Crafting in the happiest place on Earth
Who knew that my most recent trip to Disneyland would grant me the opportunity to geek-out with some craft goodness. We stayed at the Disneyland Grand Californian Resort – the newest and largest resort in the land of the Mouse. After we checked in, I was scanning the plethora of reading materials that were provided by the overly joyful hotel staff and found that there was a “Arts and Crafts Tour” that was being held the following day — JACKPOT.
Yes, Disney is a big corporate giant and all the jazz, but they really did try to incorporate a homage to the California Craft movement.
We learned that every little piece of Disney goodness is developed by the Imagineers. They practice a project development process called “Blue Sky”, where they are given a title of a project and are given the green light to expound upon every aspect of a concept in order to ascertain a story for a that concept. Whether or not the end viewer, the Guest, is aware of all these little details is another thing…. but just know that every single itty bitty detail of a new Disney development is thought through by a group of people before it hits your eyes.
The Grand Californian Resort is no different, and I’m glad I went on the tour or else I would have never picked up on the immense detail that was put into the design and decor of the hotel. The California Arts and Crafts movement stemmed out of the Gold Rush and Manifest Destiny. Thousands of people crossed the country in search of a better life, and once they arrived they used the beauty around them as inspiration and the plentiful access to natural resources to build their new lives from the ground up.
“Nature is the Source of All Artistic Expression”
The hotel architecture draws inspiration from key California styles, most notably California Craftsman. Smaller design elements are drawn from the state as well including the California state flower – the poppy – finds itself intertwined into a gigantic floor tapestry.
~Atrium of the hotel~
I really identify with the Arts and Crafts movement. Because I work for a company that specializes in pumping out merchandise for the mass market, I find solace in the fact that I truly get fulfillment from creating new things from what is around me. We live in a world of sameness, it is more difficult than ever to be unique today than it ever has been before. How do you set yourself apart in a culture derived from the likes of Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Costco? My answer is to create and innovate. Even if things end up looking a little jankety jank, or even if I don’t finish the project I’m working on (which seems to be something that happens quite often…), I am still making something new. And I love that. Creating things makes me feel alive.
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”
What inspires you to craft? Leave your answer in the comments below!