If you’re reading this you probably like to make stuff. You are creative and like to express this with your hands. That is a wonderful thing. I love making. How you and I go about creating our work is fascinating and multifaceted as there are people who make things. Craft people who transform imagination into physical objects. That is magical.
Some ideas/projects are straightforward, requiring no other input than hands-on talent, materials, tools and honed motor skills. Other ideas demand more of me and take on a life of their own. They dictate the rules of making. And although I follow my heart and listen to my senses, I do its bidding. I don’t always have a concrete notion of what exactly I’m after other than that it has to please me.
The efforts I put into making things are worth it because I always learn something. By doing. The right thing or the wrong way, the right way but the wrong thing. I’ve ventured something, given something of myself in hopes of enhancing my crafting knowledge and experience and/or satisfaction.
I am still learning to dance with/accept the tension of risk in making; that foggy area between “this is going to work” and the crushing reality when shit suddenly, inevitably goes sideways. Sometimes however those moments are gold and it counts as hard won learning, knowledge and experience.
Sure, sometimes these ‘turns’ can lead down interesting paths that result in unexpected happy discoveries. Other times my project will suffer the ultimate insult and have to be binned, hidden, destroyed or at least discontinued for the moment, banished indefinitely until the right moment in time ignites my ambition to go again.
At the end of the work if it was pure delight or a committed struggle what I want is satisfaction. I need to feel good about what I created. And if I stuck to it all the way through and am not happy with the results I feel like I blew it. Until someone tells me it’s nice and that they like it. It makes me feel better but I don’t always like the piece any more. This encourages me to look at the piece again, to see it in a new light.
Sometimes I come away from a project with only marginally more experience, less new advanced knowledge than I anticipated and a dark sense of dissatisfaction because things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. “Something ventured, nothing gained” a friend once opined when I returned from an ill fated trip; as opposed to “something ventured, something gained.”
I know I’m onto something good when it keeps me up at night, when I can’t wait to take another look at it first thing in the morning. When that’s all I can think about until I get it right. That’s what I love. It’s not work, it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Know when to stop, because that one last cut or that last brush stroke or whatever can spell disaster. But that too is part of pushing you boundaries and expanding your maker horizon.
It’s more like following a butterfly wherever it goes. Metaphorically I am trying to catch it. When I do, I appreciate it, then let it go. I’m grateful for being able to do what I do.