Over the course of my 20+ endeavor into chainmail I've never heard this phrase "That's not real chainmail," as often as I have recently when I started designing chainmail on the computer. It's a bit disheartening but expected. And while I have plenty of practice weaving jump rings into various patterns I've never made any real chainmail in my life. That is, if we're adhering to historical standards. Real chainmail is riveted using overlapped rings, not this butted ring stuff typically seen today so of course most people haven't made any real chainmail ever. I don't care what you call it, maille, chain, chainmaille, chainmail, or mythril, unless it's riveted it's not real chainmail. Right? We're all just frauds apparently.
I mean I'm not writing spam emails where 'if you don't forward to 10 people you're going to be gored to death by an angry glittering unicorn' and trying to claim that's a historical example of real chainmail I designed on the computer. I'm designing patterns based off a preconcieved notion that a pixelated ring shaped object placed into a certain repeating visual pattern based off of historical and present day examples would qualify for being described as chainmail. Or at the very least a recognizable chainmail pattern. But no. To some people the fact that they can't hold it in their hand disqualifies my designs as being "real chainmail."
OK. Duly noted.
People like this are everywhere, they're in every profession, crafting group, and hobby. They're gatekeepers trying to force their opinion of what something is as the only legitimate, rational, and reasoned opinion in the room. Only they can say whether something counts. Little kings and queens of their own little domains.
Now, I'm not going to accept that every 2 in 2 chain a newbie cranks out is worthy of being called chainmail, but I'm not going to shit on them either. I'll say "nice job, maybe try x" and move on about my day because it doesn't affect me in the long run and unnecessarily disparaging someone's work doesn't make me feel better about myself. So while I try to be a nice person I do have standards.
What I don't have is the need to tell someone "That's not real chainmail," where the discovery of what is chainmail is at its highest point in history. There are people developing weaves everyday out of the largest variety of materials ever available and I wouldn't tell a single one "that doesn't count" because it doesn't fit my idea of what makes chainmail chainmail.
I'm not writing this to convince anyone that the work I do on the computer should count as real chainmail. I don't care what detractors think or why. The aesthetic of chainmail is pleasing to my eye and if I can wrap my whole world in it then I'm doing what makes me happy whether the rings are stainless steel or designed on a computer and printed on a badass hoodie!
I'm writing this for anyone who has ever heard the phrase "That's not real chainmail," and took it to heart. I'm writing this for anyone whose ever done something and presented it as X and recieved feedback stating "that's not real X," from some know-it-all detractor. You will always have haters and critics if you do anything and present it publicly. Always. Not everyone is going to like you or the things you make. Not everything you do is going to be a masterpiece and sometimes you'll make garbage. That's just life and the only thing you can control is how you respond to it.
You are not responsible for your haters and critics opinions and their opinions aren't going to pay your bills so don't dwell on them for too long. The worst thing you could do is engage these people because as their ideas of what qualifies something as "chainmail," or as "X," is legitimized their narcissism grows exponentially. So, acknowledge their opinion and move on. Trying to change their mind is an exercise in futility that will only invigorate them and drain you of your will to create.
You have to be courageous enough to put your work out there for the world to see and humble enough to accept legitimate criticism. If you made hot garbage and someone calls you out on it then ok, but if you really poured effort into something that you're proud of don't let anyone take that away from you or tell you it doesn't qualify because it doesn't fall within their prescribed definition of what chainmail is.
I probably could have summed this up with "Don't feed the trolls," but I think it fleshed out nicely. I write these off the cuff mostly after thinking things over for a week or two so don't be too hard on my grammar please, I write how I talk while editing out the curse words. My last post had 35 readers which is absolutely amazing considering I never thought anyone would read any of them so thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts.
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