Handmade in a Digital World

August 2, 2011
creativity

I'm sure many of you can think back on a time when computers weren't a part of everyday life. Unfortunately, I don't have those memories. Often times I daydream about how my career might have shaped up had I been born in 1965, rather than 20 years later.

What Might Have Been

I like to think I would've been very successful in a world where an ability to produce something hand-made was considered a competitive advantage. I would have loved to work in a creative environment where ideas were only as good as your ability to craft them — and by craft, I don't mean a bunch of mouse clicking. I'm talking about being judged by your ability to create, using a hands-on, manual skill set.

Here in the Real World

I feel sometimes the world I've grown up in is just a Photoshop contest, where true craftsmen find it increasingly difficult to break through the multiplying mass of pixel pushers.

Don't get me wrong, I love designing websites and I'm proud to do it. But I want to be considered a craftsman, not a pixel pusher. Perhaps I was born in the wrong decade. While most would agree that computers make life more simple, I'm not convinced that simpler and more respectable times haven't passed us by, times that I never had a chance to know.

Creativity, Sans Computer

In an ongoing effort to practice what I preach, I often try to engage myself in more physical creative outlets. Whether I'm building furniture, staining concrete, or renovating my bathroom, I find that honing my manual skill set can have an extremely positive effect on my web design. It's nice that I've still got that option. If you're interested, you can check out some of my non-digital work.

How were you, or how have you continued to be creative despite the digital revolution?