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Bright Ideas 2020: Make something this weekend

Bright Ideas 2020: Make something this weekend


John Eich, at The Capital Times studio in Madison, on Thursday, December 19, 2019. Photo by Michelle Stocker

Bright Ideas are back! Leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and people who are doing interesting things share their bright ideas for 2020 with the Cap Times. Find them posted here throughout the week and in print on Jan. 8.

My idea for 2020 is, to put a tangible deadline on it, make something this weekend. People can get caught up in, “It needs to be a big project,” or, “It needs to look like Etsy or Pinterest,” but it can be a small thing. Maybe it’s a plant where you create a little diorama in it, or maybe you add a handle to something or change the grip on it just to make it work better for you.

There’s a weird social sense that everybody should be an expert, like I can't work on my car unless I’m a mechanic. But people just naturally can do things and should give themselves permission to tinker and play around. That's why The Bodgery makerspace exists, and people are welcome there twice a week to come and use most of our tools for free. But you can make anywhere: on the kitchen table, in the garage, the backyard. Clear off some space and start fiddling around.

Adults don't get permission to be creative in the same way that kids do, and that's a shame. If one imagines a house inside your mind, making things can open the creativity room, like, “Oh, I don't usually go in here, but I'm going to open the door and poke around.” And then once you're in there, maybe that leaves the door open so that creativity and sense of exploration can expand into things like our work, relationships, et cetera.

—As told to Natalie Yahr


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