How Taking Up Crafts During The Pandemic Has Improved These Artist's Mental Wellbeing
L'OFFICIEL Singapore|November 2021
The devil finds work for idle hands, but a year of intermittent lockdowns and social deprivation has proven that idle hands can create some wonderful things. As several artists tell us, taking up crafts during the pandemic has improved their mental wellbeing immensely – and that their love of the art is reflective of a desire to return to simpler, more uncomplicated times
Rin Azhar

As the pandemic dragged on, Hazyra Halim began to get more anxious. The 23-year-old has long grappled with mental health issues, and as the days in lockdown began to blend into each other, Hazyra started to run out of things to do with her hands, leaving her to contend with her persistent obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her schoolmate, Miyuki Tsuji, introduced her to crocheting to soothe Hazyra’s quarantine worries: Within a day, Hazyra had herself a full set of yarn, tools, and YouTube tutorials – and a renewed desire and excitement to create something. “Doing these hobbies puts me in a trance – in a good way,” she explains. “The cycle of moving my fingers paired with using my imagination helped my mental and physical state a lot.”

Hazyra isn’t alone. Pandemic hobbies – crafts, in particular – have become something of a meme. In early 2020, Hazyra joined forces with Tsuji and another classmate, Lydia Kok, to form Peachier Studios, a small business that focuses on selling handmade clothes and accessories. According to Hazyra, the store’s bright vintage aesthetic – with its clashing prints and colours – were “inspired by the cottage-core, escapism theme” that they longed for during the pandemic. Together, the trio say that their desire to create handmade goods is more than just a cathartic way to pass the time – it was a way for them to create their own insular universe, a serene one that was much more hopeful than reality.

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