Let’s skip the part where we explain paragraph after paragraph how arts & crafts are amazing helpers for your mental health. You know it, we know it: taking on a crafty hobby will work as a form of art therapy, it’s just a fact.
The problem is that too many people are getting discouraged before they even start. Why? Internet bullies. Too many angry voices are shouting some version of “IT’S NOT DONE THIS WAY!” and innocent beginners just shy away. We’ve seen it ourselves way too many times, it’s a very sad state of affairs, let’s try and change it.
One. There’s no right or wrong way in arts & crafts
It doesn’t matter what crafty hobby for your wellbeing you choose, please don’t get stuck in someone else’s “right” way. You will always be doing something wrong is someone’s eyes simply because they do it differently. The truth is, many (MANY!) things can be done in an expansive multitude of ways and their way of doing something is neither right nor wrong, it’s just how they were taught to do it. It doesn’t matter if we talk about painting, woodwork or dressmaking. If you decide to take on a crafty hobby to explore the possibilities of the craft, just go for it and find what works for YOU.
Two. Celebrate mistakes
There’s no learning without mistakes, don’t be afraid of them. Mistakes will happen in the beginning and will most likely continue happening, well, for the rest of your life. And this is ok. As you grow and develop and learn something new, you will inevitably come across new mistakes – this is called progress and this is how you learn. Don’t get fooled by pretty social media posts where they “just” start a new hobby and the next day they are worldwide famous and perfect. That’s BS and is very likely staged. Nobody is immune to mistakes, make yours count and matter. Moreover, in creative disciplines certain mistakes very often become artist’s signature techniques. You never know what might happen to you – just go for it and see what happens.
Three. You don’t need to know the professional terminology
If you can press a camera shutter and deliver a gorgeous photograph, you don’t need to know the name of the button or memorise the exposure settings. If you can draw a pencil portrait that looks like a photograph, you don’t need to know the name of techniques you are using. If you are taking on a crafty hobby as a hobby, you don’t need to waste your time trying to memorise all the complicated words you have probably never heard before (and most likely will never need to use). We don’t use any complicated sewing terminology in our online dressmaking courses because it’s not needed: people come to us to learn to make clothes for themselves, overwhelming beginners with professional lingo is really unnecessary.
Four. Take it slowly
You must have heard that to become a professional in something you need to spend 10000 hours doing it. Depending on how much time & energy you are willing to give to your hobby, it could be anything form a few years to a few decades to master it. Both are fine! Don’t switch on self-deprecating mode if something doesn’t work right away or even if you are stuck on one step for weeks. Step away, let it sit and come back to it later. To learn any craft you need practice. A lot of practice. Nothing will ever replace practice. Be kinder to yourself and appreciate every time you show up to practice your new hobby. Small steps will take you a long way. Focus on the process, appreciate every small improvement, enjoy the journey.
Five. It’s ok to fail
Sometimes you might be working on something and despite experience, knowledge & time spent on your crafty project, it just doesn’t work. It happens to all of us and it is also completely ok. You are not a machine, you are a human being. Failing is ok. Worst case scenario is some wasted material, that’s it. There are no lives at stake or health in danger, it’s just a canvas, it’s just a piece of fabric, it’s just a piece of wood, etc. and you are not a failure, you have just failed one project. Ah well, learn from it and move on. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for growth.
Whatever new crafty hobby you decide to take in 2022, we salute you and wish you the best of luck and loads of creativity! Be kind to yourself <3