Posted by: Matt Q. McGovern | July 6, 2016

Making something for no reason at all

I have a number of friends that are very talented with crafts. When I say crafts I’m thinking of a wide variety including: fabric and cloth (couturier), metal-working, blacksmith, machinist, carpentry, welding, painting, sculpture, photography, and engineering of the all-encompassing variety (okay, I hang with a lot of Ren-Faire and PhilCon folks).

They all call themselves artists and many of them write. A recent conversation I had with one of them involved a project that was more about the interest and/or the proposed idea of it as opposed to the practicality of it. A common theme I’ve noticed amongst many of my friends is the eventual arrival to this seemingly conflicting destination.

Were it not for the cost and availability of time/resources, some of these projects would get done more often. For instance, just today I had a discussion involving the invention of a better cat litter system that was more efficient in its use of space. Of course, this litter box was self-raking, self-disposing, and refilling. I won’t go very far into our findings other than to mention that we discussed using a thermal camera for the detection of…the parts of the litter that need expunging.

Though the majority of these design sessions never make it past the mental blueprints phase, there are enough that do to ensure the viability of more brainstorm ideas which is where this all leads me back to writing.

A creative idea without fear or care of practical use lives in the mind of every artist and writer I know.

This isn’t to say the writers and artists are not practical. Many of them are the most disciplined at working their craft without distraction that I know. I just happen to know that for all of those that I’ve talked to about this, their mind is making stuff up for no reason at every moment it can.

Often, the best ideas for what will eventually become a very practical project are born out of the most experimental of speculations. Regardless of whether or not the project gains that practical element, the ruminations of the artist is always enjoyable and a point of pride.

I hope this blog post finds you at your creative best and most efficient. But I hope it also finds you distracted and wanting to make ten other things. Because a maker makes and doesn’t care what for.

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