Hand Work | Teagan Finnegan

Inspiring young millennials to teach themselves a creative manual craft.

Young adults are fixated on the digital world whether this is your phone or computer, we are always stuck to our screens, especially even more within quarantine. Due to this many creators have transitioned to digital art making and the traditional arts are being left behind for perfection of digital, problem is, imperfections are what make handmade crafts a unique thing. The purpose of Hand Work is to encourage young adults to not be intimidated by learning a new skill.

Another effect of quarantine is a decline in mental health, in part due to being cooped up inside all for months on end. Looking into how taking up a creative manual craft can benefit young adults’ mental health as a way of escaping from reality and finding a way to de-stress. Hand Work focuses on self educating and the benefits of doing a craft that requires physical actions. The goal is to express to my audience that they should not be afraid of teaching themselves a creative crafting skill. It also showcases the psychological and social benefits that follow the process of independent learning, and the rewarding feeling incited by learning a creative craft.

For outcomes I have created a broadsheet that looks into different types of handiwork and the impact crafting as a hobby has had on the artist. Within this broadsheet are four vastly different types of crafts that the interviewees took up as a way to pass time within quarantine. 

With Hand Work I looked into three different lenses to support my theories on handicrafts. Mirror Neurons being the first as it shows how applying our movements to a craft we are embedding ourselves into the product we have crafted. In the case of Hand Work interviewees are self taught and have done their own research on their craft, mimicking movements they have observed. Ethnography plays into Hand Work due to the niche group of handicraft groups. Studying the relationships between the creators and their products. Crafts hold a large culture and forms communities in related crafts. This is key in HandWork as it explores the various cultures from within the subjects of crafts as a positive reinforcement to pursue crafts. Lastly, Psychology and exploring the effects of creating an independent self learning environment has on your mental well being. Mental factors such as emotions are relayed into the creative process when a product is crafted.