Wednesday, 15 February 2017

5 benefits of learning to paint

It's true that the world of crafting has enjoyed much more attention in the last few years; maybe thanks to celebrities like Kirstie Allsopp and maybe thanks to the economy. It is certainly true that many crafters have embraced the up cycling trend as we begin to think outside the box instead of buying what we need straight off the shelf.

While many dabble with paper craft and card making, some delve in to baking and others decide to try their hand at sewing, many are often hesitant to learn to paint.  At each show we do, we hear so many people saying 'Oh I couldn't possibly paint' followed by their exclamations that they haven't got an artistic bone in their body...they failed art....they were told many years ago they were just not good enough. The list goes on.  The thing is, we are no strangers to these excuses, we've all said them but it made us wonder, why do we persevere? Why should we learn to paint? In all honesty, there are so many reasons why we should get out of our comfort zone and create but here are our top 5 reasons why we love to Folk It!

1.  It takes us away from the 'real world' When we paint, whether it is with our dotty tool or paint brush, we relax.  We don't have space to worry about the other things that are going on in our lives because we are busy concentrating on creating beautiful patterns or improving our brush strokes. There is no better feeling of 'being in the flow', that wonderful state where the hours seem to fly by.  We are not surprised when we hear that scientific studies have found that learning to paint can help us feel calmer, alleviate depression and keep our brains sharp.  For Folk It founder Carol, it is a form of meditation, a way of relaxing and even after 20 years of painting, she says there is no better feeling than the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes with painting a new design or completing a new project.

2. It allows us to re-discover our creative side.  For children, being creative is part of their daily lives but as we grow up, it becomes harder to hold on to that creativity.  Whether the enemy of creativity is outside (family, an unsupportive teacher or a friend) or within us (the critical voice that often seems to get louder the more we try to do something for ourselves), by the time we reach adulthood, we've often lost or damaged that creative part of us.  Being creative can help us become creative in other areas of our lives - to think outside of the box, to solve problems easier, to see the lighter side of life.

3. It helps co-ordination and dexterity.  Hand-eye co-ordination is so important and one of the activities children are encouraged to do when they are developing this skill is art.  By picking up a paintbrush or a dotting tool, it strengthens these abilities, improves these skills.  We love to hear stories from customers who have learnt to Folk It and found that it has helped them maintain mobility in their hands when they are struggling with medical conditions or that it has been a fun activity to help them rehabilitate their arms and hands after a stroke or accident.

4.  It is economical. Our main purpose for starting our Folk It journey was to teach people to paint, to help them realise that they can be creative...that it is not a magic skill only for a chosen few.  Once our customers got their hands on our kits however, they began to use our designs to breathe new life in to home decor they had fallen out of love with.  In a society where we are often looking for ways to be more frugal, You Can Folk It can help transform the most tired of possessions and personalise a gift.

5. It brings people together.  This is probably our favourite reason, especially in a world where many of us spend too much time on our phones.  There is nothing better than painting with a friend or loved one.  We cannot tell you how much we love our Ambassador courses because it is fantastic to see people inspiring each other.  Painting together starts natural conversation, stimulating learning and sparks so many ideas.  In an environment like that, you can't help but have fun.

Above all else though, learning to paint should never be taken too seriously.  The fantastic thing about Folk Art is that anyone can learn to master the skills with practice.  There's nothing worse than putting pressure on yourself for your work to be perfect straight away.  The fun is in the journey, the practice you do.  So grab your painting kits, get together with a friend, pop in the DVD and learn to Folk It.

Happy Folking,

The You Can Folk It team x


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