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Monday, March 17, 2008

The Totem Pole of Creativity

Red Hook Container Loaders
Photo by myself in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The Port Authority maintains piers for container ships delivering cargo. The silhouettes of loading cranes against the barren landscape are striking.

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Last night Mark and I went to a Brooklyn housewarming for an old friend/acquaintance that I hadn't seen in many months. She's a photographer, so most of her guests were creative - photographers, graphic designers, stylists and copywriters.

The party turned out to be fun without being at all pretentious. Mark and I were so glad we went, since we nearly wound up vegetating on the sofa after a heavy dinner.

I've noticed that even among creative people, many wish they were in more creative fields. My dad was trained as an engineer and always wished he were an architect. As an architect, I wish I were a graphic designer or photographer. Graphic designers I know wish they were painters. And on and on.

The grass is always greener, isn't it.

I wish I had a something wise to say that summed it all up, but I don't. It'd be something about risks and fear, security and boredom.

I hope to figure it out someday.

14 comments:

Tammy said...

Wasn't today the first day of your new job? How did it go?

Sally said...

Hi Kitty! Thanks for visiting me in Sydney. Well, it's sunny and blue skied a LOT of the time, but it does rain here too - honestly! Though for the past few years we've had very bad drought, this summer has been quite wet in Sydney.

Spandrel Studios said...

Hey, Kitty. Your comments about creative fields are so timely: I was just talking with someone about this the other day.

Most of the graphic designers I know are painters or artists of some other kind. At some point, they all made a choice between art and commerce - adapting their skills to make it possible to be paid for creating.

So few of us get to do exactly what we've dreamed of in life -- look at the low rate of job satisfaction! So it takes adjusting one's expectations to not get bogged down by discontentment -- or making whatever changes you can to fulfill the creative destiny you envision for yourself.

Hope your new job is satisfying and full of wonderful new opportunities!

Kitty said...

hey Tammy
Yes, today's the day! Thanks for remembering!
I am leaving now. yipes!

Hi Sally
I'd love to visit Sydney (and NZ) in the flesh sometime. So beautiful.

Hi Spandrel
Part of it all I think is realizing that these are choices we're making, not concessions. I agree it's too easy to be discontent.
Thanks for the kind wishes!

Anonymous said...

isnt that an old saying that, architect is art-school drop out? (no offence to the architects!)

Fredrik said...

What a scary coincidence. You publish a picture of a crane and I just read about the collapsing crane on Manhattan's Upper East Side. What a horrible accident. According to BBC at least four people were killed in the accident and 10 injured.The collapse also overturned and crushed cars, left rubble piled high and caused a huge dust cloud to rise over the neighbourhood.

BrianC said...

I started my professional life as a history professor and historical editor. But I always felt that creative urge. Then I married, moved to New York City, and found myself in the non-profit world having to teach myself graphic design. That prompted my photography hobby. Then, when I had a year of unemployment, I taught myself to paint. Now I wish I could tackle lithography and print-making. Sure, it's easy to second-guess oneself and say, "Gee, I wish I'd gotten that MFA and done this or that." But I didn't. A Ph.D. in history was more important at the time. So now I just try to redefine myself within the framework of job and family which I've constructed. So you just have to make the time for your photography and drawing (of which I'd like to see more).

Good luck with a new job. I went through the same process a year ago, leaving a position I had been in for 5 years. It's exciting but unsettling.

A Red Mind in a Blue State said...

Good luck on Day One!

Re; the crane that fell (and I too like Fredrik saw the crane photo and thought it related to the tragedy) it's amazing how intertwined our lives are in a city like NY-- more people were killed and hurt by a freak construction accident here than were hurt by a tornado ripping through downtown Atlanta!

Reluctant Blogger said...

If you ever find some wise answer to this you could make yourself a lot of money I am sure.

But yes, it is always greener. I always wish I could write only things that interest me, not the dross I seem to churn out on a daily basis (I don't mean my blog - I meant work!!!)

Hope your first day went well.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Good luck with the new job today Kitty.

Kitty said...

Hi Fredrik
Yes, a construction crane toppled around 51st Street on the East side the other day. The visuals were frightening.

There are cranes and scaffolding all over the city and I'm frankly surprised more accidents don't happen. Interesting that the BBC picked up the news story. Wow.

Hey Brian
Congrats on the successful career change! Wow.
It's fine being out on a limb once in a while, but to do so in NY seems especially precarious, for some reason.

Hi Tony!
I didn't even think of the crane accident when I posted the photo. (I am a little slow in the noggin at times, lol).

Hey RB
I guess the dross is what makes work 'work', lol.

Thanks Fish, and everyone for the kind wishes!!

Ming the Merciless said...

I have a very simple wish!

I wish I was independently wealthy so I don't ever have to worry about finances. I would go back to school and pursue all the loves and interests that I never could afford in my younger years.

Note about creative types: They tend to be very self-absorbed because they need to "feel" to create art.

The non-creative types like me can produce anything whether we love or hate it. :-) Like WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU MA'AM!!

penpusher said...

I'm so sorry Kitty, I'm a bit late! I hope your first day was a good one! :)

Back to your post, you are right about the grass is always greener on the other side. I have always wished that I was in a slightly more creative field, instead of just pushing papers around all day... sigh..

Kitty said...

Ming, I wouldn't mind having a ton of cash either. Life would certainly be different.
Interesting thought about creativity! I'd like to avoid those self-absorbed people.

Thanks PP!
Hope your job situation will change in the future. Maybe pushing papers for a creative business would be more interesting?