Why do you Create?

I should start by saying… Yep, that’s me in the cheesy picture above. I couldn’t find an image so I took one myself. Feel free to make fun. I deserve it.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s get down to business here. I’ve been working on a new column that involves some reader participation, if you all are interested. I am really excited about it. The thing is, it will only work if you help out. All I am asking is for you to answer one question in the comments. That’s it! It’ll really help me get this new mystery column off to a good start. So, what do you say? Will you answer this quick question for me?

Why do you create?

In other words, what first compelled you to begin making things and why do you continue to do so?

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Actually, I have been exploring this for myself over the summer and have a few posts touching on some information about how I create things and why.

Creating started out as an element of the ordinary for me. It was just something that happened in my family. We didn’t have funds to purchase a lot of things and so a lot of our home goods and day to day items like clothing and furniture were things we made ourselves. My father is a carpenter and electrician by trade, but a general renaissance man all around even though he would deny such a title if ever confronted with it; he just does what he likes and what he knows how to do. My mother made our clothes until we were teenagers. I think the only reason she stopped was that she could make more money doing an out-of-home job and buying clothes on sale and clearance than she could save doing all of the in-home things she had done for years.

So that’s how it started. Just something we did to get by and have some nice things. I till have very strong creative drive as an adult and find that I have to make things or else I start to feel like I am going mad. Music performance filled the role of primary creative endeavor for many years while I was in school. Now I don’t play as often as I used to and find myself drawn back to more traditional things like sewing, embroidery, quilting, and fabric dying. Handcrafts. History and me connection to generations past is also a huge part of why i continue to craft and create. The following is rephrased from one of my earlier summer posts:

I have many photos of quilt tops, embroidered tablecloths and a smocked pillow cover my great-grandmother made; taken while I was in Arkansas mid-June for a family reunion and I look at them quite frequently. She was a master of reusing and re-purposing textiles. She would dye items that weren’t to her liking color-wise, making use of onion skins and kitchen scraps as well as walnut husks and other natural dye sources. Many of the fabrics in her quilts were meticulously hand cut, using tiny templates, from feed and flour sacks as well the occasional bit of still serviceable cloth from otherwise worn out shirts and dresses.

I started dying fabrics myself using metals and natural dye sources and am continuously amazed at the results. I imagine the feeling of exuberance and wonder over watching something so pretty and different than it was before emerge from a pot has not changed much over the centuries that people have been dying things. I used to tell people I wanted to be an adult when I grew up. After this summer I have a new answer. I totally want to be my great-grandmother when I grow up.


I love that “just for you” comment Annie.

That’s a great reason Penelope. I love seeing someone else proudly displaying something I’ve made for them as well.

Clare- Yes! Inspiration is a key ingredient, isn’t it?

I cant imagine my life without art either Riki. Thanks for coming by and talking about it!

And Magdalena, we are on the same page with that one. This is great stuff everyone. Thank you for participating!


I create, because that gives me pleasure and satisfaction. But mostly creating is something natural for me, I like to have my hands busy, and to spend my time productively. So even before my Etsy shop my closet and home was full of handmade things.
I just love all kinds of crafts and I always did.

It feels so good when people appreciate your work, want to wear your creations, made from a scratch by yourself…it’s very rewarding 🙂
It’s like somebody out there have small piece of your life…isn’t it great?!


I agree with what others have said. That I can’t imagine life without art. As much as I complain about my day job painting and drawing 40+ hours a week it has made me a much more confident artist. That confidence has allowed me to work harder to create images that have meaning to me and hopefully one day I will have the freedom to support myself doing what I love.


I create because I am inspired by the creativity that surrounds me and is just floating around out there in the world. And because it makes me happy, and because I just love looking at things, so I guess I create for people who also love looking at things.


I create because I love the idea of someone enjoying or displaying something I’ve worked hard on. Joy!


Why do I create? I create because it is an outlet for me to escape from my daily craziness at work. Also I create because I want to show my family and friends I took out the time to do this “just for you” thats why sometimes I get upset when they don’t appreciate but once I know they don’t appreciate it I never do it for them. I still create but quite selective now. My next mission is to create and give it to my choice of charity.


Emma- you are so right. I hadn’t really thought about this being a difficult question or at least one that it tough to articulate, but it makes perfect sense. When people use to ask me about my artwork and why I made this shape here or there was lots of movement there, I often had a hard time putting it into words. It was sub-conscience for me and very automatic. I think that is the case for many of us.

Cheryl-I have a lot of little outlets too. I just like making things (anything really). Kinda doesn’t matter what it is.

