I make stuff

Check out this sweet piece of artwork by Will Bryant: I make stuff because I get sad if I don't.

Just the other day I was thinking about why I make stuff. I was shocked to realize I've only been a stuff-maker for the past four years. Before that I was doing silly 20-something things with my friends, wandering around, dating jerks and feeling pretty empty. And before that, my artistic talents were never really encouraged. They weren't discouraged, more like left to their own devices.

The making of stuff came on gradually. I started dating Ian who is decidedly not a jerk. He gave me all the space I needed to figure out who I really was. And, it turns out, I'm a maker. I'm a doer. I'm a problem solver. I look at things and think: I can make that, I can fix that, I can turn that into something beautiful.

After four years of making things, I don't think I could ever not be a maker. This is who I am, this is how my brain works. There are infinite possibilities in life when you have the power to turn things into other things.

I make stuff because I get sad if I don't. I make stuff because there is no other path for me.

Why do you make stuff?


  1. What a thoughtful, and thought provoking post!

    I make stuff because I grew up watching my mom do it. I loved the feeling of wearing a new dress she made just for me, or playing with a new doll she made me, or eating a Holly Hobby birthday cake that she spent hours making. I want Julian to have those memories of me too.

    And I make stuff because it calms me down. I feel more peaceful when I'm creating. And it makes me feel like less of a consumer. Spending time in any shopping center makes me feel so gross, like a rat in a maze whose only purpose is to buy more and more and more. And making things helps me feel like I'm breaking that cycle.

    Completely random, but what's your day job? Is your source of income something crafty, or is it a job that pays the bills, and you're crafty in your own time?

  2. Allison, excellent response! I'd forgotten about the consumer aspect. I can't remember when I last bought something besides food, books or craft supplies. Oh wait, I just bought seasons 1 and 2 of The Tudors but that was a splurge that happens rarely...and I bought them online because I hate real stores.

    My day job consists of designing office spaces and coordinating moves into those spaces. Designing cubicles really isn't all that creative or difficult but I like what I do and it's certainly more creative than, say, hot dog seller or something. And I get to leave my work at work...the nights and weekends are all mine.

    So, yes, I do my crafty stuff after 5pm. That's not to say that I do creative stuff every night...because some nights I read for hours (or watch a movie) and go to bed early. But the option is there if I want. Actually, with all the free time I have, I really should be more creative. I wonder why I'm not? I'm definitely envious of the women who finish a quilt every two weeks. I am sort of lazy, though...so maybe that's my problem. :)


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