Get Crafty | Creator
Jean Railla’s getcrafty.com…which went online in 1997, is largely credited with inspiring the movement that turned “handmade” into bohemian chic, and propelling a formerly fusty hobby into a $30 billion business. — New York Times
The idea for get crafty came from an unexpected place—the LA underground music scene. In the early 90’s, everyone I knew was baking wacky pies, crocheting strange art projects, re-outfitting their thrift store finds, and doing outrageous things with home-decor. There was a whole subculture of people who were into the domestic arts but with a decidedly punk rock bent. As a women’s studies major, I loved the idea of reclaiming domesticity as a creative activity. So, in 1997, while working a day job as a web site producer, I launched the indie web zine and community Get Crafty: Making Art Out of Everyday Life. Over the next decade, the site grew to over 75,000 users a month and influenced a generation of crafters. I wrote a book based on the site called Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec that was published by Random House in 2004.
5 Nights Out | Producer & Director
In 1993 I self-financed, produced and directed 5 Nights Out, a documentary featuring the musician Beck before he was Beck, along with several other bands and artists that were part of my scene. Heavily influenced by ‘zine culture, the movie was shot like a diary. I’m not sure if anyone would have cared about this gender-bending, cinema-verite romp through LA’s indie music scene without Beck—but his song “Loser” had become a huge hit just as we finished editing the film. 5 Nights Out garnered national attention, played film festivals, screened in several cities and sections of the film were shown on MTV.
Meal by Meal | Blogger
Taking my interest in crafts and the domestic arts to the next level, in 2007 I received a masters in food studies from NYU. My thesis “Nothing Here But Us Servantless American Cooks: Food Blogs and the Democratization of Culinary Culture,” inspired me to start a food blog of my own, especially after spending so much time engaged in research and theory. I wanted to get back to making. In a small, mostly unkempt apartment with a sad excuse for a kitchen, I started to cook. I invited friends, acquaintances, even my husband’s professor colleagues to dinner. I made twenty-five meals in twelve months that first year––and documented my progress at mealbymeal.
Music Videos | Editor & Director
In the early 1990’s, I worked on music videos with a group of talented directors that would come to define music video styles for years to come including Spike Jonez, Adam Berstein, and Steve Hanft (best known for directing Beck’s Loser Video). I went on to edit Luscious Jackson’s “Deep Shag” video, and then to direct Possum Dixon’s “Radio Comets.”
Deep Shag — Luscious Jackson (Grand Royal)
Radio Comets — Possum Dixon (Interscope Records)
Director and editor