"We do not remember days, we remember moments" - Cesare Pavese
I think the vast majority of people who craft or create remember an origin point; an inspirational moment or a guiding hand that feed our creative sparks. Mine came from my Grandfather.
I've always referred to him as a "Builder", which is a relatively simple term considering the man can literally build a house from the ground up.
I must have been four or five when he gave me a hammer, nails, and showed me how to hammer them properly. I still remember the moment vividly, thankfully my Father was there to capture it on camera. I did not know it then, but what I had was a moment of pure creativity, in my mind I was making, creating, building something that previously only existed in my thoughts.
We all have those moments where we are absorbed completely in a task, we forget all outside stimulus, we experience pure, creative joy.
Somewhere along the path of life I forgot that, or I at least believed that I could not make a living from it. Every one of us have talents and at some point a lot of us choose to put them away in the closet, we hide them and believe we can no longer look at them. Sometimes it's even painful, we remember a creative side of ourselves that we have essentially tried to destroy to live out "normal" lives. It can be hard to show your creative side to someone, show them what you've made, we instinctively feel vulnerable and judged.
Hiding my desire for creativity is exactly what I did. I grew up, got a job in Finance and settled back into a life of quiet normality. I forgot the gift that my Grandfather had given me.
So where did it rekindle? That creative fire? Well, I moved into my first home and like many millions of people, I filled it with flat pack furniture. Oh the joys of flat pack furniture! They look amazing in the pictures, you don't have any arguments at all when you're assembling them, they're easy to put together, and they last for a lifetime (insert sarcastic tone). Flat pack furniture is a pain in the cheeks, I think the majority of us can agree with that.
After a few months I would look around the house and see bits of it peeling, flaking, handles on draws came off, all the good stuff you want furniture to do.
I'm not entirely sure where the idea to do it came from, but I googled "how to build furniture" and spent the whole of my Friday night reading and watching videos. I immediately bought myself a few tools, (without wholly knowing what to do, but that's a story for another blog) took myself to the local wood yard and walked the short journey home with the planks of wood on my shoulder, all whilst receiving very strange looks from people, apparently seeing someone carrying lumber is strange though i've seen far stranger things on instagram.
Well, that weekend I probably made the worst side tabe in the history of woodworking, it was awful, you could not balance a brick on the thing. But something happened during the process of making it, I remembered the little boy that I was, hammering nails in my Grandparents garden. It stoked the fires of creativity back in me. It awakened a desire to make, build, create, express myself that's no longer a small kindling but a full raging fire that can't be quenched. Why would you quell something that brings you joy?
That was over a decade ago, I have learnt so much, made so many things and I'm still moving forward, picking up new skills.
Now I have my own son to teach and give those lessons to.
Hopefully someone reading this will be inspired too, we all put things away that we think we can no longer do or we are too frightened to attempt them; but you'll realise, like I did, that your creativity is still there waiting for you to dust it off and pick it up again.