Make, Mod, Create*

Every day, millions of people are working individually and together to make, mold, and mod the world into a better, more enjoyable place. Crafting the details of Oracle‘s glowing armor, rebuilding a Yak, collecting environmental data, and developing new technology are just a few of the many forms of making. Whether you recognize it or not, dear reader, you are one of them.

“Everyone is a maker and our world is what we make it.” – Dale Dougherty

No one is too old to learn a new skill, and breathing life into almost any creation you can imagine is becoming easier. Supplies are more affordable, new tools are more user friendly, websites such as youtube and Instructables bring lessons into your home, and D.I.Y. communities are sprouting like explosive polymerization eliminating the need to be the reclusive tinkerer.

If you are having trouble seeing yourself as a maker, or are toying with the idea of making, but uncertain where to start, try following Adam Savage’s Ten Commandments of Making:

  1. Make something, anything. Getting started can be the most difficult part.
  2. Make something useful.
  3. Start right now. Do a mock up with the tools you currently have available. Never underestimate the versatility of everyday items.
  4. Find a project. Always pick a project that will get you interested in learning a new skill.
  5. Ask for help, advice, and feedback.
  6. Share. Share your techniques, your sources. What are you hiding?
  7. Recognize what you find discouraging, so you can work through it. Acknowledge failure is (usually) part of the project, and an incredibly useful learning tool.
  8. Measure carefully. You can always trim a little more, putting it back can be tricky.
  9. Make things for other people.
  10. Use more cooling fluid. Caring for your tools and using them properly will help them last longer and make using them easier.

If you identify as a creative type and want to hang out with other creative types, you might try checking out your local chapter of Dorkbot, drop in for an open house at a makerspace, or if you’re in the Portland area, drop by our Monthly Maker Meetup!

Further reading:

*This post was originally written for the OSH Park blog, where it was published on December 11, 2014.

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