A Handshake with Handmade: A personal insight on the arts and crafts trend
I am Vincent , 29 years old and a craftoholic. This addiction was foreshadowed by receiving a 365 days of paper snowflakes desk calendar for Christmas last year. As having never done it before, I took it as a challenge. I patiently folded and cut my paper creations every morning with my breakfast coffee.
My captured audience was my boss’ daughter. It lasted a month and a half until I lost the specific instruction for a special folding pattern. Work piled up too. My creations were soon left hidden inside my drawer.
Fast forward six months later, Craft MNL posts pop up on my wall and the urge to click on one of their workshops was irresistible. They were brewing a new diversion from the usual weekend. And three craft sessions stamps later, I am definitely hooked.
I’m surprised though that I am not alone. There are other craftoholics out there. There are newbies like me diving into something different. There are also the true artistans who have been tinkering with paper, scissors, and paints for longer than they can remember. And what is more amazing is that the craft community is growing in this very technologically wired world. Etsy, the ebay of handmade items, made $700 million this year out of its crafters.
Why the boom? Why are people using their brush rather just their stylus? Here are some of my thoughts on why the turn to home grown love:
- Diversion from digital: The digital world was initially a diversion from the real one. Today, people are experiencing technological fatigue. The backlash is that they need a diversion from their digital diversion. Art and crafts provides something that digital can’t do, a real and tangible experience. Digital items try to simulate reality via 3D effects but they will always fall flat, literally as they are limited to their screen life. You can tap away at your tablet but you can never simulate the true textures of reality. A paper airplane app cannot compete with the joy of a real paper airplane that you can fold, paint, blow on for good luck and throw in the air. You don’t even need electricity to make it run!
- Be the creator: In a world full of consumerism, people are also tired of being a shop-a-holic. There is more achievement in making something for yourself than buying it in a store. Digital once again can’t compare to handmade items. You can draw illustrations in Photoshop and render them in 3D. Yet, there is a special joy in seeing it brought to life and getting your hands dirty doing it. You feel more like a divine creator after.
- You are special, baby!: Technology has made things mass produced. As a consequence, the shirt yesterday can be bought and worn by a million other people. Buying handmade assures you that the item that you make, give or buy is a one of a kind. You receive the unique love that gifted hands can only give and automatic machinery cannot. Moreover, the charm is the knowledge that you are only one in the whole universe who owns that crafted item.
- Art Therapy: Making arts and crafts can be therapeutic. As you cut away at rubber to make a relief, you can get into a special zone that make you forget all your worries. It is a good autopilot mode that can a be de-stresser from everyday deadlines. And if you made a beautiful piece, it is quiet relaxing to look at what you have accomplished.
Have more thoughts on why this trend is booming? Share with us your thoughts for handmade love!