While it is hard for some to imagine a day without social media, smartphones and Wi-Fi, these were not available a mere 20 years ago. Technology has revolutionized the way we order food, purchase clothes and read books.
"Technology used to be considered a separate entity from arts and crafts," said Stephanie Leichtweis, CEO of Fibre-Craft, a leader in creative activities. "We believe it is vital to incorporate these together, and are working to meld tech innovations with artistic expression to provide a nuanced version of online and offline activities."
Fibre-Craft has outlined some ways that classic crafts have been redefined by technology:
Art projects used to be inspired by books, classes and our own imagination. Our world dictated our crafts of necessity and for fun. With social media, inspiration and creation are driven by many platforms.
"DIY and crafts" is one of the top three most-pinned and most-browsed categories on Pinterest, one of the leading platforms for inspiration, along with YouTube.
A recent survey found that nearly 40 percent of adults who worked on an arts and crafts project found inspiration on YouTube, and one in three turned to Pinterest. And when complete, individuals can also share their own finished pieces to inspire others.
The first coloring book was published in the 1880s. It is a great activity for children, as it can provide hours of entertainment and is easy to take on the go. Just as painting by numbers updated a classic art form in the 1950s, newer technologies are giving coloring and painting a 21st-century twist.
One new art/tech hybrid is DabitZ. DabitZ is inspired by the painting technique called Pointillism, so users don't need to be talented artists. Starter sets include templates called DabDesignZ, and a free app can transform any picture into a template design. Simply take a photo, create a template, print it and dab it up, connecting technology to offline play and the world around us.
Photographs help keep memories alive long after the moment has passed. Camera phones have reinvented how photographs are taken, shared and viewed. No longer do you have to wait to return from an adventure to share your activities — you can post on social media in the moment. And with high-quality lenses on phones and filters on apps, you can create images worth 1,000 words — and likes.
"Smartphones have made photographers out of all of us, and opened a range of possibilities," Leichtweis said.
Homemade gifts are one of the most treasured items to receive from a loved one, especially from a child.
Handmade items are increasingly trendy in home décor, fashion and foodstuffs. Those with special talents can capitalize on their craft, thanks to online stores and marketplaces. This growing trend is a wonderful way to support artisans and causes at home or a world away.
With technology, how we create arts and crafts will continue to change. To learn more, visit www.DabitZart.com.