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  • Alis Hâf

Getting crafty.

Updated: Mar 20

I’ve always been creative. If you ask my parents they’ll recount stories upon stories from my childhood when I would rather draw than play with dolls or when I once picked up a biro and 30 seconds later I’d decided to use it on my entire body to give myself tattoos! I can remember times when all I had as an outlet was being creative. Moving to a new town as a 10-year-old, pottery and craft classes became a way to meet other kids and when I went through friendship troubles as a teenager I was always able to throw myself into whatever project I was working on at the time.

For the past year, I’ve found it difficult to be creative without having a set routine and motivation. But what I’ve found out this past year is that is that by being creative and working on projects it actually helps to set out a routine, helps me become motivated in my creative work and in life and turns my dark moods into more happy ones. Throughout my time at university being creative was a must. Your grades depended on it. Your future career depended on it. Over those three years, I poured my creativity into my course and left little to none for any other projects. it’s since graduating that I’ve found ways to channel my creativity in ways that don’t necessarily feel like work and that I enjoy.

One of these projects came to life last summer. Scrolling through Instagram I found the hashtag #100dayproject. Users post an image on Instagram every day for 100 days of a project their working on. Ultimately you could end up with 100 pieces of work/art/photos/illustrations. After scrolling some more I was inspired and started to think what my 100-day project could be. It only came to mind as I was sorting through some of my old GCSE and A Level art sketchbooks when I came across some collages I’d created from images I’d found on postcards, photos and magazines I knew what my project could be.  I set out finding as many elements to collages as I could from old magazines I’d hoarded (for a reason!). A few days later and I had a few collages created and decided it was time to take it to Instagram and so the hashtag #AlisCollages was born. Posting every day gave me a routine and also gave me the motivation to create more collages. There were times I felt that I couldn’t keep it up but I powered through knowing that at the end I would appreciate it. 100 days later I had 100 collages and had posted daily on Instagram for over 3 months. After the end of the project I thought to myself I never wanted to make another collage again but questions and comments from friends and family changed my mind.

It was only until recently that I’d thought about picking up my scissors and glue again but after a few weeks of wallowing and feeling unmotivated I decided to get back into. Hence the reason for this blog. My recent collaging and crafting made me realise how happy it made me. Being able to be creative when I want to, not because I have to has definitely changed my mindset. Its obviously nice to be able to use creativity in work but by using it separately for once on a project with no restrictions or deadlines has helped me to see creativity differently and enjoy being creative more so.

Differently, from last year I won’t be picking up the 100 Days project but I decided to start a new Instagram account to share my old and new collages.  Take a look at @aliscollages and if you want to see some more of my posts then give me a follow. From this, I’ve also thought about selling some of my collages as prints so I’m excited to see where my collages might take me in the next few months.

Since starting to get crafty again I’ve also been inspired by an artist I follow on social media who uses embroidery and photography to create stunning visuals. I found my grans old sewing basket and picked up some old postcards and decided to have a go at creating my own embroidered images. I think they turned out pretty cool and an interested in seeing what else I can do with a needle, thread and some paper. If you want to see some more of my creative projects then you should have a look on my Cargo Collective page.

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