The process and product of art is democratized, thanks in large part to the internet. While industrialized creative endeavors fought against the innovations, the movement has progressed regardless.
Now it’s easier than ever to find your audience, identify common needs, and create a tribe. The most important thing, then, is to start.
Some of the things that caught my attention over the past few weeks.
- How to use a knife. One of the things I picked up in Alaska was a scrimshaw knife carved on fossilized moose bone. It’s ended up being my favorite souvenir, I suppose in part because I get to carry it with me every day. But also because it feels like I’m in touch with the land. This video popped up a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it was kind of fun to watch, even if it’s about kitchen knifes…
- Quit drinking altogether? Sarah Sloat’s article on casual drinking gave some interesting stats, like, “On average, the mental well-being of the women who quit drinking approached the level of lifetime abstainers within the four-year period. There was, however, very little change in the mental well-being of the men who quit. These results were persistent even after the scientists adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index, and smoking status.”
- The NYTimes mapped the major American artists of the past century, and it’s pretty damn neat. I also have an affinity for maps.
- Where are our Park Rangers? I briefly considered taking a Ranger job at a National Park. The salary was $22,000/year. It wasn’t feasible at the time. Upper management in some larger parks can make close to $100,000/year, which is comparable for Government positions. But with budget cuts and increasing park attendance, make sure you’re staying safe.
Watching: Stranger Things
Reading: Call of the Wild
Listening to: Oklahoma! 2019 Revival Cast Recording
It’s exhausting to be constantly “on”. In extreme cases, I can think of comedians who privately battle depression, but while in public maintain their irreverent persona to the joy of others.
It can be similar in business affairs, in keeping up with the Jones’s, or even in maintaining a functioning household. If there’s no time for full relaxation or decompression, then you’re just “on”, and eventually you’ll burn out.
You want to do this, be it paint that canvas, write that book, make that movie, or learn that instrument. You want to do that so you can feel the accomplishment you’ve known you longed to feel from the time you first had that thought, probably so long ago.
What no one told you is that it’s very rare indeed to find time to make the art that we long to make. Time isn’t a commodity we just have in abundance. Time is finite, and we have more and more ways to fill it. Five centuries ago it was work, sleep, and family. One century ago it was work, sleep, and family. Even fifty years ago, it could have been work, sleep, and family. Now, the possibilities are endless.
So, no. Don’t find time to be creative. Make time. Schedule it in, and guard it as you would anything else important. It’s the only way to get it done.
You can’t succeed if you’re only looking at future results. Yes, the results matter. But the work is what you’re doing. Results come later.
Focusing on the result is a surefire way to neglect the work. It’s akin to trying to be perfect. When the truth is, perfection is the killer of art.
Good enough can be magical.