My mother told me that from the time I was a very little girl I was always making something. Day and night, I perpetually had a project going; leaving behind a mess of cut paper or a bedspread stained with paint. And nothing made me happier than when my Dad would bring art supplies home from the art department of his advertising agency. Paper, string, markers, rubber cement, drafting rulers – these have long been the tools of my joy.
When I meet other artists, they describe similar memories of a childhood filled with drawing and crafting. We share recollections of being an adolescent getting lost in creative projects and staying up into the wee hours of the next morning unable to stop the momentum. Makers are discontent sitting still. The need to have something in our hands to work on is always there. I fall asleep at night thinking and planning what I will make the next day and I wake up eager to get started.
The other night, as I sat drawing in my sketchbook at the kitchen counter while keeping my husband company as he made our dinner, he suddenly stopped chopping onions and asked, “Why do you do that?”
“Do what?” I responded.
“That. What is it that makes you want to draw stuff? Make stuff?”
Needless to say, I had no easy explanation. “I don’t know. Just always have.”
Makers just gotta make.
Photos: left – about age 22; top right – about age 2; bottom right – about age 62