The Healing Craft Series: Rhian

Name: Rhian
23 years old
North Wales, UK

About the series

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

“I now also use crochet as a way of expressing my emotions through art, which I find very therapeutic.”

Rhian, @byrheebs

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

I do crochet! After years of obsessing over other crochet artists work, I decided to learn myself just over a year ago! 

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

I crochet from the moment I wake up until I go to bed, although I usually feel at my most creative late in the evening or the early hours of the morning!  I usually work from my living room (which I have now fully claimed as my office space). I like to be comfortable while I work and to have some background noise (whether it be a true crime documentary on in the background or some nice relaxing music- or my new guilty pleasure, Vanderpump Rules!) 

What inspires you (in life & in crafting)?

I’m often inspired by music I’m listening to at the time! For example, when I was creating my latest jumper it was originally going to have smiley faces on but then “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles came on and I knew instantly that this jumper should have strawberries on instead! From there my “Strawberry Fields” collection was born! 

I also draw inspiration from current events. Over the start of the lockdown I created my “Lockdown Feels” collection. This collection was my way of expressing my emotions on the current global situation through crochet. The collection (which is made up of both happy and sad faces) was a personal reminder to find the happy in the sad. The contrasting colours was inspired by a quote that my dad often tells me “If you are the light, there is no darkness”. 

Another way I find colour inspiration is from nature. Since being back in North Wales (after living in Bristol for 4 years) I have loved going on walks in nature and seeing the natural colour combinations of flowers, leaves and the sky. I have many pictures on my phone of colour combinations I have seen on my walks and often draw on them for inspiration.

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

After dropping out of university I felt like I had no idea what I was good at anymore and felt like I had nothing to be proud of.
I struggled with not feeling good enough and felt that I had messed up my whole life. When I started to learn how to crochet it was originally just something I used to take my mind off my stresses and something positive to focus on.

When I started getting better at it I found I also had something to be proud of and something I felt I was actually good at! I now also use crochet as a way of expressing my emotions through art, which I find very therapeutic. 

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

When I first started to learn how to crochet I would spend hours and hours each evening trying to learn and would literally have nothing to show for it! It took me about two weeks to make my first granny square! So my advice would be don’t give up, watch lots of tutorials and don’t take yourself too seriously! Like anything, learning a craft takes time but it is so worth it! 

I would also definitely recommend setting up an instagram for your work even if you don’t plan on selling your anything! It’s a great way to connect with other creatives and a fun way of keeping a  portfolio of your work to look back on! 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Although I currently mainly make clothes and accessories, I’m hoping to expand my business to start making more sculptural crochet and do more “yarn bombing”!

I’m also currently working on more scented pieces! My “strawberry fields” tote bag has strawberry scented strawberries on and I want to start making more scented items!

I can’t wait to carry on this crochet journey and share my new ideas on my instagram soon!

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