March isn’t all about St. Patrick’s Day and shamrocks, it is also National Craft Month! Other than reading, crafts are one of my favorite past times. From crocheting to cross stitching to painting, I will try them all! Crafts are one of my favorite ways to bring books to life as well. After finishing The Hunger Games I made a cross stitch of one of my favorite Katniss and Peeta quotes. I have also crocheted a Golden Snitch from Harry Potter. Crafts can span all interests and are a great outlet for one’s creativity. After realizing how much I enjoyed creating projects based on novels, I thought “Why not find some crafty characters to write about?” Here are some creative YA characters that create works of art in some form.
Crafty YA Characters
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean is a very creative 16-year-old girl. She not only crafts regularly with her two sisters, but bakes and writes as well. While those two things might not be stereotypically “crafty”, they are an art form and two that Lara Jean excels at. Her writings take on a life of their own after she writes love letters to all her past boyfriends and relationships. She hides them under a hat box under her bed, but after they mysteriously get sent out, she has to deal with the outcome of her words. Writing, whether it is non-fiction, fiction, or simply musings is a fantastic way to express one’s self. By writing and letting her true feelings show, Lara Jean is able to discover more about herself in a way she might not have without a creative outlet. Want to channel your inner Lara Jean? Try this fun hat box craft or this delicious cupcake recipe.
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Our creative MC, Georgia Nicolson, is not your stereotypical crafter or artist. Not only does she create some very unique viking disco bison horn headbands (made out of things ranging from bison horns, to twigs attached to a hair band), but a dance routine to go along with it! While out with her best mates, and potential boyfriends, she often uses her creativity to help her in crazy situations. The Viking Disco Bison Inferno dance (updated in the book Stop in the Name of Pants!) is more than just a creative outlet, it is a solution to getting oneself out of a tricky spot. Georgia is also often finding crafty and creative ways to occupy her little sister and fix her favorite doll. No matter where she finds herself, Georgia is using her creativity. In case you want to try The Viking Disco Bison Inferno yourself, here are instructions and a video.
Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton
Ben is your stereotypical boy, raised by a father that is a huge sports fan and surrounded by friends that do not enjoy anything “girly.” After getting in trouble for theft, to avoid being lumped into a unit of juvenile offenders, he must find away to give back and conform to society. When he discovers the local knitting group (which also happens to be lead by a hot teacher) he decides to give it a whirl, not expecting to enjoy it. Suddenly Ben is learning and enjoying his new hobby, while also having to keep it a secret from his dad, his friends, and a possible new love interest, because remember…boys don’t knit. It is an important lesson that Ben learns from knitting. It does not matter who you are, if you enjoy something, do not let anyone stifle your passion and creativity. If you, boy or girl, are interested in knitting, check it out here. Also check out crocheting, it might be more your bag.
Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
For a book series about rich Upper East Side private school kids, this series is full of creatives! One particularly creative and crafty character is Vanessa. She comes from a long line of artists, including two hippie parents. For most of the series she can be found working on her passion, film making. She can often be found making dark films about everyday life. As the character progresses throughout the series, she also starts to channel her creativity into tying together her fashion choices, with those of the Upper East Side. By viewing this unique world through her camera Vanessa is able to see things that an insider, or even an outsider, might miss. If you are interested in viewing the world in a different and creative way, learn more about film making here.
As Dead as It Gets by Katie Alender
This is not the first novel we meet our MC, Alexis, in (the first is Bad Girls Don’t Die) but it is the first one where we really see her bring her passion to life. Alexis is a photographer and most often can be seen taking pictures for her high school’s newspaper and yearbook. In this third novel in the series she is taking photographs for a competition. She soon discovers that she is seeing ghosts in her pictures. At first she abandons her creativity in order to avoid her problems, but learns that only makes the situation worse. This is a great story of learning that your creativity often helps you through the worst of times, even when it seems like it is not going anywhere. By continuing with her craft, Alexis is able to solve her problem, and still be true to herself. Want to see what you can capture in pictures? Learn more about photography here.
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
Set in 1968 this story is about Doug, an eighth grader forced to move to a new town. He hates everything about little Marysville, New York, until he discovers the library. While there he finds artwork drawn by John James Audubon and is instantly entranced. One of the librarians spies Doug’s potential and starts to teach him how to draw. At first Doug is apprehensive and convinced that he does not have a creative bone in his body, but discovers he is, in fact, more crafty than he thinks. As Doug starts drawing the birds he learns more about not only drawing, but art and what it represents. He must find a way to be true to himself, without having to hide his creativity from his dad or his brother. Along the way he meets other fellow artists, and discovers what it means to find your craft. Want to channel your inner Doug? Check out some guides to drawing here.
I hope these characters have inspired you to craft, create, and follow your passions! Are there any creative YA characters that have inspired you?
— Tegan Anclade, currently reading The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
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