There is a kind of compliment I am given that makes me sad for the people giving it. “You are so talented,” they say. “I could never do that.”
Gah! Don’t say that! Just… don’t. Don’t even think it! You can, you can, you can so do that. Don’t give up before you even start!
Why do people fail to even try? Three excuses, and two real reasons.
1 – It’s Too Hard
People look at the results of skilled artisans and are intimidated. They think that you have to be brilliantly talented to even start. And they don’t even investigate what is involved in the making, they just assume that it is impossible. But, barring physical handicaps, that just isn’t so.
Look. I did art at school, yes. But I wasn’t brilliantly talented. I was a straight “B” student. I was a nerdy maths/science sort. Art was more of an afterthought. Because I liked it. I did learn some useful stuff in art class, but most of my skills have been self-taught.
Yes, there are some crafts that are inherently more difficult (let me talk to you about tatting some time), but most of them are really not that difficult. If you aren’t blind and your hands don’t shake, you can do them. And, no, you don’t have to know how to draw. (Well, not unless you actually want to.)
You aren’t going to become a skilled artisan overnight, but no skilled artisan ever became a skilled artisan overnight. (Even Jarod-the-Pretender would probably take a week.)
2 – I Don’t Have Time
This is an insidious fallacy which prevents people from doing many things that they would like to do. Yes, people can be massively busy. And it may well be a legitimate excuse for some people. But it isn’t a matter of time, it’s a matter of priorities. Everyone gets exactly the same amount of time. We are all living at a rate of one second per second. Who decides what you do with your time? You do.
It is true that some arts require stretches of uninterrupted time, which some people simply don’t have. But there are other crafts that can be taken up when you have a spare moment, and put down when needful. Crochet is one such craft.
3 – I Don’t Know Where To Start
Then do some research! Libraries have books. The internet has how-tos. Yes, even for beginners who have very few clues!
And I certainly do intend to be writing “where to start” posts about various crafts I know about. Stay tuned.
4 – It’s Too Expensive
Fair enough. There are some crafts which have a horribly high outlay, or hideously expensive supplies. I’m not going to be working with silver or gold any time soon. Nor with precious stones. Pottery requires a kiln. Wood turning requires a lathe (and better still, a fully equipped workshop). On the other hand, as a newbie to a craft, you don’t necessarily know what is needed for that craft, and the internet is full of conflicting advice. Craft shops want you to buy the latest and greatest things they have in stock. Well-meaning experienced crafters may suggest their favourite tools (which are more expensive) rather than tools suitable for people just trying it out for the first time. Even so, just the fact that there are expensive tools that those who are really into that craft recommend, may mean that it is wise to avoid that craft in case you get addicted and want the expensive toys too.
5 – I Don’t Want To
That’s really what it boils down to. It isn’t that people can’t do it, it is that they simply don’t want to, and are not willing to admit it. So kudos for being willing to admit it. Go and do what you want! Enjoy yourself some other way.