How Crafts & Creativity Can Help You Adapt to Life as an Introvert
Crafting might just be the therapeutic pastime you need
Nowadays, we all seem to have a lot of extra time on our hands. However, hobbies like crafting from the comfort of home don’t always come easy to everyone – especially extroverts, who might otherwise prefer being out in the world. According to PositivePsychology.com, the first, official random sample by Myers-Briggs revealed that Americans identified as 50.7% introverts and 49.3% extroverts. As we continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ at home, a huge percentage of the US is wondering what to do with all of that extrovert energy. Have you thought about tapping into your creative talents? Creativity not only offers a fun pastime but can be therapeutic – and perhaps, lucrative – too.
A Crafty Hobby-Turned-Business
While quarantined, extroverts like Summer DuBois-Lenderman, 41, have transformed hobbies into full-blown businesses. DuBois-Lenderman, whose mother taught her to sew at age 12, once crafted outfits and dance costumes and accented her “dream bedroom” on a budget of $50. Consequently, her skills led her to obtain her bachelor’s degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2001. Next, DuBois-Lenderman spent time as a fashion designer in Montreal prior to relocating to Boulder, Colorado, where she currently resides. She then dabbled in alternations and crafting custom upholstery, but has since pivoted into the realm of marketing and events.
“When the pandemic hit and there was a call to all sewers, friends began sending me messages to make them facemasks,” says DuBois-Lenderman. “I had just lost my new job – only 1 month in – so I pulled my Bernina sewing machine out of the garage and set it up on the kitchen table.” After studying how to make DIY masks, she produced a few prototypes for family and friends, followed by neighbors, and so on. “I posted a few photos on Instagram, and before I knew it, my inbox blew up!” Then, DuBois-Lenderman crafted her first batch of 100 masks for her mother’s nearby community.
Meanwhile, when DuBois-Lenderman began answering this call just weeks ago, she had no idea her niche would transition into a full-blown business opportunity. “When I started out, I was not comfortable accepting any money, so people brought me cake, wine, eggs, and so many other awesome treats,” she says. “When I lost my job, that’s when I started to realize this could be a way to stay busy and possibly make the job loss less impactful.”
Regarding the current crisis, DuBois-Lenderman says she does not know what she would do without this creative outlet that also seems to be so appreciated by people right now. “It’s so heartwarming for me. I love making things. Sewing has always been my deepest passion from a very young age, so to have the opportunity – or rather, excuse – to sew all day is a dream come true,” she admits.
Now, with the help of her husband, DuBois-Lenderman is putting the final touches on her website, MasksAreForCoolKids.com, where she plans to sell her fashionable facemasks (with filter inserts) to those in need across the US. And, while she says the stay-at-home order has been taxing on her emotional state, the extrovert is now finding some calm and ease in this slower version of life. “My advice for other extroverts in this moment of introversion is to find something to geek-out on, and go deep with it.”
The Benefits of Crafting & Creating
For the past 15 years, OOLY has been sparking creativity for all ages. From art spaces to offices, the crafting company offers a vibrant inventory to encourage self-expression through art. “We’re on a mission to always dream up all kinds of colorful, fresh, and inspiring products full of unexpected delight,” shares Veronica Cox, vice president of marketing.
“People’s schedules and sense of time are flipped upside down,” she says. “Creative projects allow us to connect within ourselves, exploring traits and qualities that we may not know of, or do not make time for in our normal lives – and right now, nothing is normal!” Moreover, Cox recommends limiting the time spent behind our screens and taking a “digital break” to create something away from a computer, tablet or smartphone as a way to both physically and emotionally unplug. “The feeling of completing a creative project or simply exercising creative expression is very fulfilling,” she says.
As for extroverts with extra energy to expend, Cox shares some creative suggestions, like virtual crafting and launching creative challenges via social media. Additionally, “making crafts and sending them to friends can create a bond and something to talk about,” Cox says. “It also feels really good when you know you have brightened someone’s day.” Creativity is also an outlet for extroverts to think out loud and share emotions through a project. “Whether it’s choosing colors that reflect how they’re feeling or drawing a scene that represents the day’s mood, this is a fun way to get out – of your head.”
To those just settling into the idea of crafting, Cox offers the below tips:
• Collect art tools, create a clean space, and organize your project before you begin.
• Set a positive tone. Allow yourself to be in the moment, and don’t worry about whether or not your craft is perfect or 100% complete.
• Explore different mediums, like markers, pencils, pens, paints or anything around your house. Play with lines, shapes, and colors. Consider coloring books or Zentagle, where you can doodle open-ended.
• Start with a small project (10 to 15 minutes) and gradually work your way through projects that are more challenging (30 minutes to 1 hour, or more).
• Create something for someone else, so you can experience the joy it brings, which may motivate you to try other things.
In the end, creativity should offer you a healthy distraction. “Focus on the ‘happy’ it sparks in you,” says Cox.
Try a Comprehensive Crafting Kit
If you’re feeling flustered about your lack of supplies and/or skills, there are comprehensive resources available to begin your crafting journey. For example, The Crafter’s Box is a monthly subscription that sends – you guessed it – a box of crafts to your home, so you can dive into new projects with everything you need. In addition, as a subscriber, you receive access to video tutorials to help you along the way. Founder Morgan Spenla launched her business because she found that resources for certain tools and materials were very limited, and the educational side equally unavailable. “I founded the company to build a brand that honored more artisanal forms of crafting and recognized the wonderful value that creativity could bring to busy lives,” Spenla explains.
When it comes to extroverts learning how to craft, Spenla suggests crafting with friends via Zoom to amplify the experience. Additionally, tapping into the slowness of crafting can help extroverts channel energy into meditative exercises. “How therapeutic is rolling, kneading, and shaping clay into that perfect form?” she offers.
While there is no perfect time to craft, Spenla says scheduling can be helpful. Once you have locked in the time to create, the fun can begin. “The best advice on how to start is to simply start,” she says. And, thanks to easy access to the company’s workshops and the hands-on guidance of a digital tutorial, “it’s hard to abandon a project or walk away from a craft,” shares Spenla. Whether it’s dyeing textiles, weaving, staining glass or hand quilting, The Crafter’s Box runs the gamut. “Now’s the perfect time to learn something new,” encourages Spenla.
Apps Mentioned in ArticleClick on an app to see more details
I initiated my career as a lifestyle and entertainment writer/editor in Miami, Florida in 2006. Since then, I have worked with more than 100 clients, from startup ventures to established companies and new websites to veteran publications. My work has been featured on Zagat, NBC, Prevention, The Points Guy and Thrillist, just to name a few.
In 2013, I accepted the role of Content Team Manager at an internet marketing incubator, where I honed my content marketing skills. I recruited and managed a team of SEO writers and editors, contributed to hundreds of websites and developed different types of media products.
Today, I own and oversee the operations of Block Media Worldwide, my full-service content consultancy. I currently employ and lead a talented and eager team of self-recruited freelance writers who contribute to a variety of projects.
My main beats include food and beverage, wellness and nutrition, festivals and event production, music, travel, cannabis and small
Sep 18, 2020 12 min read
Sep 4, 2020 13 min read
Aug 29, 2020 15 min read
Aug 7, 2020 13 min read