D.I.Y.O.D.S (or why you should be an autodidact)

Looking back on my life, I realize that I've always been an autodidact. As a student I was a "satisfied santos": I was happy just getting by in some areas, but when confronted with a subject I was passionate about I excelled. I took it upon myself to practice more and find more information about these subjects. Later as a science instructor, I quickly discovered that teaching is the best way to learn. When teaching others, you're also teaching yourself! And now, more than ever, I thrive on finding new hobbies and crafts to try. I've really become passionate about self-learning and I think you should to. Here's why!

Be as fickle as you wish!
If there was ever a fickle pickle, it was me. I become disinterested in things very quickly sometimes. Say you're taking a class or a seminar, and you realize it's just not for you. Calling it quits could be rude, a waste of money, and possibly downright just not possible. When you take it upon your self to learn a new skill or idea, you can stop whenever you like. Or you can pick it back up if you change your mind again! 
On a whim I started playing with some clay and made a little giraffe. In the process I learned a bit about how polymer clay behaves and how to paint with acrylics. I took these lessons and made some more animals. The mood to sculpt and paint doesn't strike very often, but when it does I just pick it back up from where I left off. 

It's cheap(er)
Classes are expensive. School is even more expensive. Online classes are a little better. But the best tools an autodidact has are absolutely free: youtube and google. Back when Al Gore was inventing the internet, he obviously had autodidacts in mind. His vision was for it to be a world-wide, self-propelled university. With cat videos. Ok, maybe that's not true but that's basically what it is. Anything you want to know, you can find online. Heck, anything you don't want to know you can find online.
Granted, some hobbies themselves can get quite expensive. Photgraphy is a big passion of mine right now. Equipment and software isn't cheap. But all the information I need to learn how to use that equipment and software is free for the taking. It may take some honing of your search word skills, but it's there.

Create your own syllabus
Who can resist an adorable amigurumi with huge eyes and a little smile? You don't need to know how to crochet every type of stitch to make 1 pattern. If there's ever a stitch or technique that you don't know all you have to do is google it or look it up on youtube. Voila! You have what you need for that specific project. 
Once you've built up enough knowledge you can take it wherever you want! Make your own patterns. Build your own website. Fix your own car! 
You never know where it will take you!
Start a new business venture, create a lifelong passion, end up on TV! Exploring your passions and potential can have amazing results. 
I used to play The Sims 2. One day I saw a video someone had made using the game. It was like a mini movie and it blew my mind! "I can do that!" I thought. "I want to do that!" So I did! I started making my own Sims movies, or machinima. A year later I was contacted by The Sims advertising agency, asking me to make some stories and movies for magazine print ads and television commercials! A few months later, I was actually working at Electronic Arts making video content for The Sims 2. 

You really have nothing to lose by becoming an autodidact. Try new things. Seek out knowledge! Go forth and D.I.Y.O.D.S (do it your own damn self).


  1. I'm always surprised how many people email me asking how to do a certain stitch in a pattern they bought, when you can just YouTube the stitch and get the answer straight away.

    Then I realize how many times I forget to just YouTube something like "how to cut butter into flour for pastry dough" and sympathize with the emails again.

  2. you've just so eloquently explained all of my feelings about college and life in general. when i have a boring class, i get so angry because i feel like i'm wasting time. i'd much rather take classes of my own choosing on my own terms.

  3. Oh wow, that's so cool that you've worked for EA. I too got into machina, though my biggest passion is making AMVs.

    Recently Deadmau5 released an album with a song made up of Close Encounters of the Third Kind audio. This is my favorite moivie and I took it upon myself to create a music video using clips from the movie.

    I too am an autodidact and It's so great to see others share the same passions I do. <3

    1. Cool! A fellow machinimist (not a word probably). I'm going to look up that Deadmau5 song! I like that movie too, it might be the only bearable Richard Dreyfuss movie!

  4. This is such a great post! And I LOVE the little worm from The Labyrinth! So cute, I need to make one!! xx


  5. Oh my goodness...this is exactly what i think too. To me there nothing more rewarding than teaching yourself a new skill and then going off and making something of your own with it. Great post. x

    1. Yes! I hadn't even considered the rewarding part! Excellent point!

  6. I agree with everything you say - apart from Al Gore inventing the internet... I think you should have heard of this guy...


    great article!

    1. Thanks! I was totally joking about Al Gore lol. I've never heard of 'TimBL' before! I wonder if that's pronounced like 'timble'. If not, it really should be!