"Make Gifts "

I love to make things. Big and small. Mostly for myself and for my two boys. They’re my favorite users and best critics. I’m also beginning to find joy in making gifts for others. I guess my hope is that I inspire them to put down devices, tap into their inner child, and make something with their hands. Then maybe gift it to a friend or family member. In hopes of inspiring them. My little butterfly effect on the world.

Recently, I read Austin Kleon’s new book Keep Going - 10 Ways to stay creative in good times in bad. And way #4 came at the exact moment I was making gifts. 300+ gifts to be exact. Yeah. I’m crazy.


I had an upcoming keynote in Arkansas (my first) and I really wanted to connect with my audience to let them know I cared about the message that I would be delivering that day. I was hoping to inspire them to do something different, yet familiar, as soon as they could. I wanted my audience drawing and begin understanding how it can be used to show thinking not artistic ability. So what better gift than a drawing/thinking journal! Yes. 300. I ended making 350 and then I had to print one pagers. The audience was over 600. I didn’t want anyone mad at me.

And honestly, I’ve grown tired of the “Hey look at me!”, “Quotes about innovation & 21st Century Skills”, and “Students are the Future!” keynotes. Jeez. Just say something useful. But I digress.

Chapter 4 in Kleon’s book pushed me to go ahead and make these gifts. I’m sure he didn’t think someone would make 400+ (to date) gifts.

“You never know when a gift made for a single person will turn into a gift for the whole world.”

-Austin Kleon

The whole world! I know. I know. Lofty goal there, Herrera.

I just see that quote as using one gift to change one person and then some of the people that exist in that person’s world.

So, I don’t really know where I was going with this blog post. I’m not a writer. But I do draw and make things. So, go and make something. Use your hands. Build. Cut. Tape. Draw. Glue. Then give it to someone. Create your own butterfly effect in this crazy world of (insert your profession here).

Ok. I’m tired of writing now.