Have you found that you reach for an art or craft medium because of the way you feel? Perhaps you’re doing some art or craft project now but don’t know why you chose that craft. Do you wonder how your emotions affect your art and craft choices?
Has this happened to you?
Remember back to see if you chose an art or craft project in the past – and in hindsight realized why you chose that medium – at that time in your life.
I know I have, and it was a long time afterwards that I figured out why I did that craft at that time in my life. Emotions can affect your art and craft choices – you just might not be aware of it while you’re doing it.
Conduct an emotional audit
To help you find the art and crafts you enjoy, it is helpful for you to conduct an emotional vs practical audit. It will help you see how your emotions can affect your art and craft choices. Download the audit template from the button below.
Let’s start at the beginning
Do you want to pursue your art and craft dream but don’t know which medium to try? If you followed the steps to audit your arts and craft stash and start using them, you will have sorted through your supplies and emotional attachment to those supplies. You may have identified a few arts and crafts mediums to pursue.
Only one art and craft medium to pursue?
Should you only pursue one medium? Well – it is possible to pursue a few mediums – even if only to keep you engaged, and not bored with pursuing one medium alone.
For example, I worked through my supplies and emotions audit, and I found that I was attracted to knitting, fabric manipulation and sewing, drawing and painting.
However, I know that I prefer one or two of these more than the others. Yet I also know that if I only pursued those one or two niches, I would be bored and feel constrained in my creativity.
It is essential that you mix up mediums to help your creative mind to move ‘out of the box’ and for you to pursue different art and craft projects – occasionally. Even if just to act like a ‘change of scenery’.
Do your emotions play a part in your need for a ‘change of scenery’?
In the past, I found that the mediums I pursued were closely related to how I felt or what was going on in my life at that time. This is something I noticed in hindsight – after I had immersed myself in the craft – and had appeared out the other end sometime later.
Have you reached for a particular craft for no other reason than you have to do it?
Emotions and art and craft – an experience
This was my experience.
During a stressful period in my life a few years ago – I sought out knitting. This was before I had done my art and craft supplies audit. I didn’t know exactly what was in my stash, but I knew I had a lot of yarn (and other stuff). But don’t ask me why I reached for the knitting needles.
My art and craft supplies included a huge stash of Patons Toto Kids Yarn (in all sorts of colours) in my cupboard. They were beautiful – but more importantly – I had to use them up.
There was no way I could discard them. I also felt that they were something that I had to pursue and complete – there and then – and not really understanding why.
All consuming emotional craft…
In support of my pursuit of knitting, I also bought knitting books online. Yes. There are some great books in there – which I will likely never depart with. Most of the patterns I used in the knitted bags were from Barbara Walker’s knitted Treasury book series.
Book – Knitted Toys Jean Greenhowe
Alice Starmore’s Charts for Color Knitting: New and Expanded Edition – Alice Starmore
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns – Barbara Walker
A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns – Barbara Walker
A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns – Barbara Walker
A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns – Barbara Walker
Book – World of Knitted Toys Kath Dalmeny
Mother-Daughter Knits – Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter
Mosaic Knitting – Barbara Walker
Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns
Craft repetition – is it beneficial for your emotions?
So there was a long period when I knitted – and knitted – and knitted. I knitted bags, beanies and pillows, coffee pot warmers and tea cosies. I loved knitting, and I had to do it. The process also involved mixing up the yarns and working out the colour combinations. When one project was finished, I immediately started another. It was manic knitting – there is no other description for it.
However, when that creative need was exhausted, I just downed tools, and they were not picked up again until a long time later. I had just exhausted that creative need – or I had travelled through my emotional patch – which lasted for more than a year.
But I wonder if I will I pick up knitting needles and yarn again – who knows? In this case, knitting was the crutch that helped me through an intensely stressful and emotional patch.
Perhaps this was art therapy that I set for myself – but I didn’t know it at the time.
Join our email list to receive updates. Join now and get instant access to a dynamic Polychromos colour pencil chart. Also get tips on how you can network with other artists like you. Just complete the form below.
Results of that emotional creative need
This knitted bag is fully lined with orange polyester cotton. It was knitted in orange Toto kids yarn and Black Flurry.
The above bag was made with Toto Kids yarn using an elongated check pattern in four colours – purple, white, light blue and royal blue. It is also fully lined with a royal blue polyester cotton fabric.
