The other day I was watching my daughter try to make something at her workbench and I was reminded that when I was younger, my creative process went something like this:
- try to make something
- encounter a dilemma
- find a tool that was made to fix that dilemma
- repeat as necessary until the thing was completed or completely destroyed
I had one of those sets of tools made for little kids with a hammer, square, screwdriver, coping saw and a few other miscellaneous bits and I remember using the tools in some unorthodox ways because I was limited in what I had but not in what I wanted to accomplish. When all you have is a coping saw, you cope the hell out of everything.
When your greatest resource is creativity, you tend to use that as your primary tool. The other tools are just means to that end.
As an adult, I have slightly more disposable income and sometimes I’m tempted to think the other way around. Instead of seeing something I want to do and finding a way to do it with the tools I have, I see a tool I want and think up reasons to buy it.
Sometimes those reasons pan out and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they do, but in unexpected ways. Sometimes one tool will unintentionally teach you you need a different tool, or you need to learn how to use one you already had in a different way.
What tools have you lusted after only to find they end up collecting dust around your shop?