There is an amazing power in the words, "I made this." I have never met a child who does not glow whilst holding up a creation and proudly saying, "Look what I Made." I have often wondered why this is, why making things changes people in a profound way. Perhaps it is because we are wired to want to create, to build, to compose, to leave a distinct mark, and to make a difference in some meaningful way. It's no wonder too, that some of the unhappiest and most restless people seem to be those trapped in situations where they feel they are not doing, being, moving, producing, making something (real or perceived, physically or metaphorically speaking). People tend to feel a stagnant uneasiness in their dependence when they crave that independence empowered by their own self-sufficiency. I have witnessed some of the most troubled youth literally transform overnight when given a purpose and an opportunity to make for themselves, it's a power and deep sense of achievement that can be obtained in no other way.
So, where am I going with this? Today I was asked what drives the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement, what it is to be "Indie" and why now? I had to laugh. The only way I could explain this concept to this person was to hand them a soldering iron and invite them to make something, something that would wreck their manicure and get their clothes dirty and even perhaps, make them smell a bit more, well, shall we say au natural. You see, I, like we all, are the product of "Do It Yourselfers" (makers, tinkerers, backyard/garage weekend warriors with an insatiable curiosity and some hand me down tools), we are derived from a lineage of "Indie" folk... afterall, civilizations are made, technological advances are created and, who exactly were the people that built this Nation and got us to the moon and back? Do It Yourself isn't a movement, it is human nature. "Indie" isn't a label, a genre, or even a trend, inasmuch as it is the desire in each person to not be like everyone else. Why now? I'd like to think in my heart of hearts that there is an awakening of sorts as of late, an undercurrent brewing and bubbling beneath the surface of things because people are realizing that if something breaks, something they are dependent upon, there will be no one around who remembers how to fix it and that right now is the time they need to pick up their own tools and learn for themselves. Perhaps, this observed "movement" is actually our very DNA screaming out from the past, begging for us to remember what is was like as a child to glow, albeit with a few more years tacked on, when we said, "Look what I worked on. See how this works, isn't it cool? See what I made all by myself."