This pretty bag is knitted in Toto kids in three colours. Light blue, royal blue and yellow. It has a pair of timber handles and is fully lined with a light blue polyester cotton. This bag is knitted in a tricolor wave stripes pattern.
This densely knitted handbag uses a triple L tweed wtitch in Purple, yellow light blue Toto Kids yarn. It is fully lined with – purple homespun 100% cotton.
Another item made in was this tea cosy that uses a mix of colours. These are orange, purple, fuschia, light blue, black, yellow, blue Toto kids yarn. The pattern used in all these examples is the ‘proper’ English Tea Cosy from Stinkymum, however, the colour choices are all mine and their selection depended upon the yarn that was left in my stash, and using harmonious colour combinations (wherever possible).
This tea cosy uses red, blue, purple, white and light blue Toto Yarn.
This tea cosy in yellow, green and orange Toto Kids Yarn was the first I made. I think you can tell.
Plunger cover knitted in Flurry yarn. While you can’t see it in this image, this cover is secured by two gold coloured silk fabric covered buttons.
Another coffee pot plunger cover knitted in blue Flurry yarn secured by two black buttons.
A third coffee plunger cover knitted in red Flurry yarn, secured by two black buttons.
Cotton Yarn bags
These cotton bags were knitted in the warmer months of the year. This handbag uses the chain stripes pattern in red, black, white cotton yarn. The handles are black cane, and the bag is fully lined in red cotton fabric.
This hand knitted cotton yarn bag uses a motley check pattern in red, black and white cotton yarn. It is fully lined in red fabric and uses red cord as its drawstring handle.
This bag is knitted cotton in a chevron/fretwork pattern. It is fully lined with unbleached calico. It’s colours are orange fleck, white, black and grey. This bag used up the remaining yarn balls.
This five coloured pillow knitted in Patons Toto Kids in blue, purple, fuschia, green and white was a great to knit. It was a bit complex in that it uses Barbara Walker’s royal quilt pattern, but the colours and design were an achievement to imagine and execute.
The large pillow above was also made from Patons Toto Kids yarn in green, white and fuschia. I was getting to the bottom of the yarn stash, and had to be inventive of what colours would go with each other. This seems to work.
This is another pillow knitted in Patons Toto Kids yarn. It is white, blue and fuschia. These pillows were knitted at the end of my knitting spree, and the colours were becoming limited, and I was getting braver with the patterns used. It’s a nice result.
The above pillow knitted in Patons Toto Kids yarn is in green, white black and red. It is a large pillow, and the complementary colour combinations of green and red, and black and white work quite well.
Why do I think this happened?
This creative knitting outlet was at a time of stress in my life, and knitting is a meditative pastime.
You sit and knit and think of little else.
It’s a great relaxant – though that does depend on the knitting pattern being used.
So perhaps the knitting met my emotional needs at that time. When the stress had been removed, and the knitting’s meditative qualities became boring – I moved on to another craft – and didn’t look back to the knitting again.
Feeling much better after the craft than before
Have you found that? Have you found that you have pursued a particular art or craft in a time of stress or emotional period in your life, and then repeated that process until you have worked through your emotions?
If this is the case, then it’s got to be one of the best ways to help make us feel better. You certainly will have lots of hand made objects at the end of that period to enjoy, gift or sell.
Has this has happened before?
You know – I recall that I did this once with baking cakes – about 35 years ago. Once again, it was a stressful time in my life, so I baked cakes to make me feel better. Not eating them – just the process of mixing, baking and decorating them. I did this for months, and then just stopped. I didn’t bake cakes again until many, many years later.
Have you wondered why?
So there you have it – but have you wondered why you are attracted to doing a particular art or craft project at a particular time of your life?
Can you predict which art or craft medium you will pursue at a particular time of you life, or which one you will choose based on how you might be feeling?
What’s your experience?
Can you relate to this? Have you picked up a craft when you’ve been feeling stressed in your life – and don’t know why? You are not alone. Having a creative outlet like art and craft is healthy. It keeps us emotionally balanced.
Do you want to pursue your art and craft dream and find your niche? It will keep you emotionally balanced – and that’s something very good for you.
Do you like this post? Save it to your “Emotions and Art and Craft” board on Pinterest.