Friday, January 20, 2012

Comfort and Creativity...

I recently saw a post on Sara Sally LaGrand's Facebook page and it really made me think.  Not so much about if I would still keep creating, because I think I'm fundamentally someone who is hardwired to be a maker of things and is compelled to create.  But it made me think... what would I do if I won the lotto?

And the thing is, I don't know if it would change my goals or even me for that matter.  I'm not a fashionista and balk at the thought of wearing impractical clothes.  I'm not really into fast cars or ones that you have to worry about getting scratched in the parking lot (of course, having a car that doesn't break down or catch on fire would be nice).  I can't fathom living in an overly big house that was so stylish that you'd be worried to put your feet up or have cats.  The thought of cleaning it or wandering the endless corridors gives me nightmares.  

However, the thought of not having bills and wondering if I'll be able to scrape up enough money to cover all of them is definitely exciting.  It would be nice not to have to count every penny.  I don't go to the doctor's or the dentist's as much as I should and knowing that I could put my health first would definitely be a relief.

On the more extravagant side, I would like to travel more and see and experience more places.  Eventually, even without the aid of the lotto, I hope to do that one day.  I'd love to travel the flea markets and bazaars of the world looking for unique finds and interesting objects.

Not only that, but it would be quite nice if I could upgrade my equipment and materials and explore all the things that pique my curiosity.  It would be a treasure to be able to take classes again or work with new processes without worrying too much about the expense of everything and if I'll be able to adapt it into my own personal work.  I would be wildly fantastic to mack out a workspace with all the bells and whistles and work extravagantly with a pound of PMC or use gold or diamonds.

But I think my core of wanting to be a vessel of positive change and to inspire creativity and beauty everyday would not diminish.  The desire to want to help support and sustain the artistic community that I belong to would not waiver.  I would be able to help other artists achieve their dreams and create new work and let these artists not feel as though everything that they did was attached to a price tag.  I know how hard it is to honor your muse truly and genuinely when you're creating things for sale.  "Will this sell?"  Is one of those questions I hope to one day not have to ask myself when I make something new.

I think the original statement of comfort killing creativity, results from a misconception that artists must suffer to make work.  I think the "myth" of being an artist – someone who is unusual, crazy, sad, depressed, tortured, wild, addicted to drugs, sex, and alcohol – is a disservice to all artists.  It's true that artists are people and are flawed just like anyone else, and that their craft often times allows them to see things that others don't, BUT do we have to proliferate the idea that art is born of pain?  That in order to create art, that you must be inherently unwell?  It's a romantic image, in that bad boy sort of way, but not necessarily something that I want to embrace.  I think when artists can give up this false image, they are better able to cope with changes like success or sudden windfalls like winning the lottery.  Then, when creativity is anchored in the Genuine Self and not rooted in the False Artistic Ego, nothing can kill their artistic spirit.


Krys said...

I enjoyed this, and I think you're exactly right. I found in my teens, my creativity was endless (and I had no monetary worries). When I was on my own in my 20's, I worked and worked and didn't have time for "creativity". In my 30's I was raising children (still am) but my husband and I were building a business (that was creative- photography) but our focus was on clients/customer service etc, although we got a creative outlet in the work it still was client centered. Now in my 40's our business is very successful and I can spend more time away from it. My kids are older and more independent (and love to create) and we have enough money in the bank to not worry about bills (though we certainly are saving for retirement and college) and I can't stop creating in so many areas, jewelry, painting, photography, cooking and baking, it's fabulous!

Additionally I am creating for me, and my jewelry and paintings are selling well in galleries now vs when I would think about creating something that would sell. I also love the freedom to create something for someone I love just because and giving it away.

My Grandmother who was the most amazing artist, seamstress, quilter/lace maker, woodworker etc made literally thousands of pieces of art (I am trying to document them) and gave all of them away to people she knew and loved and some she didn't know. She loved being able to do that...and was one of the kindest, most loving, and happy people I know.

As for winning the lottery, I worked in financial planning in my 20's and was fortunate to actually work with 2 different LARGE lottery winners. Both winners were good hardworking, grounded individuals/couples. They didn't change their lifestyles, just paid debt off, donated to charity and took a few more trips and bought a few more things at the stores they went to. One of them lived in a mobile home and even though she had plenty of money, she actually just bought a "double wide trailer which was enough." They weren't jet setting off to New York or Paris to shop haute couture or even High end, as that wasn't of value to them. It made me realize that if you are happy and grounded, you don't change with success and money, you only change if money defines who you are.

Thanks for that, I've been reading you for a year...and enjoy your sharing...


Genea said...

I really enjoyed this post, Andrew. I think I would have to agree with you if I won the lottery as well. In my younger years I would have liked all of the fancy things, but now I am much more humble and wouldn't buy all of the crazy cars or super nuts houses. I would love to have financial freedom as well and to be able to just go to the dentist or doctor when needed.

I would travel as well since I have not had too much outside the US travels yet. It's a fun little day dream to think about :)

xo Genea