In Search of Artisan

Why You’re Here and Why it Matters

Welcome to the start of something different.

If you’re reading this, there is a good chance someone you trust referred you here.

There’s a good reason for this : this is how ideas spread, and this is the future of both business and art.

And it’s shaking up the conventional world as we know it.

The Shift in How We Consume

Everyone alive today understands the mass market: it’s how we grew up, it’s what we know, and it’s what we’ve come to expect.

Want a carbonated drink – grab a Coca-Cola; want a reliable washing machine – search for the General Electric logo.

Mass market is great for a lot of things: it lowers costs, it gives us access to an almost unlimited amount of products, and it can raise the standard of living across the board.

But, in the race to the bottom (hat tip: Seth Godin), we’ve found ways to compromise just about everything to increase our bottom line – humanity included.

This isn’t healthy – not for the individual and not for society.

Luckily, we are not sealed to this bleak future.

On the contrary, now, more than ever, there is a stunning opportunity to flip this conventional process on its head, do meaningful and important work, and impact the people who matter.

And it starts with small action…

The Connection Economy and You

The 19th century brought us the industrial revolution; the 20th century mass production, mass marketing, and the tv industrial complex; the 21st century instant connection, instant access, and the freedom – for the first time in a long time – to choose.

Prior to the 20th century, it was rare if not impossible to move up the socioeconomic ladder, change locations or careers, or develop anything more than the plot of land you grew up on (if you were lucky enough to own it).

Where you were born mattered a lot in 213 AD – it doesn’t matter quite so much in 2013 AD.

Now, there are more options than ever available to more people than ever.

The advent of connection technologies like the internet, combined with exponentially decreasing cost of production and distribution means more people are more connected than ever before.

And this means the way we live life, the way we do business, and the way we create (and consume) art is changed forever.

The Rebirth of Artisan

Prior to the 20th century, essentially every good and service sold was, by its nature, artisan.

The only way to get a haircut was from an artisan barber; to get a good pair of shoes from an artisan shoe maker; to buy a book from the local artisan book seller.

Society structured itself around the practice of individual craftsmanship and specialization – individuals building beautiful, creative, and personal businesses that served the needs of the community.

Everything was personal – everything was tailored – everything was artisan.

Sadly, the concept of Artisan faded with the advent of the mass market.  Many small business couldn’t survive in the same environment as the massive, government supported, mercantalist corporations.

If you were the little guy who cared about creating the perfect shoe for a single customer, forget about it – the cookie cutter box store has every size in every style and color ever invented, and the government supported and promoted the growth of these massive corporations because more corporate revenue meant more tax revenue.

Artisan was beaten…

But it wasn’t broken.

The Shift from Macro to Micro

While the majority of people still follow the major brands, still buy the mass produced and mass advertised products, the outliers are becoming a larger and louder segment of the market.

With the improvement and spread of technology, combined with the freedom and connection of the internet, Artisan is back.

Artisan is back because the individual is back as the focal point of production.

The chocolate connoisseur is no longer limited to regular or double-stuffed; he can go online and the selection is infinite: does he want a Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar by Vosgues, sent from Chicago, or a Mexican Style Cinn-Chili by Olive and Sinclair from Nashville?

Either way (of a thousand other ways) – it’s one click away.

Here’s why this is important: because his choice powers the companies he chooses.

Does that mean mainstream and mass-market are dead?  Absolutely not – the majority will still choose average.

But not everyone.

And ‘not everyone’ is growing.

Why Artisan Matters

So if you’re starting a business in 2013, what matters?

Does beating the competition’s price matter?  Does having a larger selection at a physical store matter?  Does catering to everyone matter?

Maybe – but I don’t think so.

I think Artisan matters.

I think hand-crafted matters.

I think personal matters…not for everyone, but for some people.

And these are the people Insurgent Publishing is all about.

Artisan Creations and Insurgent Publishing

Insurgent Publishing is a boutique, creative publishing platform.

It’s Artisan through and through – handcrafted by a small group of insurgents who are passionate about spreading good ideas.

Our goal, with every product, is to challenge not only the existing paradigm of ideas (via the content we create), but the existing paradigm of marketing, selling, and delivery.

Insurgent Publishing is more than a small scale publisher and more than your standard publishing imprint…

Insurgent Publishing is a creative agency, a crafter of ideas, and a platform for artists and authors to be seen and heard.

There must be better content out there than what an almost defunct newspaper’s ‘Best Seller List’ curates and sells to us…

Our goal is to find talented artists and authors, develop their ideas into beautiful physical and digital products, and publish them for the people who want to experience something beyond average for a change.

And that’s where you come in…

Our First Publication

We’re getting ready to release our first publication – The Creative Entrepreneur: the only business and arts journal written by and for entrepreneurs.

The Creative Entrepreneur | A Business and Arts Journal for the 21st Century Entrepreneur

the only business and arts journal written by and for entrepreneurs

This entrepreneurial journal is a semi-annual, donation-based publication.  With the help of, a portion of every dollar goes to supporting entrepreneurs in 3rd world countries.

If you’re an entrepreneur, artist or creator / starter / instigator of any type, I think you’ll find this publication right up your alley.

If you’re interested, you can preorder the first edition today for as little as $1 an issue.

Your Mission (if you choose to accept it)…

We want this publishing platform to have impact, and we need your help.

Are you an artist?  We want your art.

Are you a writer, blogger or aspiring author?  We want your words.

Are you an editor, marketer or printer?  We want your skills.

Are you a curious reader, someone starving for great ideas, unconventional products, and amazing, personal works of art? We want you on our team.

(think: free samples, first looks and access to exclusive, limited edition runs)

Together, we can challenge the echo-chamber of conventional ideas, break through the current, archaic book publishing paradigm, and pave the way for artisan works of art to be read, experienced and shared…

It starts with you:

Here are some of the things you can do to support our Insurgent mission:



“I just joined the Insurgency! Looking forward to some status-quo challenging books from @InsurgentPub #theinsurgencyisnow” [Click to tweet]


  • Email this to 5 people who you think might appreciate our mission and our message. The only way for a message like this to spread is through insurgent means – spreading from one person to the next.  This means we need you to spread the word to those who want to hear it.

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Thank you for your support.  I’m humbled and honored that you’re a part of this.

Until next time – keep creating

– Tom Morkes | President, Insurgent Publishing