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14 Feb

The Creative Struggle

David Rose in Schitt’s Creek clutching onto his sweater whilst snapping at Stevie that “Funky is a neon t-shirt that you buy at an airport gift shop next to a bejewelled iPhone case this is luxury”, perfectly sums up most of my life. I stare disparagingly at floral-clad hipsters as they mockingly ask me if I know what colour is, yes I know what colour is and I choose most gleefully to not wear any. If I wanted to look like a pile of reindeer poop I’d shimmy into a Doré or a Queenspark and call myself Marge.

Popular culture has in a small way destroyed the credibility of creative people the world round. We are seen as frivolous and ridiculous. As serious about our careers as Lindsey Lohan is about her acting. Yet most creatives I have had the pleasure of working with have been professional, extremely serious and dedicated to what they do.

My father is a fine artist who has forced himself out of bed at the same time every morning without a boss or anyone to tell him what to do, he has created anew, with dedication every day. It is as much a career to him as the person driving to work in a suit.

So how did it happen? How did we end up in this position where self-expression and chasing creative careers cause people to mock everything you do? I think as humans we are intrinsically afraid of things we don’t understand. I have had it my whole life, girls, who aren’t fashion forward feel they have to defend themselves against what they don’t know and bite back. Whereas the poor people who are standing out a bit with their choices are just doing what makes them happy and therefore are happy with other people’s expressions of themselves. This is the case at least with the people I know. There are definitely instances when creatives are just plain old assholes (sorry, no other word) as well. I don’t care that you wear what makes you happy and that you work in an office so why do you care that I wear all black and maybe sometimes don’t have a specific place to go and work.

Just a hint to those who aren’t creative or don’t always understand what we do, don’t knock what you don’t know. Life for a visually driven person is most of the time pure torture, we are so deeply defined by what we do and what we create it is a living breathing force. Each moment we are not creating, we are not living and every time someone fails to see what we are trying to achieve your tear into the very fabric of who we are. We tend to either snap back or retreat into our shell as a defence because we are just as confused by you as you are of us. I know when I’m shopping with Grant (the other half of me, cheesy I know) he will often get defensive when I go off about something I don’t like, and all I want to do is open up my brain and let him see what I see. It’s not about viciously tearing something down, I just can’t visually live with it. We have such a specific idea of how everything should look from the angle of the chair to where we put the toilet paper, it’s painful, it’s not a life for everyone. However, people don’t value your opinions as a visual person you get called silly or overboard or ridiculous and it hurts that they don’t have the courage to say I trust your opinion, please handle this.  I really want to pay you what you’re worth, would be nice to hear once in awhile.

Word to all the creative haters – don’t spend your days working in a beautiful office that a creative, mathematician and architect designed for you, don’t wear a sharp suit that not only looks amazing but works, as in you can walk and sit and live your daily life in it. Don’t eat that delicious layered sandwich at lunch, cause we don’t matter, and don’t you dare climb into that German engineered masterpiece that was created by crazy, passionate people. Don’t go home and climb into bed and nestle under beautiful sheets that were created for you and stare at the work of art hanging above your dresser. All these things are mere frivolous moments that you don’t deal with daily and that couldn’t possibly add to your life? 

Please do not get me wrong, I am terrible with organising, I am terrible with numbers and I failed at office jobs numerous times. When a doctor tells me to take a pill, I do. When an investment manager suggests how I invest my pennies, I listen.  I respect every hard working person out there trying to make a living, all I ask for is a little respect in return. 

 

Daniella du Plessis
1 Comment
  • Melu

    This blog post should be put up on a billboard. Everyone needs to know this!

    February 28, 2017 at 10:45 am Reply

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