-Bakers in the Dutch city of Emmen get creative, photo: Nichola Davies.
Humans are creative beings; you can see it through the arts and culture that surrounds us. A creative outlet is important in expressing yourself as an individual and taking time back from our busy lives to focus on something personal. Something with visual, physical results is especially rewarding as you have created something of worth, either to yourself for sentimental value, or if youíre an entrepreneur, for monetary value. If you donít have a creative outlet, never fear because you can start at any time, for relatively little cost. Here are some examples if youíve thought about taking something up but couldnít really decide what.
Drawing can be fun and frustrating to begin with. If you donít think youíre a particularly good drawer, there are heaps of getting stated tips at the end of a google search; not to mention books which you can borrow for free from your local library. You donít have to draw birds or people; you can draw whatever you want and it doesnít have to look pretty. There are so many different materials you can draw with as well; not just the standard graphite pencil. You can use watercolours, oil pastels or charcoal. Your local art store will have whatever you need.
Like drawing, painting can be a challenge to start, but have fun with it. Everyone has a different idea of where to start or what they want to paint first; but if you have little idea, work with simple scenes to start with and move on to more complicated imagery with a greater use of colours. Have a look around for some night classes as well; you will get some valuable advice and might make some artistic friends who share your new hobby.
My mum is a scrapbooking enthusiast. Scrapbooking goes hand in hand with people who enjoy photography. All you need to start is some different coloured paper and trinkets of your choice to decorate the paper and images. It can be a lot of fun matching the colours in the photographs to different papers and embellishments like ribbons, stamps and stickers. Scrapbooking is becoming increasingly popular, and there are a lot of specialist stores around, or at least a set aisle in your local craft store. If youíve never been in to a specialist scrapbooking store, you will be gobsmacked by the range that is out there.
DSLR cameras are getting cheaper and better, making photography an increasingly affordable hobby. Once you have your camera, thatís really all you need unless youíre doing night photography, you will need a tripod. Go for a walk or drive around your city and take some photos using your manual setting and focus on correct lighting and framing. You may discover you have a whole new appreciation for your city.
These particular favourites of nana are nothing to be scoffed at. There is a always need for a good chunky knit cardigan, scarf, unique dress or embroidered cushion. You can also save yourself a lot of money at the tailor if you can do your basic mending yourself. You can make some beautiful embroidered pictures which have a range of applications: clothing, cushions, wall hangings, tea towels; and donít forget monogrammed robes.
ē Furniture Restoration:
This may be left to those who have intentions to sell what they create; otherwise you may end up with more furniture than space in your house if your hobby really takes off. Start small with something like a small side table and hand sand it down. You can then re-stain it or paint it. Move on to more complex items with some advice from people at your local hardware store.
ē Make Home Decor:
Spruce up the homestead with some handmade works. You can make some mini terrariums or a wall hanging with a collage of your favourite images, lettering and trinkets; itís limitless really. Pinterest is a great place to go for some ideas.
ē Cake Decorating:
Delicious and pretty, but you will need to buy a piping starter kit to get going. YouTube will be your best friend if you want to get into cake decorating, because there are tutorials on how to do the fiddly decorations like miniature roses. There are also specialty places or sections for cake decorating in craft stores.
Many of us have our own blog for various different reasons. I personally have two blogs - one to showcase my work as a freelancer, and another fashion blog. Your blog can be about anything that interests you, whether itís a personal diary; a way to have your pictures all in one place - whatever interests you. To get started you will have to first pick which platform you want to host your blog: wordpress, tumblr or blogger being the three main personal blog platforms, and have a play around creating your theme. Then get posting.
ē Learn a language:
Bear in mind before going and buying your classes or books that learning a language is not easy, but is tremendously rewarding. You will need to put in at least a couple of hours a week, because it is very easy to forget what you have learned. I started taking French classes this year, and it is one of the best decisions I have made. I have a friend who I practice with, so it makes it easier to keep practicing. What better excuse to go travelling?
Hopefully this has helped you to find a creative outlet and rewarding hobby!