No announcement yet.

"Make" vs. "Create"


  • Doug Nelson
    started a blog post "Make" vs. "Create"

    "Make" vs. "Create"

    This is not a semantic discussion, so negative brownie points to the first commenter who quotes a dictionary. This is philosophy, so get out your pointy hat.

    Can you sense the difference in nuance between "make" and "create"?

    I seem to regularly get into discussions about this, and they seem to be accelerating, so I thought I'd poke a pin in it and post this here for open discourse.

    IMO, if you are responding to someone else's idea, synthesizing concepts you did not originate, or just in general offering a variation or improvement on something someone else has done, you are making something, not creating anything.

    In my view, creating is a superset of making, where you make something without external reference.

    Of course, some pedant will point out that there will always be some sort of external reference, as even the most creative writer will not invent paper, ink, or the language they write in. Ditto for pigment and canvas, bits and discs, etc. And I'll grant that, while simultaneously making covert rude gestures at said pedant.

    But somewhere along a continuum comes a point where we stop merely decorating or elaborating upon something that came before and bring something new into existence. And that is the point where "making" becomes "creating".

    I know lots of makers, I'm surrounded by them in fact, on several fronts. But I can count the creators I regularly interact with without resorting to double digits. And I'm thankful that I know so many makers, and the world would be a poorer place without even a single one of them, but every blessed one of them considers themself a creator, and that causes me pain.

    I considered myself a creator at one time, but adding time's perspective shows me that I was simply shifting red to blue, or changing key, and thinking it was new. But it wasn't new, only different.

    • CJ Swartz
      CJ Swartz commented
      Editing a comment
      I realized at an early age that I was an "adapter" rather than a creator. Creators amaze me, because I have no way of understanding how they do it. Adapting what someone else has created can take skill, and can be important, but is never as amazing to me as seeing a true creation.

    • Janet Petty
      Janet Petty commented
      Editing a comment
      Short and sweet comment. And coming from wordy ol' me, that's saying something.

      I make a loaf of bread. I make a batch of soap. I create (weave) a rug. I create the thread for that rug.

      The difference?

      I assemble ingredients for soap and bread then put them together in a specific manner so that their components are able to interact in a way so as to produce a finished, nature-defined product.

      With weaving and spinning, the components are waiting for the artist, me, to define the end product.


    • nzhind
      nzhind commented
      Editing a comment
      Create, Make.


      Creating would be producing something out of total nothingness. We're all creators in many ways.

      And the definition of make is well explained by you. Over at my workplace in Marcus Evans, all of us are trying to be creators.
    You must be logged in to post a comment.

Related Topics


  • Doug Nelson
    by Doug Nelson
    I find myself in a reflective mood this morning (you have been warned).

    As I try to do as often as possible, I was out on the web to explore what creative folk are putting in their galleries (using "gallery" in the loosest sense of the word, since it's not limited to just photos...
    03-05-2007, 08:52 AM
  • Ed_L
    I'd like your input on this
    by Ed_L
    One day within the last week, we had a real bad thing happen locally. A man lived with his uncle and his uncle's wife. The wife was holding a 2 year old baby in her arms when someone (probably more than one) came into the house, and shot all four dead. Illegal drugs were found in the house, and it's...
    01-25-2004, 12:38 PM
  • thomasgeorge
    Is it worth it?
    by thomasgeorge
    All my working life I have been involved in the saving of lives, first as an RN specalist in Critical Care and Emergency Medicine and for the last part as a Firefighter/ALS Paramedic. One of the less "nice" things I and all other Medical and Public Safety folks study is mass casualty managment--triage,...
    09-16-2001, 11:37 PM
  • jeaniesa
    Artwork from Viet Nam
    by jeaniesa
    I haven't yet had a chance to scan my slides from my latest trip to share with you. However, I've always been amazed by the talent of the artists in VN. The mediums range from lacquer paintings to embroidered paintings to water color, oil, charcoal, pen and ink, not to mention weavings by the various...
    03-28-2002, 12:17 PM
  • jeaniesa
    Hey Arura! (about travel in Viet Nam)
    by jeaniesa
    Hi Arura,

    I thought I'd move the discussion of VN travel over here so that we don't clutter up the Critiques thread with off-topic discussion. Anything goes over here in Salon though!

    Wow - 5 weeks to see VN! That sounds about right. I brought my mother with me in...
    06-14-2002, 12:28 PM