About the series
The Healing Craft Series features creators sharing their thoughts and feelings on crafting and healing through crafting.
“I have been enjoying seeing more appreciation for Black artists like me, who have been overlooked in the past. […] It’s especially encouraging for all of the other people who have been marginalized to see people who look like them being recognized.”
What kind of craft do you do and how long have you been doing it for?
I like to call what I do “fiber arts”. This includes (but is not limited to) knit, crochet, sewing, looming, macrame, or any other craft that deals with fiber and creating. I learned to crochet and knit when I was around 6 years old. I also did a bit of hand sewing, making teddy bears and mending old clothing.
I did random crochet projects here and there over the years, but around 2017, I made a knit headband and put it up for sale on my website just to test the store feature (my website was originally for my blog). When someone bought the headband, it inspired me to create more items, so I went on Youtube to learn, and have been doing it much more often ever since.
What is your favourite place/time of day to craft and why?
I craft literally anywhere. Before the pandemic, I use to love to crochet on the subway whenever I went somewhere. I really liked using my commuting time in a purposeful way. Another favorite place was Madison Square Park in NYC. I’m kinda socially awkward and keep to myself, but people would always come up to me and ask about what I was making (which I enjoyed).
What inspires you (in life & in crafting)?
Seeing the things that other people manage to create with limited resources really inspires me a lot. I like to see what people do with repurposed items, or items that take a really, really long time to make. When I started out, I could barely afford one skein of yarn at a time, so I get motivated when I see what masterpieces can be created from almost nothing.
In life, I usually get inspired by very simple or random things. It could even be as simple as something someone says.
I will say that I have been enjoying seeing more appreciation for Black artists like me, who have been overlooked in the past. We’ve been creating so much art after generations of being oppressed, but seeing that art finally come to light is just so incredibly encouraging. It’s especially encouraging for all of the other people who have been marginalized to see people who look like them being recognized. I truly believe that we are each others inspiration.
How has/is crafting helping you and your mental health?
Crafting is definitely a major help with mental health in general, and it’s for sure a huge help to me. For one, the repetitive nature of the stitches and motions become very meditative, which refocuses my mind if it’s wandering into negative or anxious territory. Also, trying to keep my mind focused on the complexities of certain patterns can often keep my mind off of stressful times.
When a project is completed, that also is a huge boost to my confidence. I feel as though if I finished a huge project, I could finish something else that I thought might have been too difficult for me to finish. It gives you such a sense of accomplishment all around.
What is your advice to other creators (or newly started creators)?
I’m a huge advocate for everyone learning a crafting skill! I’ve taught a lot of people in my family how to crochet, and I will say that some people have a bit more of a natural inclination to the hand motions, but everyone can absolutely learn with enough practice.
My biggest piece of advice would probably have to be, don’t compare whatever you make to anyone else. Everyone has their own style, their own journey, and works at their own pace. Comparison is the thief of joy! Do whatever pieces make you happy, and if you are happy, others will see that in your work.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am still learning everyday, so I am always open and receptive to any type of feedback about my creations. Whenever someone gives me a compliment, I do an actual happy dance! I truly appreciate the community of creators that I randomly happened to stumble upon, and I think connecting with others over a shared love and passion for anything can really make it that much more rewarding and enjoyable!