The Healing Craft Series: Emma

Name: Emma
23 years old

About the series

The Healing Craft Series features creators sharing their thoughts and feelings on crafting and healing through crafting.

“My anxiety often makes me feel unworthy or not good enough. Creating helps this as I am able to produce an item and show myself and my anxiety that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”

Emma, @peachginkgocrafts

What kind of craft do you do and how long have you been doing it for?

My main craft at the moment is crochet. I started crocheting around a year ago but have only really gotten into it over the past 7 months. I have been so grateful for crochet over the Covid-19 lockdown as it was a way to make me feel productive and to calm my worries! I also occasionally do painting, embroidery and sewing.

What is your favourite place/time of day to craft and why?

I enjoy crafting at any time, but my favourite times are likely the morning and late afternoon, as these are the times I often enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits. When I’m crocheting I like to feel cosy and safe, so I often sit in my living room watching tv, listening to music or podcasts.

Over the summer when the weather was nice I sometimes crocheted outside in my garden or in a park, this felt really relaxing and it was good to get fresh air whilst doing my hobby.

What inspires you (in life & in crafting)?

A lot of things inspire me, but I’d have to say nature as well as anything colourful. This is true in both my life and in crafting, I studied Zoology at University so love seeing the beauty of animals, plants or fungi.

I love creating these in crochet form, either accurate to real life or more abstract, colourful versions. I love making things with lots of colours, because when I see them it makes me happy and encourages me to feel positive.

How has/is crafting helping you and your mental health?

Crafting helps me with my anxiety as it gives me an outlet and a way to relax my mind. The repetition of stitches and the concentration needed to follow steps of a pattern in crochet and in embroidery distracts me from my worries.

It also can be unstructured, and I enjoy going off and experimenting, making by trial and error to see where my creativity takes me. My anxiety often makes me feel unworthy or not good enough. Creating helps this as I am able to produce an item and show myself and my anxiety that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

Crochet has especially helped me during the lockdown as everything has been uncertain and scary but I know that I’ll always be able to pick up my hook and yarn and create something.

What is your advice to other creators (or newly started creators)?

I think a lot of the time there is pressure to create everyday and to be coming up with new ideas all the time, but this is often unachievable and unrealistic. It’s important to remember that isn’t the point of crafting, you should be doing it for yourself and for what you get out of it, as well as feeling good when other people like what you are creating.

To newly started creators I think I would advise to keep going. If your first few attempts at an idea aren’t successful, don’t get disheartened. It can be quite daunting when you are just starting out and comparing your work to others, but keep learning and don’t give up.

Anything else you’d like to share?

For anyone who is thinking about picking up a craft I would say go for it and try it out! I started my Instagram to showcase my work and I am so glad I did. I have interacted with some great makers and the community is so supportive.

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