Anna Stewart, a 41-year-old craft enthusiast from Batemoor, first began bookfolding six years ago when she saw about it online in a craft group.
The art of bookfolding involves folding a name or an image of your choice into the pages of a book by using measurements generated by a book art design software. Anna then finely uses these measurements to create specific folds and make stunning pieces of book art.
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Anna says, whilst incredibly rewarding and an amazing hobby, bookfolding does require a lot of patience.
“It is quite easy to do and follow the pattern but its just about having the patience – it takes some time,” said Anna.
“Depending on how many pages it needs, a design usually takes eight to twelve hours.
“I’ve suffered to depression for a few years now and it helps support my mental health. It’s good have a pastime that gives me a sense of achievement.”
Previously, Anna did sell her designs before she went to university, but after going to university, she stopped selling as she had less time to spend on the designs.
Now, Anna is in the semi-finals of Eventbrite’s ‘Hobby Heroes’ national competition which has seen hundreds of entrants from around the UK.
“I saw it online and thought I would like to apply for that to try and get bookfolding out there because quite a lot of people are still not aware of it.
“I’m now in the top 10 out of hundreds of entries – it feels amazing and I’m really excited about it.
“I’m really interested in the craft to others and running teaching workshops on Eventbrite. Bookfolding isn’t as hard as it looks, and it’s really cheap to do compared to other crafts. Bookfolding creations make wonderful, personalized gifts so I would definitely encourage more people to take it up.”
The Hobby Hero initiative is supported by one of the world’s leading experts on wellbeing, Professor Cary Cooper, who advocates using hobbies to boost our mental health.
“Hobbies can boost your wellbeing because whether you’re knitting, running, hula hooping, abseiling or baking, they offer a great way to take your mind from the stresses of the world and work, take you away from the screen and let you do something positive, creative and fulfilling,” said Professor Cary Cooper.
“Enjoying a hobby with someone else or in groups is even more beneficial because it provides motivation and social connection. After two years of social isolation, it’s a joy to see people connecting through hobbies that bring them pleasure and, depending on what you do, improve physical fitness, memory or mood. I recommend taking up a new hobby to many people.”
Eventbrite’s Sebastian Boppert says: “The entries we received range from the more traditional to the weird and wonderful. Anna’s bookfolding hobby stood out as an original and creative craft that we hadn’t seen before. It’s clear that her hobby requires extreme patience and precision. I wish Anna all the best as one of our semi-finalists.”
Semi-finalists have been chosen from various regions in the UK to reach the national final, and a panel of judges will announce the winner at the end of July.