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How Bec Arnold keeps herself busy by learning, making and playing with crafts
Welcome to The Creative Files, where we speak to some of the biggest crafters, makers and designers, gaining insights into their creative processes, inspiration and their advice for newcomers. We had an absolute blast this week chatting with Bec Arnold, a crafting and making all-rounder who loves getting her hands into a bit of everything.
Who is Becsbusyhands and what is it that you create?
My name is Bec Arnold, I have very busy hands and create a bit of everything!
Tell us about your crafting niche and how you found this?
I wouldn't necessarily say that I have a crafting niche. If you follow me on Instagram you'll see that I'm always up to something different. I like learning and playing with different materials and it's super satisfying to see the end product.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I've always been pretty creative growing up. It helps that I have parents who are really clever at making things, so I've always been around it and they've always encouraged my brother and I to give things a go. I liked doing projects in school and always spent a ridiculous amount of time making them look fancy. I also grew up doing competitive dance and loved all the beautiful costumes - it amazed me how a roll of fabric could be turned into the most incredible rhinestoned piece of wearable art.
As much as I would have loved to go into a full-time creative career I was really drawn to working in health and helping people. I do love making resources and still try to use some of my creativity in my workday where I can.
How did you cultivate your distinct style?
I don't think I have a distinctive style if I'm honest! I really like trying new things. In fact, this is why I haven't turned my hobbies into a business, I generally don't like making things more than once. Making 60+ fabric face masks for family and friends when the restrictions came in helped me to fund my Cricut purchase but I wouldn't volunteer to do something like that again! I prefer to just play for fun.
What is your creative process, where do you get your ideas/inspiration?
For me, I really like the challenge of figuring out how to do things. I like looking at something in a shop, on Pinterest or scrolling through social media and thinking 'I could make something like that!' I think that challenge is part of the fun - sussing out the materials and lots of trial and error, or "playtime" as I call it. The end project is always extra satisfying if there was a bit of a challenge involved.
Also, if I kept every project I ever made our house would be overflowing so most of my projects are made with other people in mind and I give them as gifts.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
Well, my creative outlet has absolutely nothing to do with my work and that's the whole point. I'm a speech pathologist by day - I work in a busy metro hospital with adults. It's a really rewarding job and I love what I do but when I get home I've usually run out of people skills and brain power and need to recharge my batteries. I like sitting and watching a show or a movie with my fiance Jesse but I can't just sit - I always have to be doing something with my hands so I sit and craft. It helps me relax and is a nice, satisfying way to finish the day.
Tell us what your favourite project to work on so far?
I think my favourite project so far would have to be the boho woollen chandelier I made for my best friend when she was pregnant with her little girl. It was such a fun project! Grace came to me with a whole lot of inspo photos that she found online and then my challenge was to work out how to do it. It took a bit of maths and a fair bit of trial and error but the end product was so satisfying and worked perfectly in the baby's beautiful nursery.
Who are your biggest artistic inspirations and why?
My mum would have to be my biggest crafting inspiration. She's super crafty herself and I grew up watching her, playing in her craft room and making all sorts of things from bits and pieces. Mum used to make our clothes when we were little and she's still the most beautiful sewist. She also has this knack to use the most interesting materials to make something so special. She once made me a fairy costume out of recycled plastic bags and turned me into a goldfish for our school float in the town parade.
Do you have a single piece of advice you'd give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
Just give it a go! Start with craft kits where you get all the materials and instructions included and work from there. YouTube is also amazing for learning new skills - I taught myself to crochet, knit and make macrame during lockdowns with YouTube. It's okay to not be good at things too. I've made some hideously bad creations and crafty fails and it's all part of the fun.
Find Bec here: