Not everything is about profit

October 2, 2020 12:18 PM

a crown icon and the words "rising voices award winner"
A yellow resin heart-shaped jewelry pendant. Photo courtesy of starbright on Pixabay.

A yellow resin heart-shaped jewelry pendant. Photo courtesy of starbright on Pixabay.

Over the December break I started to try out resin crafting. Resin is a liquid that cures in 24 hours when mixed with a hardener. I set some lofi on, put on a face mask to protect me from the fumes and got to work. 

It was a horrible experience, and it was pretty obvious I was ill-prepared. My resin liquid started off horribly. While I did have equal amounts of hardener and resin, I had disregarded the instructions of stirring slowly. Instead, I mixed it like I had an electric hand mixer. The clear concoction turned cloudy and bubbly, and not in a way that looked like rain drops falling on a window — it looked identical to a toddler's tantrum snot.  Hastily trying to get rid of the bubbles, I put my cup into hot water. This did little to help and only sped up the curing time and ruined any chances of it curing correctly.  It looked like a sludge villain. My phone and hands were sticky beyond belief. Discouraged, I cleaned up and put all of my materials in a box and didn’t pick it up for months.

As someone who is very hands-on for most of my hobbies, like baking and gardening, being able to touch and observe with my hands is really important. Seeing a cake rise is similar to watching a green onion grow. Knowing that I contributed to the end result is really fun and enjoyable for me. 

On Instagram, I was following an artist who does a lot of nature inspired pieces. They posted their resin projects and a lot of them included having dried flowers encapsulated into the resin. I love seeing the flowers on the farm, but always missed them when the blooming season was over. Resin seemed like a good way to remember the flowers that bloomed and keep them with me forever! 

Before trying resin art, I did studio painting. While it was fun at first, It got really draining. I didn’t like how things could look “wrong” or look “right”. It was a self portrait I had to paint, and the idea of me getting how I look wrong was discouraging. I mean...I look at my face the most out of everyone! 

I also didn’t really enjoy planning and pitching projects. It quickly came to feel that my art needed approval from someone else, and having to pitch a new painting over and over again is tiring. Art is subjective, but I was obviously limited in what pitches were approved. I learned that studio painting wasn’t for me, and I enjoyed just making things for the sake of doing so, even if it could be observed as weird, or wrong. 

Buying resin materials can add up and get a bit pricey. Epoxy resin isn’t cheap at all! I was okay with spending money, if it meant I would enjoy the time invested in creating new pieces. My friend told me that I would be able to make the money back if I sold the art, and it set a nagging feeling in me. I wanted to experiment with resin because of my own curiosity — I didn’t want to create art for profit. If I did, I’d have to worry about my errors. I was already busy enough. I didn’t want to add on another responsibility. 

Growing up, we’re always told that things we are good at can become our careers. If you’re good at coding, you should work in computer science. If you’re a great football player, maybe you’ll go pro. I’d like to think I’m a decent gardener, but I don’t think I’d become a farmer or florist. Most of my hobbies are just things that I want to keep as hobbies; they bring low stress and enjoyment and that's okay. 

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