In thinking about how I love to make and create things, be it art, music, electronic things, software, blog posts, cookies, photographs, accessories…. I think about why I want to make and create things, and I think it has to do with a few things.
I’m Cheap. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t like spending money. My regular purchases tend to be things like food, gas, and rent. I pay the bills and I while I do pay for the tools I need to do my work (whether that work is “work-work” or “make/create-work”) I really don’t like to frivolously spend money on things, especially if I think I can make it myself. I prefer baking many of the foods that I eat over buying packaged food. I like knowing what’s in my food, and try to avoid certain things, so this helps a lot.
I’m DIY. I’m not sure how much the Do-It-Yourself label has been diluted (or perhaps spread is a better word) in the past 20 years or so, but 20 years ago I was printing my own zines, and stickers, and patches and t-shirts, and starting my own bands, and booking our tours, and booking shows for other bands, and putting out our own music (all of which was much harder to do without the World Wide Web) and for me, it feels good to do things myself. I see so many services online nowadays that provide things I can do myself, so I do them myself. There’s all this talk about outsourcing everything and putting it all in the cloud, but I often like to do it myself and be in control of things a bit more. I fear we’re creating a generation of people who expect “someone else” to do everything for them.
I’m a Legacy. My dad, and his dad, were both what we now call “makers.” They were both experienced woodworkers who build their own furniture, and could repair things, and had great collections of tools and knew how to use them. To this day, when I visit my mom’s house, I love the fact that the end tables were built by my dad. I’m a terrible woodworker in comparison, but I’ve taken to making other things, and when I do make something out of wood, I tend to paint it black to make it look cool, and to cover up my poor craftsmanship. When I make things, I sort of feel this connection to my family, who also made things.
I’m Fun. Who in the hell would ever think a pair of servos and a puppet would get such attention? Much of my making and creating things is done in the name of fun. Getting an idea and being able to execute it, to me, is a formula for a good time. If others enjoy it, it’s that much better… but I’m fine with being selfish and saying that it’s enjoyment in making and creating things that keeps me doing it.
I’m Cool. OK, I’m probably not cool, but what is cool is that it inspires people, like… my kids. (They might be the only people left who think I’m cool.) My daughter made me a cake and I’m still floored by how awesome it was. Knowing that they see me make things, and in turn want to make things, is top notch. I love it… I don’t even care if I’m not cool anymore.
So my plea to you, dear reader, is to Make and Create… Do Something! Don’t just be a passive consumer, buying a pre-packaged life, figure out what it is that you can bring into this world. If you’ve got ideas, take action on them, make them a reality, don’t be afraid of failing because failing is just what you do before you succeed.