Artsy Craftsy & The Battle with Childhood
What do you think of when I say, “artsy, craftsy?” (I know “craftsy” is not a word, but we’ve been saying it forever, so play along) Perhaps you conjure up images of your great aunt’s spare bedroom that is covered in tchotchkes, scrap cloth, thread, patterns, miles of yarn, and thousands of pins stabbed into her life-size manikin form with its expandable waist that increases each time you visit to mirror your Aunt’s waistline. When you visit your great aunt, you have to push all that crap off the bed to sleep on it. I would define this as “artsy, craftsy.”
Or maybe you just think of someone who is creative and likes to make things with their hands. I don’t know what you think, but I think of the former scenario.
To me, “artsy, craftsy” is code for “messy person, who makes things people send to goodwill” the kind of person I pray I never become. Yet, I was struck with a revelation as I visited my childhood (more like teenhood) home.
Visiting my parents at Christmas was the perfect opportunity to clean out my old room and bring home any childhood memorabilia I wanted.
I was knee deep in old sketches, drawings, palette tests, paintings, watercolor samples, my hot glue gun, light table, easel, my tool box full of oil paints, brushes, my separate watercolor box full of watercolors, glitter, my jewelry kits (from that brief time I wanted to make jewelry), all of my charcoals, pencils, and my special calligraphy pens.
It was here, sitting on the floor of my teenhood bedroom that I mused, “am I one of those dreaded ‘artsy, craftsy’ people?” All of the evidence was there. I was ready to throw it all away. “My gosh say it isn’t so! I swear I won’t become a hoarder!” I screamed at myself in my mind.
I took a step back (figuratively, not literally, there was no room to step back literally). It’s ok. It’s ok that my childhood self created all of this stuff, and gathered and experimented and painted all day sometimes. As a child, I usually was never satisfied with my paintings, they were never good enough and I still feel that way. But looking back at my childhood drawings and sketches, I’m glad I did them. I’d tell my little self, that it’s ok to make all these messes because it something you will do your whole life.
My mom is incredibly cool and let me stain my carpet beyond repair too many times to count; my bedroom carpet will need to be replaced if my parents ever sell their house.
Looking back at all my little paintings, sketches, and color tests, I smile because nothing has changed at all. Except I like my childhood/teenhood art more now, and I certainly respect it more.
I’m coming to terms with being an “artsy, craftsy” person, but please, just humor me and call me, “creative!”