career advice for right brainers

I read this article today in the good ol’ New York Times about how this is the age for the right brain. Meaning, all of us creative kids that our parents were worried about making it in the real world are actually quite marketable. We just have to play it right, figure out how that creativity translates into business, and make decisions that will feed our creativity rather than starve it. The Times article mentioned this book by Daniel Pink that looks pretty great. (I haven’t read it, so if you have, feel free to comment.) Check out the Johnny Bunko video trailer for the book, but basically, manga style Johnny is helped out by a superhero fairy godmother who appears when he breaks open a pair of chopsticks.

And when I think about artists trying to fit into the corporate world, I am always reminded by this beautiful cartoon my friend Brian Musikoff drew based on his personal experience. There’s more than this one frame. Read the whole thing, it’s great.

The point is, you didn’t go to school to learn about something you love just so you can graduate and sit behind a desk and do what others tell you. Have the courage to make your career your own, even if it’s not as easy as your friends that do their 9-5 and go home. They’re not happy any way, or they’re just not as smart as you. So work a little harder, do it a little different, and make that creativity work for you.


3 responses to “career advice for right brainers

  1. great post Katie; that is the challenge isn’t it? figuring out how to translate it into business. I am so glad Etsy started or I think I would find it a much greater challenge to get started.

    I’ve been getting totally inspired listening to Marisa’s podcasts related to this idea of pursuing it (you don’t need an ipod btw, just something to play an mp3 with); check her out on

    also, there was an interesting series of recent posts by her, Design for Mankind, and Decor8 on “what do to do when you don’t know what to do” if you want some further reading.

  2. It’s funny that the title of that article is “Let the Computers Compute” and I told that video that I was a hired to be a person doing a computer’s job. I think the Internet is actually making the lines between left brain and right brain mutable.

  3. I have had right brain/left brain grilled into me for 30 years. I mean back to the days of draw me a box and then stick a sheep in it.

    But here’s what I’ve learned…the art side of being right brained really doesn’t get far unless you train the left brain and go step my step.


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