Describe who you are and what you do in three sentences or less.
I’m Rebecca, I’m 27, living in the heart of the countryside in Cumbria. I’m a self taught crocheter and I make toys and blankets.
Tell is your life journey and how it lead you to Art and becoming a Primary school teacher?
Art was my favourite subject at school. When I was at college and getting ready to go to university, I was unsure what I wanted to do career-wise so I chose art as it was something I was good at and I got enjoyment out of. I had a wonderful 4 years at university, surrounded by creativity and like-minded people. Since university, I have moved more towards crafts than fine art. I bought some wool and crochet hooks, and taught myself to crochet by watching tutorials on YouTube, and I’ve been creating since. I have worked in retail for over 5 years, whilst crafting in my spare time. I’m ready for a change that is rewarding and will bring challenges, which is why I’m hopefully embarking on a PGCE this September to teach primary school children.
What are your other passions and interests?
I have an obsession with wool, it comes with crocheting I think! Part of the fun is picking out wool, choosing the right colours and textures for a new project. I have so many bags of balls of wool that I’m ‘saving for something special’ but I just love the different textures and colours. I also do a lot of cross stitching, which I find really therapeutic. My mum always wonders how I
have so much patience for it! I love to read, I’m currently reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams which is brilliant. I also enjoy being outdoors, walking and being at one with nature. I play the violin, too, which I don’t practice nearly as often as I should!
From your perspective why is art a beneficial activity in a school curriculum and in our daily lives?
Without getting too political, it angers me that arts and funding for these are being slashed right across the country. The message being given is that the arts are not important. Art should absolutely be just as important as core subjects in the school curriculum. Not every child is academically wired up to be good at maths, english and science. Children in their early years learn through creativity, play, and express themselves through drawings and paintings. Art has the ability to stretch the imagination, encouraging visual thinking and observation. As they develop, a piece of art that a child has created is a representation of their ideas, emotions, beliefs and values. Being able to represent yourself is really important.
Who or what inspires you?
I find a lot of inspiration in nature. Certain colours in flowers inspire projects, particularly as I make a lot of flower granny squares to join into blankets. There are so many artists and craftspeople that I find inspirational, too many for me to list here!
In your career and life, what’s been your greatest asset? And, if you care to share, your greatest hindrance? How did you overcome it?
I’d say my greatest asset is my determination. If I’m knocked down then I pick myself up, dust myself off and carry on, even if it means taking a different path. I don’t celebrate my achievements nearly enough. Every so often I’ll look back at finished crochet projects and my heart will swell with pride that I taught myself how to do that. I’ve struggled with lack of confidence too, but I’m slowly learning that each stepping stone is a leap to being more confident. Rather than looking at these as hindrances, I try to see them as a work in progress, something that I can be better at.
What is your personal measure of success and what makes you happy?
For me, it’s the small things in life that make me happy. Losing myself in a good book; crafting; being outdoors; spending time with loved ones; music; tending to my ever growing (can also be read as over growing!) collection of plants; feeling the warmth of the sun; a good brew and the smell of rain; all contribute to my happy-o-meter!
Measuring success can sound like an ending, almost as if you have reached the top and can go no further. We all have the ability to grow and even if something has been a success, you can still keep working on it. I’m trying to be better at celebrating my achievements and success. I don’t believe that success should ever be measured by comparing your own life to someone else’s, though!
What is your best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Step outside your comfort zone. I think I’d still be teetering tentatively on the edge of many decisions now if I hadn’t been told by several people to ‘just give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?’
What’s next for you and what are your life goals? Give us a glimpse into your bucket list?
Well, hopefully I’ll be starting a PGCE in September which will take up quite a lot of my time. I’ll still make time to do the things I love though! I’d love to run an after school club teaching children to crochet! One thing on my bucket list is to travel around Europe. I really want to get out and see some wonderful places and experience different cultures! Budapest, Rome, Prague and Reykjavik are at the top of my list.
Do you have any tips and advice for those wishing to pursue their dreams? Do you have an inspirational quote or mantra you live by that you’d like to share?
Go for something you dream of, even if it’s completely out of your comfort zone. Some of the best things I’ve done have come from stepping out of my comfort zone. I know this is cliche, but you only get one shot at life. Do what you want to do, for you. It’s your life to live, no one else’s. Above all, be happy!
Follow Rebecca on Instagram to keep up to date of all the wonderful things she crafts: Woolly Bee Crochet
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