I make a lot of things. On one hand, I love making things and love having a lot of outlets for this. On the other, I am a deeply impatient person, and so the more steps between me and a finished product, the more annoyed I tend to get. This can cause…conflict.
So here are my very specific Opinions on arts and crafts and all the ways in which they’re really terrible. My artistic process tends less towards lounging decoratively with a paintbrush while waiting for my muse to arrive and more being hunched over a table muttering “WHY won’t X just do what I want! Respect my vision!”
Here’s some highlights of arts and craft supplies I find particularly irritating. Obviously these are just my own super dramatic opinions. Everything I complain about is going to be someone’s favorite, including mine.
Acrylic Paints: Destroy manicures and lighten as they dry, which makes matching colors an exercise in frustration. Also doesn’t blend well because it dries too fast.
Charcoal: Great for getting that authentic coal miner look, both for your self and your surroundings.
Colored Pencils: You will spend the rest of your life working on one drawing. It will be six inches square.
Cut paper: one strong breeze while you’re setting up and it’s all over.
Digital art: Did you remember to save? Did you save a backup? Are you thinking about how nice it is that a piece of paper can never crash? AND ALSO, printers. Printers, no matter how nice, sooner or later become infested with gremlins. I’ll believe 3d printing will remake our society when 2d printers can go longer than a week of heavy use without issues.
Glitter: I mean c’mon, do I even need to say it.
Gold Leaf: THE WORST. It’s light,it floats away and it sticks to everything EXCEPT the thing that you want it to. Instead of gilding a box, you gild your hands. Or your phone. Or you inhale enough bits that you start to wonder how much gold you can consume before heavy metal poisoning becomes a concern.
Graphite (pencil): the most convenient until it’s time to scale up, and then, yeah, have fun.
Ink: If you make a mistake you can always just fill in that area with black. Or maybe just give in to the inevitable and make an entirely black drawing. It could be titled “Empty cave at night”.
Lacemaking: I wrote an entire post on how terrible this is
Oil Paints: Destroy clothing. You will think they’re dry, touch the canvas to check, but no, they will not be even though it’s been days since you last painted. Also, how do you feel about spending over $30 for a small tube of paint?
Pastels: Uhg. Everything that’s terrible about charcoal and colored pencils. But worse than either.
Printmaking, all types: Too many steps to get to get a finished product, I want it now!
Stone carving: A good way to develop carpal tunnel while annoying your neighbors with the incessant hammering.
Watercolor: so beautiful and subtle until you try to scan it and it gets washed out/you spend the rest of your life trying to edit the scan to be less gray. No one will ever see those lovely light details, but you’ll know they’re there and can hold them close to your heart.
All images by Celia Yost