Are you a maker or a designer?
Today I gave up on a book I've been reading (received it as a gift a few years ago) because I just cannot reconcile some of the statements -- they don't line up with my own beliefs about what constitutes creativity and creative expression. Since becoming a knitter, I've realized that I love that somebody else has done all the work -- the designing -- and created a pattern for me to follow. Sometimes I don't choose the same color yarn that the designer chose. Often I will reject the designer's yarn choice in favor of what I am able to get from my local yarn store. Regardless, I still prefer to knit from somebody else's pattern. Within that structure there is plenty of room for creativity and many, many wonderful designers to support.
Background: I was reading this post a couple of months ago and it really made me question MYSELF as to whether I would call myself primarily a maker. More recently, I pondered this post (an interview with Alicia Paulson at Create a Connection) in which she answers the question about whether she considers herself a maker or designer. And she nailed exactly how I feel about being happy in spite of choosing to be a maker. I hope you read both blog entries.
I don't intend to disparage the book I was reading, but I'm happy to be free of it now and the concept that I should feel a spiritual responsibility to answer the type of creative inclinations referenced in the book. On the contrary, I've found that my highest creative expression comes in the form of nuturing my relationships (family, friends). Successful living means having the ability to enjoy something for its own sake whether or not there is any reward (fame, fortune, recognition, or a buying public) involved. Knitting, making things, and working with my hands helps bring peace to my little corner of the world.
Are you happy enough to be a maker or are you somebody who's haunted by a creative urge to be or do more? A designer perhaps? (There's more than enough room for both of us -- one can hardly exist without the other). Is it possible I'm missing another category altogether? Has anybody noticed that in the knitting world, we're at the point of having a happy convergence making it an excellent time to be both . . . or either?
ETA: With regard to knitting, I think that many of us don't have to be either/or -- but for me, I've recognized that I get the most joy and peace from focusing on the making -- and that it sometimes involves tweaking and changing things to make it work. I'm not rigid about rules when following a pattern.
Also, there's something I've noticed among knitters who blog -- there is usually something creative that we all pursue that might or might not have anything to do with knitting. Knitting enhances our ability to be disciplined and proficient at those other things.