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  • Andrea Durnell

Can you make me this?

Hmmm. I probably can, but this question really tests the foundations of my mission to create one of a kind inspirations. I don't always know where my inspirations come from, or why, but I do know that when I make a hat or carve something that comes from someone else's inspiration it never seems to have the "life" in it that my inner inspirations have. My best work is often an impulse, not unlike making blueberry ice cream for breakfast simply because the sun came out and I thought it would look great with my flowers!

This is the main reason that I stopped doing commission work of any kind. I am a really terrible technician and I really don't like to make one of my previous creations, "but with a twist" that is not my own. It doesn't feel authentic or even very creative at all. I might make six fedoras in a season but they won't be the same fedoras and I might carve six horses but it will be a diverse herd with unique characters within it.

We live in a time when "have it your way" is all in vogue and I have to admit that when I go looking for something online, I am searching for something that is exactly what I think I need or want. But, often it is just an acquisition. I don't feel like I triumphed in any way.

When I find an antique or a piece of art that I love, however, and it seems to fill some missing piece of my puzzle, it is really exciting to me and those are the things that will come with me through life's changes. They define me, or some small piece of me.

Sure, I could make a lot more money if I let everyone have it their way. My business plan may be contrary to everything I ever learned in my marketing degree, but at the end of the day, I enjoy helping someone find that perfect treasure that defines them in some small way. I want my carvings and hats to feel like a triumph and not an acquisition, something that won't be dropped off at Goodwill next season with that ideal black tee shirt hunted down online.

Mostly, when I go to my studio every day, I want to make sure my work is oozing with the fun and joy I am having while creating it. And, when I can no longer create because I have worn my fingers to the bone, I want to know that every single thing that came out of my studio was authentic, inspired, and fueled by me.

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