Report of our EXpedition

Monday, June 30, 2008

Why is it so hard for creative people to succeed?

I ask this question, after I've seen so many creative people struggling, and I dare say suffering, in order to to fulfill their creative dreams. Suffering, although a harsh word, describes a daily ritual to to maintain a roof over your head, eat, pay for transportation, pay bills, hopefully sleep, and finally find the resources and time to work on their creative craft.

These are not hobbies for which someone might do to consume their free time. Most of the creative endeavors that these individuals pursue, have required years of training, education, and tremendous financial resources. The time, effort, and talent put into creative work is no less than that which a doctor, lawyer, engineer or any other professional has put into their careers. But creative people do not garner the direct admiration and praise for their struggles.

Just imagine hearing we love your work but we don't have anything for you, come back with something new, or your style doesn't fit, only to have to go to work at a clothing store, restaurant or bookstore in order to make ends meet. I know that there are those who would say that it is your fault for choosing such an unstable profession. It's your fault for not going into a field with a good salary.

To be honest, creative people could have just graduated high school and gotten a basic job for thirty years. Creative people could have gotten training in construction, became plummers or electricians. Creative people could have majored in law, medicine or engineering in college. Creative people have the same multitude of career choices as all people, but chose to do something that not only moves themselves, but enhances and even enlightens the lives of others.

Without creative people we wouldn't have films like Wall-E, Star Wars, or 2001. Without creative people there would be no To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, or Watership Down. Without creative people there would not be a Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, or Harlem Boys Choir. Without creative people there would not be an Alvin Ailey Dance Company or New York City Ballet. We would not know people like Picasso, Miles Davis, Mozart, Frank Lloyd Wright and many others. Creative people design the cars we drive, the homes we live in, and the chairs we sit on. Creative people make the games that we play and the movies we watch. Creative people are responsible for the clothes we wear and even the containers for our food.

Creative people are responsible for the look, sound, taste, and feel of most things that surround an make-up our lives.

So why aren't creative people given the respect and oportunity to make a living enriching everyone's lives?

This question is open to everyone.