Benefits of Craft: Why 2020 Will Be the Year of Craftfulness
If you're reading this article, you probably already agree with us that the power of crafting is something pretty special. There's a distinct kind of joy, contentment and peace to be found in the simple pleasure of just sitting down and making something with your hands that continues to draw people from all ages and walks of life into experimenting with creative pastimes. Some people call it mindfulness... some call it craftfulness!
If you've ever found yourself lost in the calm repetitiveness of a crochet project, or the exciting unpredictability of a mixed media journal, you'll totally get where we're coming from when we say that it's the crafting process itself that seems to bring the most joy - not necessarily the satisfaction of completing it, as with some other projects.
But why? What is it about crafting that has us so hooked? And how can we all achieve a little more craftfulness in 2020?
Crafting Provides a Creative Kickstart for the Brain
The process of making something from scratch forces us to start every craft project in the same place... staring at a blank canvas! Whether that means an unopened pack of yarn and an empty crochet hook, a blank piece of paper, an empty cardblank, or something else entirely... it provides the same kickstart for all of us. It forces us into a mindset where we need to come up with a plan, an idea, or simply or a way to begin! Whilst relaxing with a good book or sitting in front of your favourite film are all great ways to enjoy your spare time, none of them trigger that creative kickstart our brains love, like a craft project does!
Creating Enables You to Be Present in a Moment of Calm
As we said above, diving into films and books can be great ways to enjoy moments of calm... but nowadays, we're all so used to the fast-paced nature of everyday life, that taking these breaks and forcing ourselves to fully disengage from the world for a true time-out can seem far more challenging than it used to be! Even when we're watching TV, we find ourselves checking our phones, reading emails, adding last-minute groceries to the online shop... or perhaps your TV is in your kitchen so that you can get the washing up done, and tomorrow's packed lunches made at the same time?
We're so used to multi-tasking these days, that half the time, we don't even realise we're doing it. But with crafting of course, all those little tasks are forced out of your hands, as your hands are kept fully occupied by the craft project you're creating. Forget the shopping list, or the tickets you want to book, or what the weather will be like next week... with crafting, you are forced to become immersed only in your project...and that is something truly liberating!
Crafting Enables a Rebellion Against our Digital Age
Just like the original Arts and Crafts movement was inspired by a reaction to the rise of capitalism, and the industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century, now we are seeing a second resurgence of the celebration of all things unique and handmade, perhaps as a reaction to the swift rise of all things digital that the 21st century has brought with it.
The original Arts and Crafts movement was based on a philosophy calling for a retreat to a slower-paced way of life, and affording skilled craftsmen and women the recognition they deserve. Leaders like William Morris and John Ruskin wanted to present an alternative to forcing laborours to work long shifts in factories to churn out mass-produced goods.
Whilst there may be less of us working in factories these days... there are many of us stuck in offices, in front of computers, experiencing that same yearning to escape the monotony and repetition, and find a way indulge in craftfulness, and celebrate the unique once again.
Creativity Delivers Achievement, Satisfaction and Self-Esteem
Whilst we've talked about the benefits of the making process itself, we mustn't ignore that amazing feeling you get when you've completed your project - be it a sketch, a handmade card or a knitted hat - and you feel good. What is that? A sense of satisfaction, a sense of achievement... and a fantastic little self-esteem boost delivered by the fact that you're holding something beautiful in your hands... and you know that it came from you. Your brain loves those little hits of feel-good!
Our Brains Are Wired to Benefit When We Use Our Hands
Cast your mind back to your days at school, and when it came time to study for a test or exam. What was the best way to lock that information down in your brain? Tactile learning of course! When it came to revision, every teacher insisted that just reading through the textbook would be no good at all - you had to make notes, draw diagrams, use highlighters and create flashcards... you had to get tactile with the information. And it's this same tactile learning and doing that benefited our brains then, that benefits our brains now, when we craft.
No matter how digital our workplaces, homes and lives become, we still yearn for that opportunity to get back to basics, and create with our hands. To learn new things, to make new things, and to achieve new goals... all things that we can experience through indulging ourselves in a craft that we enjoy, and stealing ourselves moments of craftfulness.
If you'd like to indulge your creative side, try something new, and invest in more mindfulness this year, then dive into our website and explore an Aladdin's Cave of crafting kits, tools and supplies. Treat yourself to a daily, weekly or monthly crafty time-out, and reap the benefits for 2020 and beyond!