Why non-creatives should not be scared of craft workshops.

As a self-confessed workshopaholic I have often met them. The non-creatives. Or at least that is who they think they are.
They usually are at a workshop as a gift or in a group activity (like a baby-shower or a birthday). With slight panic in their eyes they enter the craft studio. Apologising beforehand that they are incapable of making anything nice, because they "are not creative at all".
Well here's the news: there is no such thing as a non-creative!

"Oh, but I am not creative at all!"

The first misconception: "I have no imagination."
Really? In childhood you made dozens of drawings, paper planes and clay models. Your imagination does not disappear. You are just using it in a different way now. Maybe you are fantasising about your travel plans, home d├ęcor, diner or a revolution.
When you cherish and challenge your imagination your ideas will become fresher and bolder. Clear your mind and something will appear in your head. Ask people who meditate: it is very difficult to think of nothing!
Some workshops (like stamp carving or screen-printing) ask you to bring a design of your own. If staring at a blank sheet intimidates you, tap into the internet or your photos as resources. I like to trace the outline of an existing image and make my own version of it. Or combine 2 images into a new one.

The second reason people give: "But I don't know how to do this."
Actually, that is the fun part of a workshop: you are learning something new. Practice makes perfect. But a workshop is not about perfect, it is about enjoying the process of making. You have a good time and at the end of the day your hands have created something that you can be proud of.

 A workshop is not about perfect, it is about enjoying the process of making.

What I enjoy most about doing workshops is being introduced to new creative techniques. Some I might use later. Others are a fun experience to have done once.

At the Handwerk Studio Leiden I help organising workshops or craft parties.
And the greatest compliment is to hear a participant say:
"Wow, I really didn't expect to have so much fun crafting!"

Job done! :-)


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