I’m really lucky to know so many creative people. They look at life from interesting angles, and make sense of the world in ways that make me feel OK with all the craziness that’s out there.
But...and there’s always a but, isn’t there?
I’m seeing so many of my creative friends struggling at the moment. Times are tough and it always amazes me how well creative people manage in hard times, but I’m seeing so many talents being wasted. People who could be doing amazing things are being held back, either by the need to earn a living any way possible, or by gatekeepers who constantly shut them out.
Over the past few years I’ve been really struggling with sudden changes to the work I was doing and the way I was able to earn a living. I’ve gone from earning decent money and being well respected for the creative work I was doing, to struggling back at the bottom of the heap – and all because of one government decision to ‘cut the creative stuff’.
I’ve had to evolve very quickly, and part of this has meant sharing my skills with others. I’ve loved running workshops and teaching students all the things I’ve picked up over the years – BUT (yes another one of those) – it’s creatively exhausting. Giving away so much is leaving me drained.
I went to Albania once. It’s a country that was broken and its people were drained of all colour in their lives. The old regime was chucked out and a new president was chosen. He was an artist. There was no money to rebuild the country, but the people needed a sign that things could get better. So what did the artist/president do? He painted all the buildings in the capital city bright colours. That simple creative act gave people hope again.
I need to do something big to get myself back on track. I need to metaphorically paint my house bright colours. I have no idea what I’m going to do yet, but I’m sure when I get a moment to myself I’ll come up with something creative. I'll keep you posted.
And to all my fellow creatives who are struggling at the moment – keep doing whatever you have to do to survive, BUT don’t forget to leave a little for yourself. You are the folks who put colour into everyone’s lives.