I don’t now about your library, but the library that I work at has some really nifty programs, some of which are arts and/or crafts. We also have Grab and Go Kits, which are usually craft projects. As someone who has creative urges, these things appeal to me greatly. As such, I’ve been doing a lot more arts and crafts since I started working at the library.
When it comes to the Grab and Go Kits, those are usually one and done. I did my fall scene in a jar, my winter votive, my calming heart that you were supposed to embroider something sweet on, but I stitched FU, and I was good. I didn’t feel compelled to buy more supplies and make more of those things (though I do have enough leftover material to make another calming heart, so that’s probably going to happen eventually). However, there were two programs that captured my artistic heart.
Back in the summer of 2021, our wonderful program director Marie held a tiny art show. She created Grab and Go Kits with three colors of acrylic paint and either a 3×3 inch canvas or a package of model clay. Inside the kits were forms for people who wanted to participate in the art show to fill out and return with their art, which was put on display for a month in the old display case that used to house the creepy doll collection that had thankfully been retired not long before.
Since staff was allowed to participate, I was all in.
How could I resist making tiny, terrible art? I love making terrible art. I’ve been using water color pencils for a few years. Acrylic on canvas sounded like fun. I made my tiny, terrible beach scene and loved doing it. All of the art that patrons and staff did was pretty cool, but it wasn’t putting my art on display that gave me the rush. It was that act of arting that I loved. The creation process.
I ended up buying more tiny canvases and some new acrylics. The results were gifted to people for Grinchmas.
And then I bought more canvases. And some more new paints. And I have made more tiny, terrible art.
Recently, my coworker Rachel held a program about pressed flower art. I had to work, but Marie covered the desk for me and my partner in library crimes Trisha so we could attend the program long enough to learn how to make the pressed flower art and collect the supplies so we could do it at home.
I took my cuttings, rolled out my clay, pressed my flowers, painted it all once it dried, and then did some macrame hangers for it. I gifted the results to a friend.
And then ordered more clay. My latest batch of flower art is sitting on the floor of my room waiting to be painted and will ideally be done by the time you read this.
That’s the real trick of all of this. Because I love doing all these things so much, I’m more motivated to find time to do them. As much as I love to do creative things, I’m the kind of person that will put them off, telling myself I don’t have time because I should be doing all of these other things, and now it’s too late. You know. Being responsible. It’s a total drag.
Tiny, terrible art and pressed flower art have challenged that mindset. Why can’t I paint a cherry blossom tree on a Sunday night while watching a movie? Good news! I can!
This is has been a marvelous life change. I don’t have to save my arting for when I have time. I can totally do some macrame or paint some clay on a Wednesday night after work. I am allowed to take that time to indulge my creative urges.
Which is good.
Because sometimes I must art!