For the better part of my life, I was an honest to goodness maker. I sewed, painted, woodworked, developed photos in a darkroom, and even welded my own jewelry. I boiled giant pots of water with tea to dye fabric and I hung oranges from my ceiling to stage still life paintings. If there was something I needed, I made it. From home furnishings to birthday gifts, I made them all.
Losing my maker mojo didn’t happen all at once. I don’t think it even occurred to me that it was happening. My plan had always been to pick a career where I didn’t feel like work was work, so I could live my life making, just on the behalf of others as a designer. Perhaps I have been in denial; I still make things… just internet things, right? The convenience of the digital slowly eked out the handmade; tidier, faster, and more portable found a more conducive space in my life.
I just got home from my third Brooklyn Beta. Every year I am inspired and reenergized, bringing back ideas on how to be better at what I do. This year though, the most profound takeaway was a realization about what I don’t do. Surrounded by friends who are starting their own clothing lines, building motorcycles, and this one dude (sorry I didn’t get your name) who is making a better bee hive for honey… I realized that I have lost my way.
I’m not going to pretend like I know how to change. I probably won’t wake up tomorrow and sew new pillows for my couch (though that is a likely place for me to start); but I will be aware that change needs to happen. I want to rediscover the curiosity and creativity that poured over from experimenting with different mediums and I want to feel that light-headed high I got the first time an image magically appeared on a piece of paper as I processed my own film. Thank you Brooklyn Beta for inspiring me to start looking.