On Making

I thought of myself as a ‘cre­ator’ before the YouTube com­mu­nity owned the word, because I see cre­ativ­ity as a link to God. Now I call myself a maker, which has a earth­ier feel, sug­ges­tive of crafts­man­ship. This feels right, since I’m hap­pi­est making useful, handy things.

I also believe that the con­cept of talent and gift­ed­ness is often mis­ap­plied, with a false rev­er­ence for the way that Providence, to many minds, arbi­trar­ily bestows genius. I believe every­body has genius. I do believe in apti­tude, and advan­tage, and call­ing; but I believe we all get there in the end – wher­ever one may iden­tify as a ‘there’ to aim for. I believe in build­ing a sense for beauty, just as we learn and feed the conscience.

This makes me very will­ing to work at things for which I have little nat­ural apti­tude (as my music teacher can tes­tify). It also makes it worth­while to make things for (and with) people who ‘don’t get it’ – always antic­i­pat­ing that moment when they mag­i­cally do.

I think cre­ativ­ity belongs to the public space, and the public space should be safe for all – par­tic­u­larly chil­dren. I believe every­thing that is made should point to the Maker in some way. I don’t believe in pour­ing out hurt; my cre­ative paths must always turn back to the wide open sky.

I believe in growth, and trans­parency in that growth. I believe in har­mony, con­gru­ence, and bal­ance. I do not care for glitch effects, and other hall­marks of a gen­er­a­tion pro­cess­ing the press­ing weight of the arti­fi­cial envi­ron­ment. I always let my lights cast shadow, but the shadow is a non-speak­ing part.

I learn a lot from the public domain, so the past is woven into my work. And since I’m also wary of the modern ten­dency to make the art about the effort of pro­duc­tion, I’m prob­a­bly hap­pi­est with sim­pler things.

It sad­dens me to hear that people are grate­ful to AI for finally allow­ing them to par­tic­i­pate in art, if only as cura­tors. I think we all have some­thing to con­tribute from within us, with­out any oblig­a­tion to black lot­tery boxes. This oppo­si­tion to the false argu­ments for mechan­ics and per­fec­tion often seduces me into a wor­ship of grit and imper­fec­tion, then I have to remind myself that bro­ken­ness is a very narrow assur­ance of humanity.

In the end, it is about keep­ing in touch with one another, and with the One above. Everything else is mere detail.