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.
A bit about this mermaid hair attraction…
There is something about being under water that has always made me feel very alone. There is this incredible sense of privacy. You can immerse yourself in the swimming pool and say anything into the water. No one will comprehend what you have said, so you can liberate anything that’s roaming in your head that you don’t have the courage to say aloud. Remember that game “tea party”?
If you open your eyes, you can see the effect of movement, the motion of the water as someone kicks away, with a trail of bubbles left behind. You can look at your own skin and find itty bitty bubbles hovering on the surface. I liked to bang on the railing of the swimming pool steps and notice how the sound waves traveled in liquid. And my very favorite thing to do was look at my long hair as it flowed under water. It always fascinated me how beautiful my hair looked. I loved how wet hair looked more “dry” under the water than it did above. The wet, slick, sticky mane became wild flowing curls.
Mermaids live in a secret world of dark beauty. There is a freedom to the sea, a freedom in swimming similar to that of the freedom of a bird with their flight.
Both of the photos are by Howard Schatz from his book Water Dance. It’s my favorite photography book, combining my love of dance, underwater, and fashion. Many of the photos are nudes, but the few with costumes or fabric are breathtaking. The second image is scanned from my crappy scanner, so I apologize for the quality. You should buy the book (the link is to amazon and they only have the hard cover, but I own a paper cover that was much less expensive).
There are several different publications of Lewis Hyde’s 1979 book The Gift, and they all have different subtitles. The above version is the one I am reading, with the subtitle “Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.” The 1983 version reads “Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property” and another recent publication reads “How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World.” I read rave reviews of this book, and bought it thinking it would open me up to this whole new way of looking at creativity. Well I’m halfway through and I am not enlightened. So far, I have read 175 pages of an anthropological look at ancient gift culture. I’m hoping it’s going to eventually tie into art and creativity in a profound way that will effect me deeply. But I can tell you, without those subtitles, I probably wouldn’t still be reading…