about me (and my diy ethos)

I’ve been writing a lot lately on Quora and tumblr about why I’m a crafter so I figured I would sum it up here once and for all.

My crafting start (a/k/a origami and a fear of cutting paper)

I’ll start at the beginning, my obsession with origami and paper crafts.

For those who were born in a swamp or something, origami is all about folding and creating these intricate designs without ever cutting the paper. So, being obsessed with origami, i saw cutting as a shortcut and was completely disinterested in any crafts that involved scissors.

I don’t know if it was that they were sharp, or just a purist streak in me, but I really kind of isolated myself even within the super-inclusive crafting community.

So I folded paper, and remained ignorant of all else. until, one day… KIRIGAMI!! a whole traditional branch of origami that involved cutting paper and it was incredible. It had the same symmetries of origami but with an entirely new set of problems. I was hooked.

This is where DIY philosophy comes in. DIY is all about self-sufficiency, learning about the world by yourself and relying on your own skills. It’s about messing up, falling flat on your face, and then picking up the pieces and hopefully rearranging them into something beautiful.

I really believe that everyone is capable of anything they set their mind to. I had set my mind to folding paper, however silly as it was, and thought there was nothing else I could do.

Exposing yourself to something that might make you uncomfortable (yes, even cutting paper and crafting) is the best way to teach yourself and learn. it’s a tutorial in life.

So consider, the next time you see someone rejecting whatever it is you’re trying to teach them, maybe they’ve set themselves up with some impossible standards they’re trying to meet. Instead of rejecting them, consider showing them something positive and leave it to them to DIY it for themselves.

This is a pretty good segue into why I became a teacher.

I was so passionate about learning about everything the world had to show, and then I had an opportunity to babysit a nephew. I was thrilled. I was able to experience that same joy of learning through his eyes. Each week was a completely new adventure.

The latest chapter

Some of you already know this, but here’s what happened to me: I became an art teacher! I see in students all the time that they only want to work with one color, or one medium, and I’ll try to nudge them toward new directions but i know it’s something they can only figure out for themselves.