The "Average Joe" Crafter
By Christina Luick
I don’t really consider myself to be an “artist.”
I haven’t practiced my drawing skills since I was a child and can now create a masterpiece. Most of the time I draw scribbles and doodles in my notebooks during the work day.
I can’t sculpt things like “The Thinker” or “Venus de Milo.” In high school I did make a platypus out of clay that I could use as a whistle. That was cute.
I made some things in art class that got a nod of approval or a “oh, well that’s nice,” but I was never applauded or revered for my prowess as “artist.”
I’m just OK, an average Joe in the fine arts with mediocre talents. So I hone in what little skills I have and do crafting.
This hobby took over my life while I was in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was starting to work from home and was getting incredibly bored.
My friend Maddy and I used to craft together before she moved away. We made Christmas gifts for our family. I remembered the thrill of creating something with my own hands and being proud of the end product. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked it and I liked seeing my family enjoy it.
Crafting also helped with my anxiety because it distracted me. Being trapped inside my house during a pandemic made things a bit worrisome for me so I thought crafting could help!
Pinterest became my guide and Michael’s became my sanctuary. During quarantine, I was honestly worried that employees at Michael’s would start recognizing my name when I ordered supplies for curbside pickup. A local pottery store definitely knows me fairly well now.
For my first project during quarantine, I decided to make something small for my mom. I made her coasters.
She’d mentioned that she needed coasters and she would forbid anyone from putting down anything that could leave a wet ring on her new side tables in the living room.
So I bought some small wooden shapes and stamped them with a black paw (to remind my mom of our late family dog, Lucky). I painted the other side of the wooden coaster blue and then I sprayed the shit out of it with Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer to keep the stamp from rubbing off.
That project might sound pretty lame but it was a stepping stone to all the other fun crafts I created. It also led me to become obsessed with painting pottery and getting them glazed (thanks, Glaze Pottery).
I may not be what people consider an “artist” but I enjoy creating something of my own. It makes me happy and sometimes it makes other people happy.
I’ve recently started a page called DIYCreativeChaos on Instagram and hope to sell some clay keychains I’ve made. Not only do I hope that people will be interested in what I’ve made, I also want to engage with others who love to create things. I’ve discovered that small businesses and artists have far more fascinating things to offer and a lot of time and effort goes into what they made.
I hope to continue crafting and interacting with others who share the love of this hobby!