I’ve been on a 8-bit kick lately. I wanted to do a project that includes graphics from old arcade games and the original Nintendo. I was looking around at different mediums that would lend itself well to 8-bit graphics. A lot of ideas came flooding in from mosaic tiles, colored paper, painted canvas, etc. One thing that caught my eye is plastic canvas. Using a cross stitch would really capture the feel of a pixel in these old-school video games.
So I went into Hobby Lobby today to check out how much it would cost to get started. I found the section quick enough and looked at the supplies. All of a sudden, I became really self conscious. I felt a little weird by being a guy in the yarn section of a craft store. I thought everyone was looking at me, which I doubt they were.
I started to talk myself out of this medium thinking there must be something a bit more manly to do my 8-bit art with. So I left to browse the model cars and trains. While I was browsing the guy stuff, I thought to myself; This is stupid. Plastic canvas would be the perfect medium for the project I have in mind. It can represent a picture in a pixelated format, it has structural integrity, and it has just enough of the cheese-factor to make a really cool project. So I went back and got my supplies. 2 pieces of plastic canvas, 3 colors of yarn, and a needle. I walked to the register, thinking of excuses if I get asked about them. I could blame my wife, or my kid is working on a project, or perhaps it was a gift. I wasn’t asked. In hindsight, they probably could care less about what I’m working on. $5.50 later and I’m hooked up to do my project. (Indecently, I decided to do a NES gaming controller for my first plastic canvas project as opposed to a 8-bit graphic.)
It goes to show you that there are certain expectations about what is appropriate for guys vs girls. Guys build stuff, girls craft. Guys make stuff out of wood and metal, girls make stuff out of fabric and yarn. I never thought gender stereotypes would bother me, but today was an eye-opener. Isn’t it enough that I like to make stuff? Whatever medium is needed to accomplish a project, so be it, right? That’s the way it should be.
I’ll certainly blog about my project. I don’t personally know my readers, so the repercussions (all in my imagination, mind you) are minimal. But chances are I won’t share it with my friends on Facebook. The final project will probably get stuffed in a box somewhere, out of sight…unless it turns out super cool. 😉
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