“So little of what could happen does happen.”
― Salvador Dalí
To Shakers, the act of work is also an act of prayer and so their profound craftsmanship is dedicated to God. One of the 10 Perfections of Buddhism is about being diligent, making a monk’s personal efforts driven by achieving Enlightenment.
As a modern girl with a strong bent toward practicality, I’m not driven by a great promise or a watchful spiritual figure who I beg to please. So how could I possibly have the drive to be a true craftsman? What inspires me?
As humans we are all driven to create. We are inventors at heart, built with opposable thumbs to modify the world to our desired existence. Beyond that, our minds constantly seek comfort and beauty. We can only change these natural instincts by focusing on others and defiantly proclaiming them superior. This is why seeing people push beyond pain or fear is so intriguing - it’s unnatural.
When looking at an object of beauty, a lush valley or a simple chair that is perfect by your eye, you can’t help but feel content or even happy. Your senses tell your brain that all is well at this moment. To relax and enjoy.
On top of our instinct to seek comfort, we have an ego to satiate. Ultimately, the work we produce will reflect who we are, and thanks to our egos we are driven to lessen the contrast between what we create and who we see ourselves to be. The stronger the vision you have of yourself, the more stubborn and driven you'll be when creating.
When I create something, I suppose I'm driven by these genetic desires. I seek (but rarely achieve) perfection because it simply makes me happy. I want to look at what I’ve built and feel that sense of comfort one achieves when everything is perfect. When all is right at that moment.
J. D. Sampson