Arts, crafts relieving stress for students

Ryan Meyer, Campus Reporter

As finals approach at the end of a long semester, students may be looking for ways to destress.

One popular way to be creative and think about something other than schoolwork for a while is by making some kind of craft.

Layton Steele, a sophomore graphic design major, said that they enjoy using crafting as an artistic outlet.

“I draw and craft a lot,” Steele said. “I tend to enjoy crafts and drawing because it is a great outlet for any pain or stress I feel.”

“I often draw and craft things that involve hearts or flowers. I like to create things with deeper meanings,” Steele said. “I also tend to have a creeper art style, so I like to draw eyes or hands.”

Steele went on to explain a creeper art style as art that is meant to make the viewer uncomfortable in order to show sensitive emotions.

“I like to make art that brings about a discomfort in people… If you look at one of my paintings or sculptures and feel nervous then I have achieved my goal,” Steele said. “I have made bleeding sculptures and drawn eyes with teeth.”

Steele said they do this in order for their art to appeal to emotions that may often be hidden but are still relatable.

“I like my art to stand out from everyone else’s. I enjoy bringing out sensitive emotions from people, emotions that they might usually suppress or hide. I want people to view my art in a different light, one that’s not often seen,” Steele said. “One that makes people feel comfortable in the fear, I try to relate it to their darker experiences or past.”

Kennedy Markham, a freshman special education major, said that crafting isn’t only fun to do, but also a way to save some money.

“Because I like to make things that I would buy because it’s a money saver, a way to spend some time doing something that I enjoy, and then I have something that is one of a kind.”

Markham said macrame is among her favorite crafts to do. Macrame is defined as the art of knotting cord or string in patterns to make decorative articles.

“I love to macrame, but my new favorite is finger knitting blankets,” Markham said.

This year’s pandemic offers plenty of free time and a perfect opportunity to stay home and craft, Markham said.

“Because it’s a way you can stay busy and feel accomplished without spending a bunch of money or going anywhere, especially in these COVID times.”

One of Markham’s favorite projects is a tasseled lamp that she created.

“I bought 2 rings at a thrift store. One is about 10 inches in diameter and the other is about 8 inches. I made a bunch of yarn tassels and tied them around the entire circumference of both rings, then I attached the two rings with yarn so it created a tiered look with the smaller ring below the larger one and attached a cheap light from Amazon with yarn as well.”

The approaching holiday season offers plenty of opportunities to craft and make gifts for loved ones, Markham said.

“I really want to make my own ornaments for my Christmas tree and also make earrings” Markham said. “I just bought some yarn to make a blanket for one of my friends for Christmas.”

Markham also said that it’s best to learn how to do a certain craft using the internet before purchasing the necessary materials.

“I would say that YouTube is your best resource to learn something new and if anyone was interested in making a new craft or learning a new skill, try watching YouTube tutorials before you buy materials,” Markham said.

Not only is the internet helpful in learning a craft, but so is practicing the skill, Markham said. Trying similar crafts before moving on to expensive ones was another thing Markham recommended.

“I feel like it’s kinda simple but make sure you try out a new skill before buying a bunch of new stuff in case you actually don’t like it or it is too hard for you to do,” Markham said. “For example, try hand sewing to see if you like sewing or can sew before you buy a super expensive sewing machine that goes to waste.”


Ryan Meyer can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]