So I think I qualify as a "Maker." And until yesterday, that was a good thing. But then I read a blog post about 8 artists' design processes. One artist praised another for being a "designer," not just a "maker."
What's the difference?
Here's the comment that started me thinking. It comes from Diane (author of CraftyPod):
"I think this is the skill that sets a designer apart from a maker. A maker is happy that the thing got made; the designer is always seeing how it could be made better next time."So a designer is always trying to perfect a single design? And a maker just wants to pump things out?
Ok, being defensive won't help. Here's how I look at the difference.
Designing women and men
A designer spends a lot of time thinking, planning, and sketching. My husband is a designer. He sits at his end of our long worktable for hours, building blueprints in his mind. Periodically he gets up, wanders down to his office, and spends more hours at his computer, prototyping in SketchUp.
Here are 2 of his prototypes for a clock made of wooden whisky stoppers and metal rods. He was inspired by an exhibition of George Nelson's mid-century designs.
|When will it be done? The real question is, when will it be begun?|
What makes a maker?In contrast, a maker starts cutting or gluing as soon as an idea strikes. Blogger Laura at We Wilsons calls herself "an optimistic jump-right-in kinda girl." That's me, for sure.
Sometimes I sketch my ideas. But only once. Then I start cutting or punching holes or ripping paper. Here's my sketch for a tote made out of coffee bean bags.
Here's how it turned out:
Born or made?I think with my hands. To solve a problem, I need to experiment with real stuff I can manipulate. My mom was the same way. Unfortunately, I never asked her about her process, but I observed her often enough, her hands always busy with fabric or yarn or embroidery thread.
Her mother -- my grandmother -- wasn't a constant "maker," but her hands were always moving. At the dining room table after dinner, she would smooth the white tablecloth with her fingers, brushing breadcrumbs into tiny piles.
|I also inherited my grandmother's love of penny-ante poker.|