A Maker Makes, Even When No One Sees - do you have to have an incredibly successful creative business in order to feel valued? In order to do what you love? I don't think so...@littlegirldesigns.com

A Maker Makes

I was sketching in my sketchbook one afternoon and this thought came to me: “A maker makes, even when no one sees.” I thought about all of the people in this world who make things, beautiful things, and who will never be heralded or read about on the internet or magazines. They will never find success in terms of a thriving creative business. But they still make things.

They make things because that is who they are. I’ve found myself struggling at times with not finding great success in my creative pursuits (and there have been many of them). It would be nice to see different projects take off and be well-received. And yet . . . that cannot be the source of why I do what I do. (I talk about this motivation in an audiocast here.)

Why do you create? Why do you pick up a paintbrush and paint, stop and take a photograph, or sit down at the piano and play a song? It’s because you love it, isn’t it? When you create, life stands still for a moment and you’re in this place. You’re making a mess but it doesn’t matter. You’ll clean it up later. Right now everything is perfect.

A Maker Makes . . .

I think about this next generation being raised in a world where everyone is on stage, shouting and shouting for attention. And I wonder how I am going to share with my daughter that although it is nice for others to notice (and even buy) your work, it isn’t essential. That she can learn and grow and try new things without the burden of wondering if it is a waste of time. (Is learning ever a waste of time?) I’m not sure how I will word these things but I do know I can show it to her by my life.

An encouraging post about our motivation behind creating. If you've ever struggled with wondering if you should give up with all of your art and craft-making because you're not making it big or having success, you'll want to read this post!

Even now we take moments in our day to draw on the easel—moments, because she is 2! But I love that she stops long enough to draw long lines and little dots before skipping off to another adventure. I’m learning to do this too; I’m leaving my sketchbook out and carrying it around during the day so I can jot thoughts down and sketch ideas out. It doesn’t matter what it looks like; most likely no one will see. (I’m a big fan of personal projects!)

If you’re a creative person, if you’re someone who looks back on their childhood and cannot remember a time when they weren’t making things…please keep growing this part of your life. Don’t give up because the accolades aren’t coming. Don’t shut your proverbial sketchbook because you haven’t landed that dream job. Please remember that you can in many ways live your dream job every day in those fringe hours. (And that is a whole post in itself–but I firmly believe because I have lived this truth that you do not have to be working at your dream job to live your dreams.)

Make things. Create beauty. Do this as much as you can and teach yourself to not look around too much to see if anyone is noticing. What you make matters. And though we’ve all heard it before (and maybe rolled our eyes), there truly is only one you, so you do your thing. No one else has your voice and your creativity.

Re-frame your ideas of success. This is something I am working on every day, believe me. People buying your wares is wonderful. But what about giving some of your creations away? Look for opportunities to share. Send your sketches and ideas in the mail.

I’m writing this on my blog but really, I’m writing it in my heart too since I need to hear this as much as anyone. A maker makes, even if no one sees. And that is okay. And that is beautiful.

Have a beautiful {and creative} day!

P.S. If you’re needing some inspiration to get your creativity flowing, I’ve written a couple of posts on sparking your creativity. Here’s part one and part two. Enjoy!



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6 responses to “A Maker Makes”

  1. Agatha Avatar

    It’s interesting this maker movement. All of sudden the government is interested and maker spaces are popping up everywhere. I just wrote a post about kids not wanting to make anymore, and I think that’s okay to do so as they can be creative in other areas of life. It’s just that parents seem to be forcing their kids to do all these creative activities even though some of kids are not keen. I recall facilitating a workshop and one kid screaming ” I don’t want to be here; I didn’t sign up for this!!”


    1. Jennie Avatar

      You make such a great point. I think it is important to expose children (and ourselves!) to different creative outlets but it defeats the purpose if they (or you) hate it. I also think that growing in one’s creative skills does take a “pushing through”; for example, sometimes you don’t want to practice the piano, but that ‘boring’ practice develops the skills for you to do what you do want to do which is play beautifully. However, my point was more towards those who are already “making” and to encourage them to keep at it whether or not they’re hearing accolades. I believe each person’s creativity–whatever that may be, and it does not have to be artistic–is an important contribution, no matter how ‘small’ it may seem. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Jenna Avatar

    I think this is beautifully true. I loved to make costumes and outfits for my daughter but I was the opposite. She was doing pageants and I was making her dresses and different categories like rock wear or red white and blue wear. I just loved making these sparkling over the top outfits…but when people at the pageant asked me where I got it….I cringed as I said I made it…I knew they would ask if I could make something for their child and they would think I was being stingy when I said no…like I knew my daughter won in my outfits and didn’t wanna share our creative edge. That wasn’t it at all…it’s just… so much work went into making the outfits and it was something I just wanted to do for my baby girl. I wanted to adorn my beautiful living creation with outfits that showed her unique personality and brought out the flecks in her eyes that only a mother would notice.

    I was ok if no one ever noticed…long as my sweet girl loved it and felt like a princess in it.♡♡♡


    1. Jennie Avatar

      And I bet she was just beautiful in her gorgeous costumes made by you! Isn’t the creative life ironic? Sometimes you really want people to notice so they’ll buy your creations and sometimes you would rather people not say anything. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

  3. Jesh StG Avatar

    I create, because the Creator is my maker, so I mirror what he does. Pretty simple eh? In my teens and later I dealt with reversed peer pressure. I am telling others to find their own voice, their own style, their own approach, because I ddin’t want them to copy me. Again, simple:)

    1. Jennie Avatar

      Love this. I completely agree with you: “I create, because the Creator is my maker, so I mirror what he does.” That should be a printable. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

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