Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Creative Exit Wounds | Apparently it's messy when it all comes out

It's 1 a.m. and I'm somehow still awake, pondering what has been on my mind for the past chunk of my life (currently a 6-month temp job near DC):  What the crap am I doing??

I have officially reached that point in my creative career where I feel like I could potentially burn out or take off.  And I haven't even really started it yet.

Creativity is amazing -- an intangible cloud of Rainbow Gnomes that have the potential to inspire and motivate that lump of clay in your brain into something someone somewhere could possibly like (and maybe even pay for). 

Or it could hack that junk into little phlegmatic sections that can't decide what they want to be, or what they want to look like.  Creativity can be a jagged little shard when it comes out -- messy indeed.

That's where I'm at -- photography, cool...graphic design, fun...film, cool.  Completely competent in any of those categories?  Heck no.  Besides witnessing an age where an incredible amount of creative envelopes are being pushed every single day, there's sooooo much more to learn and figure out... direction, technique, crafting a style that is all my own << that one keeps me up at night.  I could go into the messy details of why I'm not competent, but I refuse to fish for compliments to counter what I know: The Creme Professionals sitting in my seat would take a look around and know that I fall short -- they could tell me where too, and I wish they would. 

What the crap am I doing?? 

My mom brought up a good point that I've been able to ride out on whatever talent/beginner's passion until now, but now it's come to knuckle-scraping work -- and I need to learn how to bust out that grater.  Every day on my Facebook feed (the devil I say, the devil!), I see up and coming photographers doing fantastic work, and I can see that passion I used to have -- to carry my camera to every stinkin' event, and show my friends that I could make them look like rock stars.  I'm jealous of that passion, but Mom's right and I need to figure out how to craft, and not just be inspired when I feel like being inspired.

So research research research, blogs, how do I this, how can I that...before I realize that I have no map of how to get where I want to go, because not only do I not know what direction to take, my destination is completely at the hands of those dang little Rainbow Gnomes that seem to work as often as they're tall.

What the crap am I doing??

So say I get it all worked out -- I figure out my style, I figure out my business, I know exactly what I want to do, how to do it, and where I want to end up.  Would it matter?

Because fantastically, a lot of stories have been popping up in the artist community -- (they're quite pissed off btw).  Photographers having their images stolen by multi-million dollar corporations, graphic designers not getting paid and having to hijack their client's site to get their attention...and the most recent Oscar-worthy scuttlebutt, a sizable amount of FX artists that contributed to Life of Pi -- only to have their work less than recognized, and their company file for bankruptcy because their work isn't valued as much as it should be.

As an artist, I have a deck stacked against my livelihood.  A pretty grim outlook as I see my other post-grad friends emerging with comfort-sustaining doctorates right about this time.

What the crap am I doing??

At the end of the day (and rant), I remember what an animation professor told us before he left (for Disney):  "Do your best where you're at, and God will bless you."  Besides that (and the fact that he checked "wife" off his college to-do), I don't remember anything else he said.  This statement might come into conflict with a lot of my friends nowadays who have beef with God, but it's my blog; I make no apologies.   But you do your best, and God will bless someone being a good steward of their life.  At the very least, you valuing your work will transfer to valuing the results and the effects of being accomplished -- which will prime you good 'n ready to notice how much hard work pays off.

I'll kick those dang Rainbow Gnomes into the mines and learn how to work hard, because someone will notice. I'll be more autodidactic in learning new frustrating editing workflows like SpeedGrade .dpx files, and someone will notice.   I'll get to the point where I don't have to find some cryptic little tutorial for everything I do -- and someone will notice.  

Even if it's just God 'n me.  I guess that's what I'm doin'.  

Stay fabulous,

"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life . . . Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? . . . If God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.  Why do you have so little faith? . . . So don't worry about these things, saying 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today's trouble is enough for today."  - Matt. 6:25-34


  1. I don't have words of wisdom, only I wanted to tell you your voice was heard.

    1. Thanks girl -- I'd just gotten done talking with another artist-friend who was going through the same thing. Odds were, others were too, lol.

  2. That's the curse and blessing of having a creative mind. The ability and drive to see potential in everything is how we create beautiful art, but it also makes it easy to become dissatisfied with the way things are, especially when you can see how they should be but can't figure out how to get to that point. You're certainly not alone. There are lots of us, me included, frustrated with our current situation and trying to figure out how to change, how to improve, how to find passion. Maybe it takes a lot more time than any of us expected.

    1. Most definitely -- I've been finding out that I have little patience, haha. That's when I remember all those crazy awesome cinematographers/photographers/whatever-ers that have been at their job or twenty years and are still learning tons of new things (shoot, the digital age nearly crippled em before they took off with it). I suppose I should take good advice like,"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle." But I'm too impatient, lol. ;)


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