The shape of our creative life
When somebody makes the comment, you’re all over the map, that’s not an insult, it’s a compliment.
Because none of us are fixed artistic entities. The world wants to govern our growth by insisting that we never diversify. People want to pathologize anything that’s diverse and experimental.
But the reality is, we’re not supposed to be one thing in this life. Having a clean and linear and tidy career narrative is extremely rare.
What’s important is that we honor our delight in variety. That we embrace a changing curriculum of own own making based on our promiscuous passions and pursuits of the moment.
And that we’re moving in any direction following the call of interests, in pursuit of genuine outgrowths of a blossoming new self.
My term for this is polyamorous creating, meaning, pursuing relationships with multiple creative projects, with a full knowledge and consent of all partners involved.
It’s not deviant or irresponsible, and it’s not a form of professional attention deficit disorder. It simply means giving ourselves permission to explore many new ways of being an artist.
Besides, when did we decide that being all over the map was a crime? We’re not running for president. Our electability as artists does not hinges on the consistency of our opinions and endeavors. We can have as much scope, range and breadth as we desire.
Byrne is renowned for the fertile conceptual brew that characterizes his diverse creative endeavors. In his book about how music works, he says that for him, diversification is about seeking out ways of stretching creatively. Diversity is not a business decision, it’s a way of staying interested.
The map is there for a reason. Be all over it.
It’s not wrong, it’s your right. In the end, all these twists and turns, they’re the shape of our creative life.
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