Creativity is courage. Taking a chance on yourself and your talents is courageous.
In a culture that rewards compliance, many people will call it other things: irresponsible, undisciplined, foolish. That is nothing more than them stifling their own creative courage. To snuff out yours is to justify their not tapping theirs.
What’s truly irresponsible is working away at a job you don’t enjoy that denies your interests and your humanity, only to make enough money to at some point procreate and bring more dullness into the world. A perpetual cycle of risk-averse sameness that creates more risk-averse same people.
What’s undisciplined is continuous spending on frivolous and environmentally disastrous shit you don’t need just to keep up with the Joneses. An attempt to use materialism to fill the hole inside yourself where a sense of purpose should be, that is undisciplined.
What’s foolish is setting your life up in a way that you can look back with regret rather than forward with anticipation and wonder.
Making a different way forward for yourself in a world that just wants you to fall into line is not easy, nor was it ever supposed to be. It’s a path fraught with sacrifice and hardship (unless you have rich parents, let me know if anyone super wealthy is looking to adopt an adult child). Your parents/friends/family/coworkers will try to dissuade you, somewhat nobly, because they don’t want you to suffer. What they fail to realize is that if you deny your creative urges now you don’t actually get rid of the suffering—you just push it off ’til later.
Whether it’s through a quarter/mid life crisis, traumatic life event, death of someone close to you or some other major happening, your course will be forcibly corrected at some point. However, if you are proactive and take stock of your real priorities and ambitions and stop catering to a system that may not serve you, you might stumble upon the direction of your joy and fulfillment sooner.
Creativity is not a choice. You merely choose whether to stuff it down and ignore it or grow your aptitudes and take a chance on yourself.
You may have noticed this post is not for those who don’t want to pursue a creative life. I have long ago stopped giving a shit about people who don’t understand my drive or my choices—we have no business working together and they are antithetical to my personal growth and progress (and I am also antithetical to theirs). So feel free to navigate away (although congrats if you got this far, might as well finish now).
This is a post to encourage those who are trying to cultivate something unique, exploratory and culturally valuable. That I may do my small part to ask them NOT TO GIVE UP and that we may push forward together towards a more fun and worthwhile reality. That we can all enjoy a world of surprises and creative rays pushing through the smog of homogeneity.
Creatives, I need you to keep trying, and I will too, because the minute one of us gives up we make it one person harder for the rest of us.
Act with creative courage and make things that are different. Keep investing in yourself and growing your skills and taking creative risks until something works out. Be courageous. Keep growing a pair. Be The Balls You Wish To See In The World. #BeTheBalls
#BeTheBalls is not about balls (other than that they're universally funny and you can't take yourself too seriously and that balls are colloquially synonymous with courage). The print on that jumpsuit could be anything (although in this case it is balls, see below).
But the point is: take creative risks, put unexpected elements on unexpected things and act with courage!