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Some Tips and Tricks

I know I've been pretty slack lately with writing posts, but I want to get back into the groove of writing regularly. I'm leaning towards some looser content more focused on arts and crafting. i have quite a few posts planned out for the next year (or so) To help with crafts. Even if you don't want to buy anything from my website, I hope you'll come for the blog and tell your friends and family about this blog if they like to craft.

First of all, with crafting you really just have to stay loose. Never feel pressured to make anything perfect (and this goes for the more fine arts as well, like drawing and painting) because it'll just put unnecessary stress on you and make you forget the main point of crafting - Have Fun! (I know it's cliché, but I mean it!) Feeling like you have to impress someone or improve at too rapid a rate takes all the enjoyment out of being creative. I've been working on my crafts (specifically polymer clay) for as long as I can remember, and I'm still not perfect. Nobody is! I know from experience that one can only take in so much positivity/happiness and exclamation marks for one paragraph, but I'll leave you with this - always stay loose with your work, and even though it might not seem like it, you are always improving, however small your strides forward may be.

*A side note : This blog post was completely spontaneous and not planned out in the slightest, and please excuse my slightly excessive use of commas, I am only in eighth grade. *wink wink* I hope everybody can enjoy this content and writing style, but if you don't, and want more professional, essay-like tutorials then please let me know in reviews. However, even though I am only 12, please be honest with your opinions. If you don't like it, don't feel pity on me and try to be nice, I use your advice to improve. There are only so many amazing reviews that you can get before getting suspicious. Also feel free to contact me if you have any questions or possibly want to make a request for a topic. Sorry for going off on a tangent, back to the regularly scheduled program :).

Step two for really any kind of craft is so-called "setting the stage". I like to try and get out all the tools and materials that I think I'll need for a project, and try and make sure my workspace has enough room for it. (I would say to have a clean workspace, but I think that may be unrealistic for some/most. I always have at least one mess going on, if not five. Right now I'm working on my latest commission on a foam mat on the floor of my studio, while my desk, all available shelftop spaces, and the sofa are occupied by other things.) To start I like to think of what I want to make, and often I'll do a concept sketch first. Sometimes I do just kind of grab my bins of clay and go to town on some random little things until inspiration strikes. (I tend to lean towards horses like Moonlight in those times) It's fine to do that, I would even encourage it, but I find that at a certain point I become unable to work due to the tiny scraps of clay everywhere, so it helps to clean up every once in a while. I would recommend keeping all of your scraps of polymer clay to use as filler for big projects, but that's for another post.

Since we're doing this post in steps right now, step three would be to Just Do It. (Not to steal a slogan) Sometimes starting is the hardest part, especially with big projects, and that's why I like to do the messing around thing to warm up a bit first. Just starting is like ripping off the bandaid, so to speak, and will save you a lot of pain and indecision later. I find that if I look at something for too long, I start hating it more and more, like my brain is just picking out the little mistakes and ignoring the big picture. It's a lot better than it would be if I had made it last year, or even last month. I've found that with drawing realism, keeping a small portfolio for one month, keeping each artwork in chronological order, helps put things way more into perspective. I'm way more confident with drawing flowers than I was only about three months ago. I went from no knowledge whatsoever about drawing flowers to being able to realistically illustrate pretty much any flower in about 20 minutes. That also applies to crafting. Here's an exercise for you : take an art or craft piece from more than a year ago. Look at it, and then recreate it now, using it like a fuzzy idea - say if it was a drawing of a three-eyed blob monster with six legs, then follow those guidelines (a basic description) and recreate it in your style now. You'll be amazed at how much you have improved and grown in creativity and just plain awesomeness since that first piece. This paragraph has been a bit of a run-on, and if there's one thing I learned from english class, it's don't make a run-on. (Also it's "unprofessional" to write in first person, use contractions, sarcasm, and really any personality, but what fun is that?)

All right, time to wrap it up, but I want to leave you with this : never doubt your abilities. I had a time when I would nearly have a breakdown when my clay figure didn't turn out as nice as the one I was copying (yes it's fine to copy when getting started) or when I couldn't draw the ice dragon I saw on Pinterest, (by the way, please check out my pinterest at Laurel Mountain Crafts, I don't post much but you can still see some cool pictures there!) and I can tell you that was not fun. I still kept going though, and look where it got me. The cover photo of this blog post is my favorite flower that I've drawn (sorry it's not great quality, but you get the idea), which now I have a bulk order of 75 sets of four cards with that design on them! I kept practicing and it payed off, so never give up. There are almost infinite amounts of different crafts and art forms you can do, so maybe you just haven't found your forte yet!

As I went over earlier, enough positivity for now. It's about 11:20 right now, and I want to finish this up. I hope you all like this post, and I'll be writing more soon. I know that probably most people won't make it to the bottom of this post, but if you do, you get a free prize!! (just kidding) Thank you for reading this, and I hope you at least got some enjoyment out of it. Also feel free to correct my grammar in the comments. I feel like I should do some sort of outro, but obviously this isn't a Youtube video, so I'll just say...


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