Improving Our Craft, Honing Our Skills: How Hobbies Make Us Better Makes

Continuum culture

Improving Our Craft, Honing Our Skills

How Hobbies Make Us Better Makers

July 15, 2014
by Taylor Reynolds

Crafting—a term that derives from glitter, glue sticks, and afternoons with our mother at the kitchen table, making memories and self portraits out of paper plates. Masterpieces. You may think, as a middle-aged something or other, that crafts no longer apply to you— you’re an adult, and you have serious adult things to accomplish on a daily basis (See! Look! My to-do list is right here!).

Between filing expense reports, preparing presentations, and making Target runs to get more toilet paper, it may seem like you don’t have time for hobbies, crafting, or making anything at all. I myself fall into this category… and yet GenY is being deemed the DIY generation: a movement of people (57% of them), seeking to build with their hands, invent, and explore through tactical creation (it’s called ‘monotasking’).

A recent study conducted by San Francisco State University sheds light on the professional and personal benefits of engaging in creative hobbies, which may cause you to reconsider the ways in which you’re spending your free time. Researchers believe that creative outlets teach us new skills, which are both fulfilling and can be applied at work.

GenYer’s aren’t the only ones making merry masterpieces—40% of Pinterest users, for example, are over 35.

At Continuum, exploring our interests outside the workplace is vastly important. We value our people and the diverse perspectives and skillsets they bring to each team: that’s how we think beyond our comfort zones, push ideas into reality, and critically solve problems before us. Our hobbies and the crafts we refine give us a unique lens through which we can approach a problem and use to inspire a solution.

Let’s take a look at what our people are doing outside the office:

crafts1 crafts2
Alex Broerman, Product Designer, Boston: Illustrations

crafts3 crafts4
Kyp Pilalas, Senior IT Tech, Boston: Film, Directing, Acting

crafts5 crafts6 crafts7
Thea Lu, Industrial Design Intern, Shanghai, China: Silk Scarf

crafts8 crafts9
Philip Walker, Principal Mechanical Engineer, Boston: Stonework

crafts10 crafts11
Toby Bottorf, Principal, Boston: Organic Pendant Light Fixtures

crafts12 crafts13
Andy Boyce, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Boston: Eco-friendly living

crafts14 crafts15 crafts16
Isabeau Lalonde, Senior Envisioner, Boston: Oyster Stuffed Animals

crafts17 crafts18 crafts19
Peter Simpson, Senior Electrical Engineer, Boston: Photography

We rely on our people and the talents, skills, and passions they carry. When they are thinking creatively out of pleasure, and exploring the world through their crafts, our capacity to innovate increases ten-fold. Our minds are expanded, our hearts are opened, and a piece of their craft touches everything we produce. That’s what makes our work special.

So don’t fear the glitter—use it amply, share it with others, and reap the professional and personal benefits of doing and using something you love.

Photo: A ForestFrolic / CC BY 2.0

filed in: Continuum culture