As a huge fan of NBC’s Making It, my eagerness to talk to Becca Barnet was matched by her own excitement to talk about the show and her journey to becoming a Charleston-area artist set to be featured on national television.
If you’ve never seen Making It, you are severely missing out. Unlike most competition shows that air in the U.S., it has a zany but ultimately calm atmosphere. The Makers, the show’s name for the artists competing for a $100,000 prize, are challenged to create a myriad of large- and small-scale crafts in a limited amount of time.
This atmosphere is not the product of fancy television editing. Barnet describes the show’s crafting barn as “such a positive environment where everyone is rooting for everyone else.”
“If I have an extra 10 minutes after I finish my piece and someone needs help gluing something, you run and glue it! Everyone is invested in each other. When someone is eliminated, everyone cries. The only real pressure comes from yourself and the clock.”
Not thinking she would ever be seriously considered for a national crafting competition, she decided to “shoot her shot,” and a mere two days after getting the call that she had been selected to be on the show, she was flying out to Los Angeles to begin filming.
The show is hosted by Parks and Recreation stars Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler. Barnet, a fan of the show, said this was part of her reason for applying.
“In the barn, (The Makers) found our stations that were outfitted to what we do best. They said to have fun and check out our tools, and I remember hearing these little gasps, so I turned around and there they were. It was crazy,” Barnet said.
She recalled how the Makers would try to joke with the hosts, only to have their jokes outshined moments later by their quick wits.
Barnet has been a local artist in Charleston for many years. Her company, Sisal Creative, works with many different art styles to create intentional, often large-scale art installations and interior design.
Barnet said her favorite local project to date has been a massive photo mural created for an atrium in the new MUSC children’s hospital. She laid out various objects on a large painted mural in her studio, took a photo of it, and installed it on a 30-foot wall in the hospital on wipeable paper.
Barnet said kids can leave their rooms, get their minds off their treatment for a moment, and find objects like, “How many bananas can you find?”
“Bringing joy to people through my art, not being in a gallery or even having my name on it, satisfies my creative needs while educating and bringing joy to people is the best — while also getting paid,” she said.
Barnet said if she were describe her season of Making It with one phrase, it would be “Emotional tears.”
“Nobody held back, in terms of who they really are or for TV. We talk about our experiences in life with depression, anxiety, etc. and how that affects our art,” she said.
“It’s like one big family,” she said.
NBC’s Making It airs on NBC at 8 p.m. every Thursday. Season 3 is also available to stream on Peacock+.