Rekindling Creativity: Embracing Mistakes, Forming Connections, and Rediscovering Joy

By Sydney Hardister, Undergraduate Library Making Fellow, 2023-2024

Reflecting on my journey as a library fellow, I’m struck by how my experience has mirrored my own personal desire to reignite my passion for creating. Initially drawn to the Makerspace with little knowledge of what it entailed, I embarked on this journey with a simple intention: to rediscover the joy of making. Little did I know that this decision would lead me down a path of self-discovery, friendship, and skill development.

In the vibrant atmosphere of the Makerspace, I found not only a place for experimentation but also a community of like-minded individuals who shared my enthusiasm for creativity. Here, making mistakes wasn’t just accepted; it was celebrated as a natural part of the learning process. Through countless hours of crocheting, knitting, and exploring various crafts, I learned the invaluable lesson that failure is not an endpoint but rather a stepping stone toward growth.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of my fellowship was the opportunity to share my newfound skills with others through leading workshops. Teaching became a means of deepening my own understanding of the art forms I had embraced, while simultaneously fostering connections with fellow makers. These interactions underscored the importance of community and collaboration in the creative process, reminding me of the joy that comes from both sharing knowledge and learning from others.

With each new craft I embraced in the Makerspace, I could feel myself falling deeper and deeper in love with creating. From crocheting to stamp making, each project served as a catalyst for my creative journey, inspiring a cascade of new ideas and endeavors. Before long, I found myself immersed in a whirlwind of projects, each one fueling my enthusiasm and drive to create. This steady flow of creativity became a source of calm and contentment in my life, offering a sense of fulfillment that I had long yearned for. Beyond simply acquiring new skills, my time in the Makerspace served to center me both as an individual and as a creative, reaffirming the profound love that comes from bringing imagination to life through craft and creation.

Ultimately, my time as a library fellow has been a testament to the transformative power of creativity and community. Through the ups and downs of this journey, I’ve learned to trust myself, follow my passions, and embrace the joy of making. As I look back on my time here, I am filled with gratitude for the friendships formed, the skills acquired, and the endless possibilities that lie ahead in my creative endeavors.