This I Believe

Katy - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: creativity

I believe in making things for myself. I believe in sewing my own clothes, in writing my own stories. I believe in learning how to create something out of nothing.

I have always been encouraged to create. My mother, a former graphic artist, has always let me borrow from her endless closet of art supplies. Whenever I would come to her with some new, cheap plastic toy that I wanted, she’d tell me, “you could make that.” And I could.

I followed her instructions and created with her help and ideas until I was around eleven, when I decided to learn for myself. I decided to learn how to knit.

I didn’t do it completely on my own. A friend of my mother’s knew how, and she taught me the very basics in about twenty minutes as we both sat by the pool on a hot summer day.

The instant I went home, I tested the few beginning tactics that I had learned. How to cast on, how to knit one stitch. It wasn’t that hard. I could do it. Twenty minutes and I was making yarn into a scarf. From there, I learned for myself. I carefully searched through countless websites and instructional books, struggling to pick up something completely new to me, something that could be my accomplishment.

Making something out of nothing is amazing to me. I have the ability to knit a sweater out of a ball of yarn, to sew a dress out of fabric and thread.

I understand not everyone can make something out of nothing, but almost everyone can learn. The most important part is the drive to create, the ambition to look at something and say “I could do that.”

I believe in the importance of handmade things and following this drive to create. I believe in taking the time to make handmade clothes, toys, books, and anything else. In these, you can see the work put into them and the imperfections and know they mean something to the person who crafted them. Contrast that with dull, mass-produced purchases. And how different is that from something that is uniquely yours.

I believe in the idea that everything does not have to be perfect and identical. I believe in allowing imperfections and in originality. I believe in the power of something made only for one person in a world based on convenience.