Creative Therapy: Suz Humphries

Please tell us a little about yourself…

I’m an artist, designer and teacher. I teach lots of crafts from creative embroidery to art journaling and mixed media.

Where/how did you learn your craft(s)?

I learnt embroidery and tapestry from my lovely Nan who passed away a few years ago. My sister taught me how to cross stitch 25 years ago when our children were young, that got me into card making and then I just wanted to learn more. I watched craft shows, went to workshops and make and takes at craft shows, read magazines (Craft Stamper has always been a fav) and experimented. That love of learning and experimenting stays with me now. I still get books from the library, read my own books and magazines and attend workshops some of those have been with truly inspirational artists. I just grab things and play!

How do you feel craft has impacted your life?

I’ve always enjoyed making things and sketching too.  And I love giving hand-made cards and gifts. But in recent years, when my Mum became terminally ill, and other close family members also became very ill; some also with terminal illnesses, some with life changing illnesses, crafting became my therapy. It was a way of escaping from difficult things, thoughts and feelings and giving my brain a break from worry. It distracted me from the desperation of not being able to save those people.  Having helped me through a very difficult time, that therapy is now less to help me survive and more about fun, socialising and exercising my brain. It has become my energy; given me a focus. And the more people I meet out and about and at craft events, the more I realise how many other people use craft as a way of escaping, a kind of mindfulness and a distraction from illness or personal difficulties.

Do you do anything to pass the crafting bug on to others?

I’m lucky enough to share my crafting bug by teaching my own classes, by sharing on just about every form of social media, and I’ve also run several charity craft events this year to raise money for charities close to my heart. And in 2018 I will be part of two amazing design teams and demonstrating with two British companies, so will really be stretching myself and sharing what I create with a lot more people.

Is there anyone you find particularly inspirational in the crafting world?

There are LOTS of people who inspire me. I love Dyan Reaveley. An art journal class with Dyan back in 2013 was a turning point in my art journey, it sort of freed me! Andy Skinner’s classes have been inspirational and so much fun, he’s responsible for my acrylic paint addiction. He’s taught me soooo much about layering, texture and how to use mixed media products. Also Tamara Laporte (Willowing) and Shawn Petite because of their healing approach to art. Naturally Tim Holtz, his amazing products are part of almost every crafters life, and I’ve been a huge fan of Trish’s work, since 2013, her 3D projects are amazing.

Do you do anything to share your creations? (gifting/selling?)

I mainly give away my creations. But I have sold some at craft fairs and I am part of an Art Abandonment Group; we abandon pieces of art with lovely messages attached for people to find in all sorts of places, indoors and out; for example in cafes, libraries or even in the park; anywhere where they may be safely abandoned and not cause any inconvenience.

What is next on the agenda for you?

I’ve got several teaching dates lined up around the country next year. I have been invited to join two amazing design teams which I’m really excited about and also to demonstrate for a big British craft company. I will also carry on working with another fab British company who want to bring Decorative Folk Art to us all. I am working on my own range of stamps, and planning my next charity fundraiser (an abseil down Spinnaker Tower for our local hospice in March….I’m hoping it won’t be windy!). In between I’ll run my monthly classes at my studio in Esher for my regular crafters, I’m also looking into volunteering for a rehabilitation centre fairly nearby. In between that I will be trying to protect my sanity and also take every opportunity to celebrate my 50th birthday! It’s gonna be a cwaaaazy year, in a good way!

Suz Teaching at the Ministry of Mixology Coventry Retreat 2017

Suz Teaching at the Ministry of Mixology Coventry Retreat 2017

To find out more about Suz’s classes, please visit her blog:

 www.craftyhumphreys.blogspot.co.uk