Creativity in a vacuum

By Jon Hillenbrand In Stories

fear and calm

I’ve sometimes been asked if there’s a difficulty in my life between being creative and paying the bills, often referred to as “whoring yourself out for the Man” or “selling out”.  Here are my thoughts on this.

I think there’s a balance that all creative people need to achieve between what pays the bulls and what is creatively satisfying.  I’ve found that my illusions about my bosses are different but semi-accurate in that they want something creative, but only if it is appropriate.  And that’s their line dictated both by their own fear and by their bosses.  So it’s one thing to make a French New Wave film, but most people won’t get it.  So as creators of content, we need to remember our audience…not to pander to them, but to understand them so that we can usher them in to a larger world if expanded perception instead of showing them something and hoping they “get it”.

But achieving that balance is impossible because creative people don’t want a balance, they want unlimited freedom.  But working within a confine of some sort actually helps in a lot of ways because it expands our skills at communicating to those who are more limited in their willingness to perceive.

What do you think?