BOISE, Idaho — COVID-19 has many of us turning to our phones for entertainment, watching artists work from home on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Now, some people are finding inspiration, taking up painting or woodworking to alleviate stress.
"Getting [people] out of the house, getting them into another place. They get to turn off their cell phones, they get to not worry about that low level of stress that everyone’s just been under for this last year and come in and do something that’s fun," said Monte Eldfrick, owner of Woodcraft of Boise.
He says after a year of lock-downs and abundant screen time, people are ready to stretch their legs and their creativity.
"People I believe are desiring community in a different way than maybe they used to."
Before the pandemic, classes were about 60% full. Now, they're on a wait-list.
"I would say we're about 110% [full]," he said.
Would-be artists are tired of watching and ready to start doing, inspired by social media accounts like Jess Crow's Crow Creek Designs.
Crow is an Alaska-based online influencer in the maker-space world. She has more than 135-thousand followers watching her every post.
"I love teaching. I love building and I love making," she said.
At first, the pandemic slowed her in-person teaching abilities. Now she's back in the classroom.
"We’ve seen a huge uptick in the maker community as people are reaching out and saying, 'I've been watching the stuff for two years and now it’s time for me to do it,'" she said.
Crow says she's used to working around health concerns. She's spent years living with a rare genetic disorder.
"It affects my joints in my collagen tissue," she said.
She says art is a form of therapy.
"Being able to create when you feel trapped in your body is a great way to free your mind."
She teaches her followers to work alongside their limitations and use this time to tap into their inner artist.
If you do want to try these woodcraft techniques, remember to get proper instruction from pros like Jess and Monte. You will want to use protective equipment like gloves and a well-ventilated room.