This is a question I've been contemplating lately. It's a question I get asked frequently by people who are making small talk or simply by those who are really wondering (but too polite to ask) "What is the purpose of making stuff?
The answer is individual, much like the creative process. The answer for me is simple but complex:
"It makes me happy."
A lot is meant in those little words. When I first started doing crops, I really had to figure out my "why". Setting up a day or weekend crop is a big endeavor. It takes a lot from my family and there's little monetary gain. The simple answer I give my hubby when he gets frustrated during these times is "This makes me happy". Happiness is something that is given and it's even better when it's given away. Planning time for my customers and friends to spend doing something for them is something that makes me happy (my spiritual gift is serving, so it makes sense). I'm happy when I give happiness away.
Early in the Bible, God explains that mankind was created in His image. This little tidbit of information explains mankind's desire to create: we were created in the image of the Creator. Of course we should use our minds and hands to create things of beauty and function!
When I create, it's finally something in my day (or week or month) that I feel competent at doing. There's very little about parenting two little ones that I feel competent about. I'm not inherently a clean person (we have a dog, she keeps the floors clean), I only do laundry when little man is out of socks (I have been known to buy more just to avoid the washing machine). Meals are a pot luck - I'm constantly running out of key ingredients because I don't want to go to the grocery store with the littles in tow. But when I sit down in my craft space (or Mom Cave as little man has acknowledged), whatever happens is good. There is no right or wrong with creating. The project evolves, changes from the plan to something that works. There is no "perfect". There is only a release of positive energy.
I haven't created a lot recently. This past year and a half has been really hard. I may not recover, I can only move on but I can create something new. Something beautiful. Something that makes me happy. And we all crave a little happiness.
Why do you create? What makes you happy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.