stop by for a quick peek and inspiration weekly. I marvel at what people have done and that they have also invested many hours to create and ply their craft. What a great example for young people in an era of instant gratification and minimal work ethic. Kudos for having some forethought about the example you're setting which also allows you a much wider and diverse audience.
    Sad that some people criticize your efforts and that you have to spell things out. Thank you for your time and energy.

  49. This is a "clean,well-lighted place"..So don't mess with TheDude!

    Thanks Paul!



  50. OK, so first I was a follower, but once I realized I could safely recommend it to my 10 year old I was ecstatic. There are so few art sites that are even mildly appropriate, and you always showcase things that I am NOT seeing on other blogs which is really rare.

    Just wanted to send props for keeping Dude Craft awesome and family friendly (and for the little warnings about nudity/profanity/ etc when needed).

    We love it and I can even recommend it to my parents. (oooo, that's the big one there!)

  51. Those that matter understand. Those that don't understand, don't matter. And they can "Shut The Front Door." Seriously, "Why The Face?"

    I'm tellin' ya, it's because of the black background. This is the ONLY "craft" blog I visit that isn't bright and rainbowy. Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;)

    Keep on doin' that thing that you do when you do that thing that you do so well.

  52. Love the blog and I share it all the time. It reminds me of Star Wars. Lucas made the film he wanted to make, not to please everyone. There is no cussing in Star Wars because it wasn't needed to tell a story and have great characters. Similarly, it's your blog about your interest. I'm plain happy to be along for the ride.

  53. Wow! This may be the most comments I've ever gotten on a post. Thanks so much for all the support. It's really nice to know what you think. Most of the time, us bloggers are operating in a vacuum, so thanks for piping up!

    Oh, and not to worry, DC will not change. I wasn't even considering it. I just thought it was time to pull back the curtain a little and let you see how I think about the blog. I'm so glad that you're all liking it so much and it's very gratifying to hear about all the enjoyment it gives you.

    Thanks again!


  54. A blog ought to be a reflection of its creator. That is what makes it authentic. Keep doing what you are doing.

  55. The fact that you even had to write this is appalling. Really, what a dumb thing to criticize. Love your blog. Thanks for the note!

  56. It's all been said in earlier comments, Paul, but I think you're doing the right thing. I've got no problem with the tone of the blog, and I think that having it accessible to students is an important point in your blog's favour.

    Similar to the commenter above who said they save your blog for last, I might skip through most entries in my RSS reader, but no matter how busy I am, I always make time to read through your posts.

    Thanks for the good work!

  57. I love your blog. It's one of only a handful that I read DAILY. Your content is top notch. I'm sure that if people are dying for a certain kind of content that can locate it elsewhere. Oh and also "haters gonna hate" :p

    Thanks for writing.

    -Mr. Stranger

  58. Paul, Stick to your guns. You do a super job of keeping this blog interesting, family friendly & informative. I've given your blog link to many who are most happy to find a blog that truely celebrates the craftsperson as an artist.
    For those who have felt that they need to control what you post on your blog, 'pppffftttt, & get lost'. This blog is his and he can post in his own manner. Go find another blog to mess with, we are here to support him. You messed with the wrong blog, he has a loyal following.
    Keep up the super job, Paul.
    alsmouse ~C8>

  59. ditto what beangirl said. I don't understand you even having to say something like this.

    You keep doing what you're doing.

  60. Ditto what everyone seems to be saying:
    Please don't change a thing Paul. Your blog is perfect just as it is.
    I appreciate all the art, craft and general quirkiness that you take so much time expertly curating and enthusiastically promoting.

    And what a great communicator you are - passionate, yet able to keep a cool and balanced view on things. You need to be cloned, and then distributed throughout the education system.

    The only explanation I can give for the negative comments you have received is - sadly - jealousy.

  61. Thank-you for keeping it clean. I appreciate it especially for hose times when one might be tempted to tread along while at work - not that I would do that sort of thing. The heads up about links not being so family friendly are handy too.

  62. Hi, I'm reading/looking/watching/enjoying your blog a lot just because it is so "normal". Sometimes when I find a blog I have to shut it down in a sec when my childern comes in because -of of nowhere- graphic stuff in high resolution pops up. And your taste is wonderful, makes med curious and leads me tom artists I never seen before. So a big hug and hang in there! It's your blog, noone elses. /Ulrika from Stockholm

  63. Thanks Ulrika! I love Stockholm. Been there many times.

  64. Your blog is in my Daily file. I often follow your links. I live near Amsterdam because I like it here. Edgie doesn't bother me particularly but I've found some comments on blogs degenerate to silly, smutty insults. I've got better ways to spend my time than reading reading yours for example. jeaninholland

  65. It's your blog. You post whatever you like! Nevermind what anyone else thinks.

  66. Gee, it seemed so simple to me. This is a blog about stuff that Paul finds cool. I hadn't even noticed that it wasn't edgy, because frankly, I was too busy finding a lot of this stuff to be cool, too. I sometimes find stuff that Paul loves which doesn't do it for me, but that's part of the fun, too. I also love the passion with which Paul writes about these things.

    The comments by people that DC is "too conservative" suggest that there may be an untapped market for an edgy craft blog. Or such a blog may already exist.

    I'm rather glad Paul took the time to make this statement. It clarifies in my mind what the blog is about, and will probably help Paul because people will be more aware of what he does and does not post.

  67. I love this blog, think you choose very interesting and often thought-provoking pieces, and prefer not to see gruesome or explicit work. There are plenty of people who do show that stuff, and the folks who want to see it can go read those websites. You are what you are; I don't understand why someone would pester you to change. You post what you like, why else would you do this?

  68. You are absolutely right - our family frequently enjoys this blog together, so I appreciate your discretion. I read your blog because I love your content, your comments, and your style, and would not want you to change any of that!

  69. Beautiful. "All walks of life" I appreciate your mission. Thank you

  70. Well said. I like your blog exactly the way it is. People who don't like it can go read another one. Keep up the great work, and thanks!

  71. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right!
    Keep up the great work, Paul. My family and I love your perspective. We enjoy the blog because we enjoy who you are.


  72. Your blog is a perfect mix. I'm a new follower and I like what I see I look forward to many quality updates from your fine publication. Tip of the hat.

  73. Thank you for stating what so many followers have agreed with before me....This blog is a reflection of YOU and I find inspiration and amusement regularly. I consider it an honor to be allowed to peak behind the curtain into your creative mind and will continue to follow your adventures. Keep on keeping it real! Good job!

  74. Your blog is often a place where I find (really cool) things I never would have found otherwise.

    I love what you do here, and I don't want you to change a thing. :)

  75. Paul, I appreciate the fact that I can open your blog without worrying what some young impressionable eyes may see over my shoulder. Please don't apologize for the content of your blog. I think you're the bomb!