Revealed: Why You Can’t Resist Animals in Crafting
Most crafters love animals; they seem to be two passions that go hand-in-hand. For that reason, craft brands are increasingly incorporating animals into their product ranges. At this very moment, Hunkydory, Kanban, My Sentiments Exactly, Trimcraft and Tattered Lace all feature pet-themed designs across their supplies — something that we don’t see stopping.
Animals Are a Source of Comfort
So the main question is this: why do we love animals so much? There are a few points to consider here. Firstly, animals — particularly domesticated pets — make us feel comfortable. If you’ve ever had a bad day at work and were greeted by your dog or cat upon your return home, you’ll understand this. Our pets help to relax us. Without even knowing it, they offer us support and love when we need it most. In fact, pets are actually known to decrease stress. As we stroke them, our bodies produce oxytocin — a hormone that reduces stress levels.
Let’s relate this back to our crafting. Although we can’t ‘pet’ the animals printed across our craft supplies, our brains are somewhat programmed to react to images of cute, fluffy cats and loveable dogs with feelings of happiness and contentment. Interestingly, animals seem to be able to decrease our stress levels just by looking at them. So it’s no wonder that animal-themed product ranges are such a hit with crafters! Crafting is already a relaxing hobby used to unwind… so could animal-themed crafting be the ultimate way to soothe our souls?
Our Pets Never Do Us Wrong
Not only are animals comforting to us physically, but they’re also very emotionally sensitive. I doubt that many of us could recall an incident when our pets have deceived us. I mean, cats are particularly questionable but they never intentionally try to hurt us. That’s the key word here. Animals lack malevolence — something that people can impose on one another. Our pets have us wrapped around their little fingers (or claws…?) but it’s never in a manipulative way. It’s because we love them so much. The thing that separates animals from humans is that they’re able to forgive easily; all they want to do is show love and be loved in return.
Again, let’s relate this point back to crafting. We choose to craft with animal imagery — there’s no manipulation in it. Because our pets are so sweet to us, we want to fill our lives with even more animals. It’d be impractical to own 15 cats and 10 dogs, so collecting craft supplies that are plastered with animals is the next best thing. Animals are so pure and so innocent — something that makes us feel a little better about the world around us. As crafters, we make gifts to send to our friends and family so that they can share the joy animals bring us, too.
Craft Brands Love Animals As Much As We Do
As I mentioned earlier, the sheer quantity of animal-themed craft products on the market right now is overwhelmingly spectacular. One of Hunkydory‘s most recent product ranges was “Paws for Thought” — a collection of adorable kittens and cats sprawled across a luxury card kit, inserts, a paper pad, and stamps. This artwork falls under the artistic category of realism, showing our feline friends lounging on bed linens, playing with bobbins, and rolling around in greenery. The range resonates with us because it reminds us of our own pets, offering us that much-needed comfort, a reduction in stress levels, and feelings of happiness.
But craft brands don’t always use the ‘realism’ movement to portray animals. Kanban’s “Kids and Kuties” range incorporates animals in a different way, turning them into cartoons. Interestingly, it’s thought that humans easily get attached to cute cartoon characters — but why is this? Most designers actually use a sort of formula — it’s all down to the proportions of their features. Designers have found that most people find child-like qualities cute. And guess what? This can be found in Kanban’s new range; they have a large head, small ears, and short arms. These animals are soft and baby-like — something we can’t help but find cute.
Again, the same can be said for My Sentiments Exactly‘s range. They focus on foxes, bunnies and bears, conveying them in a hand-drawn style. The proportions that they use are somewhat similar to Kanban, drawing a large head, small ears, and short arms. The recipe for cuteness! Curiously, ‘The Fox Says’ stamp sheet — the one that sticks to these qualities best — is one of the favourites for Create & Craft customers. So, here’s a project to inspire you!
This project uses the My Sentiments Exactly ‘The Fox Says’ Clear Stamp Set to produce an adorable card that tells your recipient that you love them — just because. Aside from the stamps, Sara also uses Rare Earth Pitch Black Ink, Kraft Card, Super Smooth White Card, Yellow Card, Teal Card, and Black Card. She then finishes it off with a little Baker’s Twine.
“This cute (and cheeky) little fox was an instant Create & Craft audience favourite. This sweet and stylish image also allows for so many fun techniques, like paper piecing!”
“Design Tip: My Sentiments Exactly gives you ‘innies and outies’ — sentiments for the outside of the card, along with coordinating sentiments for the inside. This gives you lots of options and variety for creating heartfelt messages!” — Sara Naumann