Thank you Bethany for coming by and sharing why you create.


I create.. because I have to. Because it flows out of me and there’s no stopping it. 🙂

Bethany Susan

Hmmm… why do I create? Well, I wish I created more but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. I have lots of little outlets and as small as they are they serve the need I have to be creative. It’s a need. A since of accomplishment. An expression. The act of creating for me is an extension of who I am and what I’m thinking.

I’m in love with Sasha’s felt amoeba. Too cute.

Cheryl @ House of Shine

Brittni, that’s almost an impossible question for me…
I create things because that’s what I do, it’s what I’ve always done, it’s what I will always do.
I create things because it’s who I am, it’s who I’ve always been and who I always will be.
I can’t imagine doing anything else, even if I’m not always making the things I’m making now, I know I will always be creative in some way.
I can’t really remember the begining. My Mam taught me to knit and crochet when I was as small as I can remember and I was always drawn to creative and crafty pursuits throughout school. Then it was a no brainer to go to art college. In fact I don’t think I’ve really considered doing anything else…
Hope this helps… ?

Oh, and don’t be silly! You look as cute as always, even if you are concentrating really hard… 😉

emma lamb

Well, thank you Mai. How sweet of you to say. Yep, I think many of us have been creative in some way or another since childhood. My story is a bit different, switching back and forth between many disciplines before finding something that I just couldn’t let go of, but I’ll be sharing that later. This is all about you all. So keep the stories coming.


Brittni, you’re adorable, as always.

To answer your question, like many other artists, I was innately creative from childhood. To create is a way of life–it’s a part of who we are. I believe that all of us have a touch of The Creator in us, and creating–in turn–expresses itself in many ways. A mechanic in his workshop receives gratification from rebuilding an engine. A grandmother in a kitchen labors several hours to bake a delicious cake for her family. A geek at his computer smiles when he writes his next program, or designs a video game.

For some, the need to create is stronger than others. I think “the calling†chooses the artist; we can choose to pursue that calling in return, or ignore it, and settle for a far less interesting life.


My grandmother was one of my big influences as well Elizabeth. So glad you found us. Hope you’ll visit again soon.

And thank you Linda. I am long past college days, but that’s what I was going for. 🙂 You create such beautiful pieces for One Fine Dae. Its so great to hear what keeps you going.


Aw. You look like a young college student pondering her next move in life. Hehe.

And I create because it’s satisfying to be able to make something by hand, and have the next person appreciate the craft. And it’s also this innate feeling of always wanting to be creative, to come up with ideas in my mind, use materials to craft that idea, and then be able to tangibly touch the product once it’s done.


What first started me off on my crafty ways was most certainly my art teacher grandma. For the better part of the first seven years of my life I was her very adoring studant, I still use tricks that she taught me 20 years ago.
But now, I think what gets me going when I sit down to create is knowing that even when I feel like so much about my life is messy and out of my control I know I can make something that is nice and will when everything is said and done, put a smile on my face and maybe someone elses face too.

P.S. just found your site and really enjoy it.


Sasha. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I really love what you said about the connections you make and the people who enjoy the things that you make. Such a great point of view.


Even as a kid, I couldn’t wait for the next assignment at school that required a “visual aid”. To me those words meant a trip to the craft store and me inevitably forcing my mom to spend more money than was necessary on various crafty things for me (thanks, Mom!).

Time went on and when I got to college, my brain changed gears as I studied towards a degree in Biochemistry. My creativity went on hiatus for a few years then.

After graduating, I found myself at home in the evenings with more time on my hands, looking for something to do. It started with making some stockings for my boyfriend and I for the holidays and then getting ideas to make Christmas ornaments for our tree. From there it branched out and I began sewing a range of cute, fun, colorful and geeky felt goodies and selling them on Etsy.

Here I am, 7 months later and still loving every minute of it – Knowing that I made someone else happy by sharing one of my creations with them. I love connecting with each customer getting feedback from them. I love seeing a product through from start to finish, knowing that I did everything to make, promote and finally ship it out the door. It’s a good feeling.

It really isn’t so much about the money I make about selling my goodies (I have a day job for that), but about the people who enjoy them, the connections formed with them and fellow handmade connoisseurs and the sense of accomplishment when you know you are the one running the show.


Isn’t that a great moment when you say to people, “I made this!”. Thanks for sharing with us Hazel.


I’ve always had an inherent DIY gene. I create mostly out of necessity and budget. But I definitely I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish, flaws and all. And when people ask, “Did you make that?”, I can proudly say, “Yes, I did!” =)

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