Have you ever felt like you weren't that creative? Even though you are technically engaged in making creative objects, it's very easy to think "Oh, anyone can do this."
Today's post is from Lilah Higgins, who shares her own discoveries about why she makes and why she believes everyone is a maker. Lilah started the Higgins Creative to showcase their design work but it soon became a way for them to connect with other makers and creatives.
I spent the last week taking a short break from the business side of our small business because I. Am. Burned. Out.
Who knew spreading my art around the world would come with so many to-do lists, so many documents to file, so many apps to track progress, receipts to keep, and programs to learn? It can all be exhausting. All I wanted to do this week was paint pretty pictures, gold-leaf some antlers, and take photographs. I just wanted to make. I didn’t want to plan and track and pay and mail and respond and [insert your most annoying business practice here.]
Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t trade running my own business for anything. But this break was good, and today I’m back to answering emails and playing CEO and CFO and all the other acronyms and it’s good. Because of my break just to create, to stir up my artist’s blood, to get out of my own head, I am now able to get back into the business side of things with a refreshed motivation.
I’m learning that making does something magical for my soul. It’s takes me outside of myself, gets me out of the ordinary and sometimes repetitive life I live, and brings me refreshment as my brush touches canvas, my pen hits paper, or my stylus glides on my tablet.
Making is a journey outside of ourselves, to reveal and fulfill the desires deep inside of us.
I believe that we are made to make, all of us. Everything single person has an innate need and desire to create, to build up, to make and sculpt an entire life out of the blank canvas they’re given. We really can’t help it.
That’s where our spark for The Higgins Creative and our #waketomake hashtag was born. Because we have to make. Why? Because we were born to and we will always be making in some form or another, poorly or well.
I grew up believing that I was the only artsy one in my family, next to my architect father. But I’m learning daily that it’s simply not true. My sister, who says she’s no artist, can create a 5-star meal out of scraps and with little-to-no tools. On days I call out for pizza, she’s having bruschetta squares and pulled pork tacos with mini fried wontons and her delicious balsamic vinaigrette.
My mom, who says she can’t draw a stick person, can construct an entire 40-page business plan, complete with a detailed budget and terms and a schedule, all in two hours flat.
My brother, who scoffed at me in art class as a kid, can build a teardrop camper out of scrap wood and thrift store furniture. My Dad can visualize a skyscraper by drawing a few lines on a napkin.
They had me believing that I was the only one who had this drive to make. Further more, they made me feel like a weirdo because of my ability to make a flower look real with paint on a canvas.
But with many of their abilities far surpassing my own, there is never a reason to compare and single out one craft over another, because they are all equally amazing and equally important.
My family members and I are all the same at the core. We all innately make. We just use different methods.
There’s this issue we all deal with, and it comes from being human, I think. Just like my family did when I was growing up, we all get caught up in the comparison game.
At some point, we begin to believe the lie that our methods in making simply aren’t enough, aren’t good, aren’t striking enough. We believe that the way we make, isn’t as good as the person next to us and we get stuck on how we make and forget why we make in the first place.
One thing we always ask the makers that we interview on our journal is this: What keeps you motivated to create?
The most abundant answer? It's that what they make connects them to people, makes them feel human, more alive. They say that it is a natural, human desire to create and mold and mend and make for the purpose of connection.
At the base of who we are, making should connect us to one another, not separate us.
Here are what some of our makers have said:
“They invite my coffee into their home to become a part of their morning or daily ritual.” -Jayson Moyer, Lodge Coffee Roasters
“My husband and I are both creatives for a living and I think we both need each other where creating is concerned. When he comes home with good news about his work, it pushes me to be better.” -Laci Fowler, Artist
“My kids keep me going. I am constantly looking for ways to perfect my craft and come up with a new product that will make your skin feel incredible.” -Jae Benjamin, Benjamin Soap Co.
“I love being able to put people's ideas on paper. So many of the things I create carry sentimental value, mark a special occasion or exist as memorabilia. It feels good to know that I can take what people have experienced and materialize it, make it something beautiful. “ -Sidney Hunter, Sidney Hunter Design Co.
Ask yourself: Why do you make? Do you make to put food on the table? To provide for those around you? To fill a greater need? To honor a loved one?
I believe that we are all created to create and I believe that it is our job--as long as we’re able-- to hone in on and train those tendencies within ourselves. Not for ourselves solely, but to participate in human interaction. To know others, to know ourselves.
Our natural, God-given desire is exactly what this world needs. It’s our job to practice this. It’s our job to make good with our hands.
Are you convinced now? Go ahead, give it some thought & let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below.
What do you #waketomake?
Find Lilah and join the #waketomake conversation here:
Tomorrow is the last day to join Lilah and Zac in funding their Kickstarter for Jacob’s Box. Jacob’s Box was started in honor of Lilah’s younger brother, who was stillborn. Boxes will be laser engraved with “I love that we danced together for your entire life." The boxes will be sold in The Higgins Creative Shop and available for pre-order (if funded) in October of this year.