Knowing what makes something wonderful doesn’t make us craftsmen, it simply makes us fans.

We have to make things.

We have to make things everyday. We have to move our minds and imagine making things, we have to move pencils and draw sketches of things, we have to wonder what things could be made, what we could do, what we would do different to improve or intrigue.

We have to practice practicing. No part of our process can go without finer detail and improvement.

This isn’t to say that we must obsess over our crafts and think of nothing else.

But, for me at least, showing up everyday is of paramount importance.

It isn’t to aim for big strides, but a single small one, everyday. A focused attention placed upon one aspect of what I consider to be my craft is all that the day asks of me. Two hours, one, or thirty minutes — whatever I can possibly spare I wish to put into my craft so that I can improve it.

We hone our craft through discipline.

Showing up, everyday, consciously refining and improving our skills, questioning what we do and how we do it, always looking for an edge knowing that we’ll never master it all.

That’s the mindset to strive for – one in which we fully understand that we will never master all aspects of our craft.

It isn’t enough to simply be ‘fine’ with such an understanding, nor is it something we should just learn to live with.

It’s something we must be driven by. We must realise that the joy in refining a craft is in the act. There’s no figure hidden in the marble for us to sculpt down to. There’s always going to be more marble, an infinite amount.

But that doesn’t make the task of making something from it any less exciting and enjoyable.

We can’t hope to reach the levels of craftsmanship that we may aspire to without discipline.

Few of us may be able to rely on a master to show us the way, a designer or writer or creative who has been through this all before and who will happily guide us, to help us avoid misplaced steps, to guide our development over our shoulder.

Those of us alone in this pursuit must be willing to be our own masters, our own coaches, our own fans and critics.

To build a routine of looking up close and from far away, to develop a discipline that has us pull apart and bring back together, is the only step I know to take.

It’s the only direction I can think of to build a skill set and understanding strong enough to outlast our clients and customers, our technologies, and maybe even the daily grind of our profession.

To happily walk into our workshops every morning knowing and having all this is to find happiness in our work. Then we’ll find the craft in it, too.