It is that ever annoying question you get asked when you meet someone for the first time or when you are creating small talk at a party or event, “so what do you do?” We all know that feeling of being judged and categorized by what we do for a living. If you are lucky and you are creative in a way that is easy to follow and categorize, then your life in this realm will be much less complicated. If you can simply say, “I’m a painter” or “I’m a graphic designer” then you will stumble far less over conversations at parties.
However, being creative is very seldom that easy in this day and age. It is a messy existence that requires constant explanation to those outside the know. I paint, but I don’t consider myself a painter. I write, but I am not 100% a writer. The new term that has come up over the past several years to rectify this dilemma is to call yourself a “creative”. Ok, I’ll bite.
The term “creative” loosely references the field of creative freelance professions like graphic design and photography, but it can be applied to much more. It still gets a raised eyebrow or two at parties from older people who would rather you give an answer they can relate to like doctor, lawyer, or mechanic. Technically, I’m a linguist. I mean I have a Ph.D. in linguistics. I feel weird self-applying the title of Dr. or Linguist, but it occasionally happens.
For the practical purposes of this blog, I am a painter. However, if you had to really push it, I am many things. All of which I do. None of which I use to define myself. I am other. I am in the margins making you feel uncomfortable because to define my existence requires you to rethink and question your own. You can’t just get a straight answer and feel like you have some idea of what makes me tick. You have to actually roll up your sleeves and get to know me. I like to think that most people find that experience worth it.
So, if you are still reading, then congratulations, you are clearly ready for the challenge of trying to understand a rather unorthodox approach to art, language, writing, and a general view of the universe that you may or may not agree with. Just do what I do, try to enjoy the ride.
As an artist, I have a degree in graphic design. I have worked in the tattoo industry as a tattooer. I have worked in photography. I have done various branches of design at one point or another. It just follows this crazy unorthodox path that is my life. I can do all of these things but am not categorized or defined by them.
This is my journey. I am just drifting through the creative ether. I am simply looking for a balanced existence where I can find that place where the verbal and visual meet. I write. I paint. I am verbal creative and a visual creative. This is my journey.