London Jewellery School tutor and marketing co-ordinator Bronagh Miskelly is a great believer in making time to be creative and to learn new skills, here she explains why it is worth finding time for these things however busy you are.
I was listening to an interview with classical pianist James Rhodes on the radio this week, where he explained that anyone can be a virtuoso if they are willing to put in the hours. But he also accepted that not everyone wants to devote their every working moment to their art and says finding 40mins to an hour a day to a creative pursuit can make a real difference to your life.
This really struck a chord with me because I love making things and learning new skills so I try to find some time every day to do one or both of those things. Rhodes was mainly talking about learning a musical instrument and practising but the same definitely applies to jewellery, photography and other creative pursuits.
Forty minutes isn’t that big a chunk of time – it is easy enough to waste that amount of time each day – and for making jewellery or other crafts might even be combine with catching up on the news or the Great British Bake Off. Or you could combine a few 40min chunks together to give yourself a few hours in the week, perhaps enough to take a class to learn a new technique.
There are some great benefits from setting aside time for creativity and for learning on a regular basis. For making some of the rewards are:
With practice you get better at each technique which means in turn you are happier with the jewellery you make – or for that matter the photographs you take – and therefore you can tackle more complicated ideas
You give yourself the opportunity to get all the ideas buzzing around in your head out and have a go at actually producing the pieces
You have space to experiment and develop your own style
You benefit from a spot of “me time”, when you set aside the email, the housework or what ever else occupies you for a little while. You will find you’ll be better at tackling those other things too when you go back to them.
There is a lot of evidence from organisations like Stitchlinks that making, crafts and other creative pursuits is good for your health.
And then there are the benefits of learning new skills:
Learning new techniques can increase the range of jewellery or other items you can make.
Learning to work with a difference medium can give you new ideas for your favourite craft or material.
New skills make you feel more confident in general, not just about making.
It is a way of challenging yourself and discovering what you are capable of.
There is now research suggesting that learning new things reduces your risk of dementia
And simply learning can be fun and is a great way to meet new people.
So find time to make things and to learn something new regularly whether that is watching a video of a new technique online, attending the occasional class or even deciding to set aside a day a week for a diploma course, and enjoy the positive feelings that come with that time.