There are few greater honors as a skeptical female than being asked by Rebecca Watson to be a Skepchick. As if that wasn’t quite fantastic enough she announced that I was the newest Skepchick at the coolest party at TAM7 to a packed house of skeptics of whom I completely respect and absolutely adore. Almost everyone at the party was wearing my jewelry WHILE they congratulated me on becoming a Skepchick. It was AWESOME. I was pretty convinced by the end that I had actually acquired Skepchick superpowers and I even considered signing up for Scientology’s super hero program to show them what super is really all about. It was an unforgettable weekend. I was on top of the world.
Then I came home. I had sold out of a lot of my pieces over the TAM7 weekend so I started posting some necklaces in my etsy shop and one of the pieces I posted was one of my atheist necklaces. I have posted a photo in case you are not familiar with the design.
All my pieces are hand formed and hand painted little pieces of ceramic art and I created that piece to fill a gap I feel exists. Let’s face it, atheists are sorely misrepresented in the jewelry market and this is one of my designs geared towards non-belief. Very soon after I posted the necklace I saw that the counter on my Etsy page was steadily rising and for a moment I actually thought I had gained popularity due to my newly acquired Skepchick super-title. It was cool to be a skeptic and I was accepted as an atheist. I had reached my people. I had arrived.
The reality was of course something completely different. The reason I was getting so many clicks was that my little piece of non-theist art was being dragged through the mud. On the “another I cannot believe anyone paid for this product thread” some guy with glowing angel wings on his avatar had posted a link to my necklace with a caption that said:
“made with 100% [smug]”
Below it someone posted:
“What are you talking about? Nothing makes you look cooler than a low-quality, homemade, ceramic necklace printed clearly with your stance on a controversial issue, but wittily as an acronym made up of more positive adjectives about yourself and those that agree with your position.”
It is well known that atheists are advertised by theists as evil, immoral, baby eating monsters. Now we were smug too.
My intention with that design was to make a sweet necklace that could take the place of a cross or other theist pendant and I also wanted to express and reinforce some of the positive attributes of a nonbeliever that are so often distorted and dismissed.
Does it matter what a bunch of internet trolls with nothing better to do than complain about things think about the art that I create for atheists and skeptics? Am I preaching to the choir, as they say?
It really helped to put things in perspective for me. It reminded me thats it is important to to put skeptical and science inspired art out into the world.
I’m proud of what I do and what I create as an artist. I’m also very proud to be an active part of the skeptical community. I realize now more than ever that we are a minority and that most people do not understand our (totally awesome) worldview. We have a lot of work left to do. I will continue to create art that supports our movement. I will do my best to help explain skepticism and science to the public through visual mediums and I look forward to sharing my many projects with all of you.
I’m SO ready for my next mission. Skepchick powers… ACTIVATE!