Everyone (particularly those with thriving inner titas) has been jumping on the hobby bandwagon lately–knitting, calligraphy, crochet, origami, and a lot more. But honestly, how could they resist? With all those Youtube tutorial videos, DIY Instagram accounts, and hobby fests, joining in on the fun just looks all too easy. Fair warning though: falling in love with a new hobby is far from smooth sailing. But in the end you’ll learn, not only a new skill, but more about yourself as well. There are so many lessons that you end up realizing when you start a new craft, but here are the five things you can expect:
1. Materials are expensive AF.
You’ll be surprised by just how far you’ll be willing to spend just to get the best of the best. The variety of supplies will be so overwhelming that you’ll be tempted to just throw your entire budget away and go crazy. It can happen to anyone. One moment you’ll be taking pride as to how much money you managed to save and the next thing you’ll is that you’re splurging on the Ferrari of knitting needles or buying three times what you need. Hobbies are the secret sirens of your wallets.
Advice: No matter what your hobby of choice is, you go into the store thinking that all you’ll need is a simple calligraphy pen, or for others, a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles. But what kind of calligraphy pen do you need? Or what needle size do you want to start with? What paper should you use? Do some research first and avoid going into a craft store clueless so you can at least save some cash for your next shopping trip.
2. Your first practice piece is going to look bad. Really bad.
So now that you have all your supplies, it’s time to start creating. Whether you’re at a workshop or you’re watching a YouTube tutorial, these crafts look so easy that you tell yourself, “Hey, that’s doable. I can totally do that.” Wrong. You loop your yarn around your needle, you begin to make shapes with your brush pen, or you glide your saturated paint brush against your canvas.
And it. looks. Terrible.
Advice: Don’t feel too bad. It’s alright to make mistakes, especially on the first go. Practice makes perfect, and then you eventually realize, “Hey, I’m getting the hang of this.”
3. Finding materials is a challenge, but it’s not impossible.
By the time you have the basics down, you’re ready to set your sights on tackling an advanced project. But then you ransack through your supplies and find that what you have is too insufficient. Wiser from your last shopping trip, you now know what to get.
Advice: More research wouldn’t hurt. For calligraphers, it would be pumice powder, easels, colored inks, and more than one kind of nib. For those that work with yarn, they’re marker pins, threading needles, various knitting needles, crochet hooks, blocking boards, and whatnot. Bottom line is that there’s a lot more to your hobby than you initially believed.
4. When you start your first big project, you will mess up a lot.
After all that practice, you have a rudimentary amount of skills and the right tools to get you started. You sit down, determined to prove to yourself that you can do this and that this is the hobby for you. You dip your pen and prepare a fresh sheet of parchment. You cast on loops with your yarn and you begin. Things go smoothly at first. You feel a small sense of pride and determination as you finish the beginning, but you feel it fall once you get to the middle. You crumple your sheets of paper or unravel your yarn. You have to start again. But you keep going and that’s all that matters.
Advice: See #2.
5. Respect all craft veterans.
You finish your first project and it looks more than decent. It took you hours, or even days, just to get it to look right, and now you have mad respect for anyone who’s been doing this for years. But you get one compliment from a friend and you feel the strongest urge to humble brag.
After all that, you look back and you realize you have learned a lot. Not only can you make a decent hat or turn a sheet of paper into a work of art, but you’ve also developed a weird obsession with yarn or you have a vast knowledge of paper that a normal person wouldn’t have. And, as cheesy as it sounds, you’ve found that unexplainable joy for making things. Congrats, new hobbyist. Now go pick up your supplies and do it all over again.
By Camille Fernandez. Art by Aryl Gudaca