The Dissipating Tradition of Arts and Crafts in the Digital Age

In a world filled with real-time virtual messaging, automation, and tech-savvy individuals, anything that doesn’t give instant results is slowly ceasing to exist. That’s because people have begun to adopt the fast-paced lifestyle, so those that will take longer than the new normal will be phased out.

Take, for instance, the tradition of giving cards to people during the holidays. In the past, some people would really take the time to create personalized and homemade cards for each of their friends for momentous occasions. But since it’s easier and more convenient to use store-bought cards, very few people go out of their way to create something from the heart.

The presence of automated machinery and commercial productions are immensely beneficial to the economy wherein they are found, but they’re also feeding into the gradual dissipation of traditional crafts. This is especially true in the digital age because everything can be made in virtual mediums.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with maximizing the potential of the technological innovations available in the market. An example of this is the fact that digital art forms may be faster to learn and cheaper to pursue than traditional art forms because there would be no need to buy different materials.

However, despite all the benefits that digitalizing traditional methods can offer society, it shouldn’t discount the novelty of handmade arts and crafts. You may be fighting for a lost cause, but here are four crafts that you can learn to keep the culture from dissipating into thin air:

Calligraphy

Calligraphy is an ancient art form that aims to create beautiful handwriting by using special tools and materials. In essence, traditional calligraphy is the equivalent of hand lettering in modern times, but they differ on certain principles and the techniques that govern the two art forms.

It can be fun for you to learn modern calligraphy if you have a knack for handwritten letters or journaling. This is because the visual element of calligraphy will supplement whatever is written on your paper. And because modern calligraphy is much more versatile, you can also play with different colors as well as mediums.

Threadwork

Threadwork is the art of creating things with thread by using various techniques and styles. This can include crafts like embroidery, crochet, knitting, macrame, weaving, and sewing, to name a few. While it’s much easier to buy finished products made through machines from the mall, knowing that you were able to make something with your own hands can be a source of pride.

Working with thread, yarn, or rope can be very frustrating at first, which is probably why many people have foregone these hobbies to relieve their stress. But if you give yourself enough time to learn the basic techniques or skills, you may be surprised at how much time you devote to working with thread.

Origami

Origami is the art of paper folding to create intricate designs, like cranes, airplanes, or roses, among others. The art form is believed to be beneficial to people’s health because it stimulates the brain and hones mental concentration. Making origami can also be very therapeutic once you get the hang of it.

Think of origami as puzzles made out of paper, only instead of finding the right corners to fit together, you’re the one making the folds that will create the final picture. Like any craft that you’ve never tried before, doing origami will take some getting used to. But soon, you’ll be folding paper like your life depended on it.

Woodworking

Woodworking is the art of making things out of wood, which can include woodturning, cabinetry, wood carving, carpentry, and furniture making. Unlike the other crafts mentioned above, woodworking will take more technical skills because you will need the right equipment to learn this skill.

But if you liked shop class in high school, then you must already know the basic techniques of woodworking and what kinds of equipment you’ll need to pursue the craft. It would also help if you learned a thing or two about the different types of wood and their level of workability.

Arguably, the biggest benefit that those who pursue traditional arts and crafts enjoy in the digital age is the accessibility of learning materials online. If aspiring crafters wanted to learn about an art form that’s no longer practiced in their hometown, they can simply head online to look for tutorials created by other like-minded individuals.

As a beginner yourself, you can take advantage of the learning materials abundant on the internet. All you need to do is enter certain keywords on the search engine to access free tutorials, learn new skills, and connect with other crafters, or what’s left of them anyway. Soon enough, you will be able to encourage other people to learn crafts and keep the traditions alive.

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