If you’re gonna purchase gifts for people this holiday season (or anytime, really) – shop local. By doing so you’re helping support a dream, pay a mortgage, and keep food on the table. The local makers need and appreciate your money way more than the corporations. Detroit has had its ups and downs, but don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – The Motor City is on its way up. So get out there and support those who are doing good things for the city. There are tons of rad artists, but here are a few to get you started. Let me know who else I should add.
Remember, friends don’t let friends shop only at large corporations.
Tyree Guyton is the artist behind The Heidelberg Project, an amazing open-air art environment on the city’s East Side. Now in its 29th year, the project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of art to inspire and transform. Guyton uses everyday, discarded objects to create a two block area full of color and art. Not only should you check out the website to learn more about the project, but you should also shop around. You can purchase t-shirts, books, photos and others – and it all goes to a great cause.
Rebel Nell creates jewelry using unique, local resources – like graffiti (how cool is that?!). Their focus is on employing, educating, and empowering disadvantaged women in Detroit, and helping to prepare them to become a more qualified member of the workforce. They empower women through jewelry making, educating on business, and teaching requisite skills needed for an independent life. All of that, and their stuff is rad! Check out their website to learn more, and shop. You’ll get to look fly while knowing that each purchase directly supports their mission to employ, educate and empower the disadvantaged women in Detroit.
Steve Miller paints illusionary narratives, which range from $200-$2,000. According to his website, his pieces are “one-of-a-kind original works of art intended to make you happy about living in this world, today.” Also, he has amazing urls: LookAtMyPaintings.com and LookAtMyDesigns.com (for his graphic design work).
Christopher Gorski, car collector, artist and owner of DetroitGT, has been drawing since he was a little guy. Since learning the art of silk screening in high school, he’s been applying his original illustrations and designs onto badass apparel and clever products that promote all things Detroit. Check out his Etsy page and website. If you’re at an event in Detroit, keep a look out for him and “Thread Sled,” which as far as I can tell, is basically a t-shirt truck – just imagine if he also sold burritos and beer outta that thing.
Adorably going as Jodi Lynns Emporium of Doodles, she creates custom doodles of scientists, country singers, places, and other fun little things. All of her work is illustrated in pen and ink, then printed, laser cut, or shrunk in the oven. Check out her Etsy page.