I often hear people say that they “aren’t crafty.” However, I think anyone can learn to craft.
In this world where people share their finished projects on Instagram and Pinterest, it can be hard to remember that it’s not about the end product. However, the healing is all in the process.
That’s why today, I wanted to share with you an excerpt from the introduction of my book Hook to Heal: 100 Crochet Exercises For Health, Growth, Connection, Inspiration and Honoring Your Inner Artist. I really wanted to start off by encouraging people to embrace their inner artist. I hope this post encourages the same for you.
I Am An Artist. So Are You.
Bear with me if you don’t believe that yet.
We all create. We do it in ways big and small every single day, intentionally and unintentionally.
We create personal fashion styles through the clothes we select and combine and wear at different times in our lives.
We create magical moments when we say the right word at the right time or allow the right space to happen when things need to pause.
We create relationships with others.
We create ourselves. Creation, creativity … it’s at the heart of all that we do. And yet there remain so many people who deny their creativity. I find this all too often in my life and it especially saddens me when I see it in the craft community where people are making something by hand every single day and yet hesitate to name themselves as creative, let alone as artists!
You Are The Only You
I am here to encourage you to own those names and honor them because in doing so you make more room for creativity and art in your life. The world thrives when each of us creates in the way that is truest to our hearts, when we do it often, when we do it daily, when we create in every single breath that we take and word choice that we make and stitch that we pull up onto a crochet hook.
We are each born with a unique self and this self gets information and input and influences all throughout the course of life. There is no one else in the entire history of the universe who has had that same combination. You are the only you.
Your Creative Self Adds to the World
I believe that it adds value to the entire world when you share that unique self with others through your creativity. We are all connected, we are all contributing to a piece of a larger whole that is this world and this history that we both inherit and create, and we each have the responsibility to become our best, fullest, truest selves in order to give the most back to that bigger thing beyond us.
How magical it is that in doing that we also get to be entirely self-focused in the sense that we get to turn deeply inwards and really hear and experience our own truths as valid? We get to have our own original unique experience and expression and simply by doing that we offer something to the world around us.
I believe that this is an amazing opportunity, a true gift, and also a responsibility. I believe that when we fail to become our fullest creative selves, the world loses out. And I believe that when we denigrate or dismiss our creative abilities, when we are too scared to call ourselves artists and too timid to carve out the time to intentionally create, that we are doing damage to the world around us because we are not giving it our maximum potential.
Some have said that it is selfish to take time to create art. I know of people who crochet that hide their yarn stash and lie about the amount of time that they spend on their craft because they feel guilty, thinking that they are being selfish by indulging “wastefully” in this craft that no one else understands.
However, the opposite is true; it is when we don’t create art and when we don’t take time for crafting that we are really being selfish, because it is in the act of not owning our full creative potential that we do the most harm to others around us. I believe that the only way to be our best selves is to take the time to understand our own inner experience and then to express that through creativity.
Honoring Your Creativity Heals You
And I believe that in doing that we heal ourselves. The best thing for the world is for the world to consist of healthy, happy people. When we each do our best to become our most well selves, we help make the world well again. I believe that through creativity, art, and craft we are able to improve every aspect of our lives, from our own abilities in work and play to our relationships with others.
Listen to me carefully … you are an artist. You with your hook and yarn are creating something that has never before existed in quite the same way as the way that you are making it. Yes, even if you are a beginner at crochet. Yes, even if you always follow patterns to the letter.
Because every stitch is an act of creation, every choice you make in the selection of patterns adds up to a body of crafted work that is unique from any other that has been made by another crafter. It may not be comfortable yet to call yourself an artist. It may be scary to say that you are going to own your creativity and make it a priority. That’s okay. It’s okay to be scared. Do it anyway.