"Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up." Pablo Picasso
A few artists and creative and inventor types over time have in some way seemed to add to the aforementioned quote by Picasso. I think Nicolai Tesla even had a quote that went as far as hinting that a married man has little chance to really ever create. Even in the bible, people wonder why in some denominations priests can’t marry, while in others they can.
What it boils down to is that to really excel at anything – the amount of time and sacrifice one usually has to give, unless they are born with a rare god given talent – is a full time occupation.
For the rest of us, it is a perpetual effort to make incremental steps that over time might produce that unknown element of “something special” that is seems to be such a small thing, yet provides for a great difference in performance levels.
Usually the path in the world is you work hard, achieve a certain level, and then one seems to glide on the results and make as much as possible without every taking risks to be too different from what the market or other people remember them as
Good examples with musical bands that want to continue to experiment with music, yet, forget they have a loyal fan base that wants "not so much experimentation or change." Usually when someone or something changes rapidly from what is known - people will tend to not usually embrace such change initially. Then again, in most of history, an idea that was initially thought of as crazy, over time, somehow gets looked upon as normal. Galileo and Copernicus understand the last statement.
The clash of ideologies I am going through in Switzerland is not all bad. On one hand you have the world of tradition and the way things have been done well for ages. It provides a strong foundation for conservative and seeming linear change to happen over time. It is why in some respects, I feel like I have stepped back in time 40 years with the small Swiss towns, local farmers, small shops with highly skilled workers.
On the other hand, you have “new” and what is the future all over the planet outside wherever it is you live on the planet. That means almost 7 billion people – each with their own seeming idea of what is right, wrong, good or bad- each seeming to believe their perspective is correct.
I guess my problems with the idea of open and closed thinking ways - aka, creativity – started when I was working as a teenager in a concrete block factory. My “logic” that summer was that it would be great exercise for when I went to college to play football. What I remembered was a 60-year-old black man working there who had a musculature of a 25-year-old man. He never graduated high school, and had worked for the family most all of his life. I never had a chance to meet the father that founded the company, just his kids, who truthfully, really didn’t care much about the dirty business of concrete block making, but the enjoyed the financial windfall of the inheritance.
Forgive me that I don’t remember the old mans name, but I would take my breaks with him and we would have a soda or water. He was not a complicated man, worked his entire life doing pure manual labor, and had a tiny little house on the river where his joy was fishing. After all those years, the man was still making barely more than minimum wage.
That is when I thought “I am told work is great and noble, but it seems that all the people I know that worked really hard, usually just got spit out in the system with not much to show for it, but a broken down body."
Then one has to ask, “Does one work to live? Or live to work?” This will lead one on the path between what is the idea of work. With it, you probably will get to answer the question about how creativity dies as we age in many people.
European nations have done a far better job at keeping and maintaining a work/live balance than the American counterparts. Inside the USA, while we once enjoyed an economic model that did say, “go get a job, work hard, the system will take care of you in the end.” Today, it simply is not like that except for the top 1%, who actually really don’t need anything to be taken care of – they have plenty.”
When I look at the Swiss market, people are well trained to do job. There is an interesting master plan of sorts behind all of Switzerland, that I would really enjoy someone explaining the history, how it was structured, the idea of neutrality, and how change happens inside the country. As a non-native, it is like me being in Asia, trying to understand Asian culture – I simply will never get the “native” nuances.
I remember taking any shit job out of college because I had a dream to make toys. I doubt I would even have been deemed creative out of college, probably more of an ogre with too many muscles and brains cells that didn’t seem to function much.
But miracles do happen and there was an interest in licensing and product development and silly ideas of toys I had in my head. Thus, I took whatever spare money I had, to buy art toys and try to teach myself to draw, use markers, etc. Even if you gave me formal lessons, I wager, I would still suck at getting a great final rendering, but I could always see the idea in my mind. Getting it out on paper and articulating it so others could see, truly never happened until I got off the road with Feld Entertainment – looked at the equipment they gave us to work with at that time and ended up buying my own computers.
Simply- I wanted to understand and learn how you made 3d objects and film/video and special effects graphics. I was amazed that a desktop computer you could put in your own home allowed you to work on these things. I was amazed that a desktop computer gave you the ability to make anything.
Thank god for Thursday night with $3 an hour AOL special interest groups. It was the only place I could go with other kindred minds where we helped each other.
The point to all this is the world kept telling me, “get a job, you need to do... this is success… do something stable so you have a fall back plan, don’t take risks.”
In essence it is the recipe to kill any creativity out of the normal life.
I watched kids watching television, then adults. I gave up TV in 1996? And in my free time, I work in ideas or thoughts, the vast majority that will never make any money, or become a product.
To the normal world, this looks like a waste of time or money. TO me, I know that each bad idea will have some merit to it that can and usually is applied to some good idea in the future.
It doesn’t’ help that I seem to be interested in the ideas that don’t really exist today. Augmanity is a technology group that really is creative and scary at the same time. Perhaps I am wrong in thinking if you create great environments and more free time for people in their lives –the will use it to create more and try new things?
Then I look and observe “normal” life and see people “watching” or “talking about what they watched.”
It is the answer for why creativity dies as many age. You look at the childlike heart of a kid; you see them full of curiosity and wonderment.
You look at the eyes of an adult and many times you see them full of fear of trying anything new, taking a chance, or failing and appearing a fool.
In conclusion – I guess creativity is squashed when people stop taking out a blank white sheet of paper and asking, “why and what if?” And simply turn on the expensive high –resolution monitor with surround sound, or stare into a mobile and just, “watch.”
No clue where my life will end up, or what will happen. But I have a choice in life to continue to create, or let the world say, “That is a waste of time.”
To that, I respond, “When you find what you are passionate about, and what makes you get up in the morning, happy, energized and ready to start a new day. Should you be so lucky and fortunate to find a key that unlocks that door – then you will forever change your idea that work is something you do to get a wage.”
“Work becomes that which you do to make progress for a desired result in the future.”
With the later definition, seems to come ideas that can help people instead of just being able to buy more stuff to sit back and “watch.”
Life really is an amazing journey. I think our media tells us it is to be one with no pain, suffering, change, and perpetual fun and experiences.
Reality to me is that the journey is a bit of time where we each get to learn to really love.
When you walk that path, it isn’t all fun, happiness, and joy – many times it is the opposite – but if you are dumb or creative enough to keep going deeper in the mystery – it all somehow makes sense.
It doesn’t stop one from asking, “why do so many people loose their creative desire they had as a small child when they become “mature” adults.
There is a strange irony in the last idea of “mature” in that the bible even says to find god, approach him with a childlike heart. Only then will you really find all of him – not just the “mature” version of him.
Best to you on this day. Forgive any frustration and such. Such is life when you invent or create – call it an occupational hazard. When you can see how, where, when and why to do something – you have a world that probably hasn’t even thought about it – much less will understand what it is, until it is built and they can see, touch or taste it.
It is just a day in the life. You wake up, try, and take a step forward, several steps back, fall down, get up, shake off the dust, and try again another day.
Just make sure that if you continue to fight to keep your childlike heart and creative spirit in a world that tends to like to watch and be a critic, you wear a crash helmet, have plenty of coffee, and/or blue m&m’s for the ride when it gets bumpy.