My name is Ally Hunter-Harris and I am a hardcore DIY-er. I was raised to believe that if you can do it yourself, chances are it will be better than if you buy it. I'm stingy, yes, and not ashamed to say so. Thus, I am able to save what little money I have to my name and spend on the things I haven't yet figured out how to make--groceries, rent, electric bill, etc.
It helps, of course, that I was raised on power tools and as soon as we were old enough to hold things steadily, my father taught my brother, sister, and I how to build and repair things. Heck, I helped put on our garage roof at the ripe old age of 7, I learned how to do a basic tune up at 11 and I was installing drywall in the third grade. My mother was a big fan of anything involving arts and crafts. Just about every weekend she would have a project for us to do--painting flowerpots, designing our own t-shirts and sweatsuits with iron-on designs and fabric paint, etc. She taught me how to sew, cross-stitch, crochet, knit and french loom. Suffice it to say that my childhood certainly played a major part in my present-day DIY attitudes.
When I announced that I wanted to go to art school, my parents were extremely supportive. And while in art school I was bombarded with the illusion that everything-will-be-okay-forever-and-always. (Stupid students loans making me think I actually had money....)
But then, I graduated.
Into the worst economy this country has seen since the great depression.
I often say that if I had known this would happen that I would have gone to "real college" and had a "real major" so I could get a "real job." But I'm not so sure that's true. I'm starting to embrace having shitty jobs I don't care about because it gives me time to focus on my art.
Now, if only it were affordable to be an artists these days.... Because it isn't. I can barely afford the paints I want to paint with, let alone the surfaces I want to paint on. So that began my journey of figuring out how to make certain things to make my life a little easier.