It is already April and it brings a lot of travelling along – the first week is dedicated to our international media experience in Paris followed by our study leave which I am going to spend back home. I have already planned many things to try and make for the upcoming film festival. What is great about it is that my creative involvement is an experience I can reflect to and consider different possibilities and problems which might occur for my final project. Meanwhile, as good travel company I’ve got The Craftsman by Richard Sennet, a book which aims to explore ‘basic human impulse: the desire to do a job well for its own sake.’
It honestly had me on the first page with the promising beginning stating that ‘people who make things usually don’t understand what they are doing.’ It might sound funny taken out of the context but when I read it I felt it is completely true – when creating something in 9 out of 10 cases there are no exact answers what and why I am doing it, it is more like sudden urge not an explicit intention. It is believed that it is in the human nature to believe that what seems possible should be tried.
I did not felt the same way about another suggestion which implies that the desire in many of us is either to return to past lifestyle closer to nature or to achieve imaginary future. In my view, people do not necessarily try to change their current state when making crafts. I’ve heard that before together with the idea how old school is to be a craftsperson in the digital era and that it is like an act upon technologies, ‘against the claims of the modern machine world’ and I do not agree with that either. Furthermore, my knowledge and skills developed thanks to the opportunities of internet – I learn about new techniques, I get inspired by do-it-yourself video tutorials, when looking for new material I check online for reviews and/or pictures before/after, and just a click away there is enormous resource – a network of crafters ready to help out to everyone with a question.
‘The fundamental fact of life is that nothing lasts… we need something to orient us, to lift us above the confusion of the moment.’ That reminds me of Andre Bazin’s second spiritual death and one’s drive to create something and to be remembered. Homo faber, a Latin tag means ‘man as maker’ and not only a maker but also a thinker because the creator is responsible for the outcomes (opposite to the myth of Pandora’s box). When one is producing things their engagement starts earlier because requires understanding of the process and thinking throughout the whole process of creating.
With time I have appreciated the importance of being engaged in the process, being dedicated to the results and I found that less and less people nowadays are able to feel such commitment. Even if it is true to be said that ‘people are anchored in tangible reality’ nowadays many of us just get distracted. Craftsmanship is definitely a way to learn persistency and only then great results are achieved. There is a rule in music called after violinist Isaac Stern – the more one practice the less boring is the routine of practice and the ‘Eureka!’ moments are embedded in routine as well.