Stress alert! Zen and the art of crafting

Posted: 10/15/2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

So i have now entered the third (and supposedly last) year of my PhD…..often i think, ‘Why the hell am i doing this’? ‘am i mad or masochistic’??! It all gets more difficult as time goes on and i keep panicking about all the work i have to do in this last year.  I seem to be getting increasingly grumpy and short-tempered, usually while at university, always the small things (un-called for paperwork, getting lab access, petty staff feuds, slightly negative comments) seem to cause these angry outbreaks!  I  think i have two main things getting me through; my good friends and also my creative streak.  The creative streak has re-emerged during this last year after a long time being mostly dormant.  Unfortunately this also means that when i get stressed i have a need to go to my zen place….the craft shop.  Of course when in the zen place i almost always have to buy something to increase my calm!

The creative streak has led me to make cards and to experiment with other papercrafts, then a friend got me in to jewellery making (which i find less zen due to fiddly bits), i have also been trying out knitting and sewing.  I have started  an etsy shop (which i have recently gotten fed up of due to a lack of stats) and this blog.  One of the things i’m really enjoying about the creative streak is the doodles and drawings i’ve been doing.  A lot of the ideas for these have been around for a while in a note book.  Since discovering alcohol inks and the refillable pen i’ve been using these to add colour to my doodles…love it 🙂

Anyway, while my waffle has not really answered why i’m doing a phd…it certainly answers why i craft!

Hmm, positive points about the PhD =

1. I get to go ‘backstage’ in museums

2. I get to analyse skeletons which i love doing (not morbid or anything)

3. I get to explore a specific research area that (supposedly) no-one else knows as much about 🙂

Anyway tomorrow i’m going to London for a week, to analyse skeletons at the Natural History Museum…should be cool!

Hope everyone out there is having a lovely weekend.

  1. handustry says:

    I relate to many if not most things you wrote today. I’ve been working in offices for too long and always got fed up quickly at all those micro-fights we all have about the smallest problems. My last job was totally contained in a framework called quality management. We had to document every little thing, every small detail. Writing a letter implied much more work, most of the time it took more time to document the said letter than actually typing and sending it. That drove me nuts but a few there were master at time-wasting-quality-management and ruled the place. So it’s true the smallest unimportant details are the foundation for the biggest fights.

    Why do we study? why do we want something more out of life than simply living and waiting for the “system” to take care of us when we get old. What drives some of us to go beyond the ordinary. That’s a big philo topic, a very nice one that leads as far as is there anything after life for us to be driven to larger goals than simply existing today. Some people like gardening, they take great care of their plants and are pretty amazing when it comes to harvest. Those who study are doing gardening of themselves, they grow their selves by studying complex topics and fields and eventually they will harvest a better self. That’s what culture and science is for, not about bragging our knowledge but getting the tools to be a better mind, a better person.

    Crafting and art are amazing. They are expression channels. Through these we have a voice that goes out there, that reaches others. And the lack of interest from others, low stats and those very material measurement units do not express the value of what we create. It’s a totally different world. The value, the message in our craft and work of art exist by themselves. We need to be confident that what we create has worth.

    As for Etsy, well I’d have a lot to say too. I’ll simply say that it’s not Etsy the problem, It’s a great platform to expose our crafts but there are too many sellers and buyers there who are like those office coworkers and abide by tons of unsaid rules and unfounded convention. I’ve had it. I don’t share most of their views and values. And I’ve decided to part from all that. I have changed my expression field on Etsy, doing digital art, the most obscure and not well selling and I feel more confident and happy this way. There are others venue like Artfire, Cargoh, Society6, DeviantArt, Zazzle and even Blurb (book making and that one is quite something) where our crafts can find a better suited channel.

    So Keep Calm and Study and Create, that should do the trick

  2. Wow thanks for your insightful comment 🙂 I think they make us do pointless paperwork at university just to give some people jobs….but I’m told a lot of the paperwork never gets read! Anyway i’ll check out those other sites.

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