Surely anyone can make a fuzz pedal - or 15 even - and completely get lost in guitar pedal land, but how many people are making guitar pedals that are personally meaningful? This month I gave some thought to a conversation I had with Rachel a long while ago about what we do with our finished projects. We both admitted sheepishly that we tend to stick them in a box in the closet and don't really ever think about them again (or otherwise know what to do with them).
This made me ask myself why I was making what I was making and why a lot of it seemed to have no personal value. The simple answer tended to be that I was primarily making things for an audience (real or otherwise) and not always making things for myself. As swell as it is to make things to amuse "teh internets," I have come to decide that I should be making things first and foremost to amuse myself because at the end of the day I am the one who has to live with them. After all, why would I want to bring anything into this world if I can not perceive any direct value in its creation?
What I have come to realize this month, by making things that I am truly passionate about is that 1) I enjoy it and 2) I tend to do a better job making it. The other thing I have learned is that although, I may be making things primarily for my own benefit and expect no real interest from the general public, people are nonetheless interested. I think this is because people perceive value in things that are unique and novel. They can appreciate the thought and effort that goes into such a thing, even if they personally do not share the same level of interest (perhaps this attribute is our social conditioning as consumers... but that is a story for another time).
All of that said, this month I made instruments and recording equipment because for a long time I've had a laundry list of such things I've wanted to own. Now that I have the time, skills, resources and general know-how, I can bring these things to life in a manner that is both useful and meaningful to me. Some of these things will probably spend a lot of time sitting on a shelf in my studio until I am ready to use them, but nothing will be shoved into a box in the closet.