Follow the objects

I love the convenience and possibilities of digital crafts. But I miss the tactile sensation. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I reflected on my reaction. A part of my essay: Two and a half years of film photography mentioned:

For the first time, I felt what “loving the process” truly means. It was disconcerting first. How could I be spending so much time on something without a goal of making something out of it? Is that a useful way to spend my time?

What clicked for me was a suggestion by Herbert Lui and Rachel Jepsen’s short book: Creative Doing:

consider the objects that you love. If you’ve always loved light fixtures, you can choose an operation related to industrial design. If you like skillets, kitchen knives, and cookbooks, you can try an operation related to the culinary arts

Contrary to the exercise of finding what you’re passionate about through the objects you love, for years, I dismissed my fascination with tools. I’d remind myself: the tools don’t create art, the artist does.

Now, I’ve come to see this as a symbiotic relationship. I love the look and feel of my camera, and it inspires me to shoot. I end up with images I love, and deepen my connection with it. Perhaps some people rarely form attachments to objects, but it’d be insincere for me to count myself among them. At the very least, heeding and pursuing that attraction is another clue to discovering fresh ways to enjoy that activity beyond my preconceived notions. 

I recently started to sort through my stationeries, something I’ve always loved curating and using since elementary school, and try to understand what I’m compelled to do. I also began to think about how I can transform the kitchen space from an arena of chores to a space of creativity. What tools bring me joy and headaches? What inspires me to cook and what drives me to delivery? Rethinking this space might just help do that. 

After all, objects are an integral part of any process

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