This video is brilliant and resonates deeply with me for several reasons.
As an industrial designer it’s sort of a hard reality that hand making things is probably one of the worst ways to manufacture something. We are industrialists, makers of things en masse, which has it’s own stigma to it that really isn’t accurate. I see myself very much like this guy: deeply passionate for the creation of something useful. It’s just a base root level love for the creation of something. I just look at things with a slightly larger output which means automation. It’s a hard stigma too – mention “factory” to anyone and immediately they think of poor working conditions and virtual slave labour, which is an unfortunate truth in some places but really doesn’t need to be in order to make things.
So I see the romanticism of one guy in his basement studio working on something he loves, I understand it and have experienced it and I want to take that experience and elevate it into something bigger. It gets trickier as you expand, and I think that’s the sort of problem I like solving.
Craftsmen are held in high regard for me. I appreciate his words when he mentioned leaving the abstract and coming home to making something so very simple and immediately useful. It’s something I’ve been learning a lot over these past two years of schooling as we’re introduced to the art of crafting in various mediums. I could never be a machinist all day, but I deeply love that zen found in machining. I think this guy found that and I wish him all the best for it. I think everyone should find something that gives them that feeling, be it in maths or science or art or writing. It’s a deeply spiritual thing, in a way, that sort of fulfillment that’s entirely separate from corporate success. I watch my instructors do what they do and they might openly smile or they might not but you can tell in their actions that there is a deep passion for their craft, and a deep joy that they find in it. The way they pour the molten aluminum into a sand casting or the way they slightly nod their head with approval after solving some equation. I think, at the root of it all? That’s probably the most neglected part of life, of society, of culture, as I see it.
I sat outside a financial plaza last sunday morning just watching the cars lazily wind through downtown, watching the handful of people coming into work that morning. These are people who genuinely love whatever it is they do in there. These are people who get up on a sunday and smile as they walk into work. Are they soulless corporate pigs? Maybe; I don’t know. But I respect the attitude with which they approach the door and as much as the 99% complains, they are the sharks who happen to make financial success out of their personal passion. Some of them, at least.
The video was well shot and edited and everything, and the medium is a craft unto itself, but I think in the end his words ring true. Passion might equal success by sheer blind luck in some cases, but for the rest of us hard work equals success and passion negates the ill effects of hard work.
So, be inspired. I am. Make something yourself. Do something new. Hone something that you like to do and reap the satisfaction from that. You can’t buy that feeling, no matter how much money you have.
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