I want you guys to meet "School." The place where a lot of creative shaming begins. Sad, right? When I was in school the last time I was on the honor roll I was 12 years old. That was only one semester (The final one). I brought home my first F's ever at that age also. 4 classes I was failing. My mom flipped the fuck out of course and grounded me. I was forced to do school work in my room and all I could think is that this shit is so stupid. I didn't want to be grounded for all of the summer so that's why my 2nd semester was so great. I had an early understanding of how school teaches kids bullshit. I don't resent my parents but I grew up in a household during my high school years that repressed my creativity. They let me play the Saxophone and play sports when I was in elementary and middle school because those activities are rarely frowned upon and are societal norms but I could never do what I really wanted in high school because of the fear that it would be unacceptable and it doesn't make money. Everything was college or bust. If you don't go to college and wear a suit to an office you'll be a failure. No one would outright say that but it's heavily implied.
Not one adult I knew growing up told me that you would be okay if you don't go to college. My parents support anything I do now because I'm an adult and they have a better understanding of who I am today but as a kid if it wasn't a "norm" then it was iffy. I just wanted to write raps, create jokes that may one day be on "The Simpsons" and learn how to DJ but I knew that shit wasn't flying because of the grades I was getting. I bet if I went to a school for the arts I'd bet my last dollar I'd be quite the scholar. Art was where my mind has always been. I don't give a fuck about Algebra or American History. The shit all lies anyway. I grew up in a time where all adults would rush you into choosing what career you want to pursue. If you said "I don't know" then all hell breaks loose and they mount more pressure on you to hurry up and choose something. You even had to be careful on what profession you chose and basically tell adults what they want to hear. If you said "I want to draw" then the judgement would come in because that's not a great way to make money in their eyes. Not all adults were like this. Some were really good at letting kids find their way and discovering themselves. School is usually where the creative shaming starts unless you have parents and family members that are dicks and they've been shaming your creativity since birth.
I only seen glimpses of school letting my creativity shine in preschool and Kindergarten. Mainly because of playdoh and show and tell but even then they'd put limits on things I did. Like why can't my Elephant be blue mothafucka? I'm the nigga coloring it! I don't want it to be Grey. I want the fucking Elephant to be blue! Everything is very routine which is a creative souls kryptonite. Each grade you go up your creativity is killed more and more. Bit by bit. You study people in the textbooks they give you that do bold, brave, creative things but god forbid you do the same. You will be crucified. You're wrong. Schools teach you to play it safe. No risks. They want you to waste time. Just teach me how to do taxes, pay bills, financing, outdoor survival skills and how to do simple maintenance on a car and leave me alone. SURPRISSSSSE! They don't do that either. They teach you how to be dependent.
The reason I'm talking about school so much is because this is where the majority of your asshole bosses at your job you hate get the mentality they have today. I just had a conversation with my supervisor (cool dude) at my job last night and he asked me do I want to be promoted to being a supervisor. I respectfully declined because of my passion for writing and I told him I just don't have a passion for the job and if I don't have a passion for it then I'm just going to half ass the job and be even more miserable. I already hate my job now. If I add more responsibility by accepting this promotion I'm going to go fucking insane. He start talking about how I could make about $30,000 -$35,000 a year which is a lot for me because I have no kids and I'm single. He implied my happiness and passion is worth putting aside for this money at a job I dislike. This is what I'm talking about. He is shaming my creativity because it's not making me 35 grand a year yet. He's not doing this out of malicious intent or hate but it's still creative shaming. Money is cool and all but it's not the motivation for EVERYTHING I do. It's just a bonus.
What people at these jobs need to understand about creatives that work with them is that if they weren't paid to do the job they wouldn't fucking do it. They're doing this to survive so don't expect a creative to feel as positively as you do about the job. Your paths and motivation are different. Neither is right or wrong. It's so crazy that jobs don't value creativity. They're picking up where school left off. As an adult who's an creative you notice the trap. It really is a set up in my opinion. They teach us how to be slaves and not how to be owners. They give you just enough knowledge to keep you around but never enough for you to truly prosper. Let me give you a better understanding of why as a creative working a regular job is a fucking nightmare.
- I work at my own pace. Slow paces are usually bad at 9 to 5's. My pace depends on my mind.
- The work isn't fulfilling. I can be employee of the month for a year straight and get all the bonuses in the world I'm still going to be a sad boy. It's not fulfilling
- My mind is scattered so ideas come randomly. Random ideas at jobs are frowned upon. They need ideas on the spot. Creativity doesn't work like that. It's unpredictable.
- Being repetitive is the best way to annoy the shit out of a creative. Jobs do the same shit day in and day out. It's a bitch ass carnival with no funnel cake or turkey legs called Repetitiveland!
The money never matches the actual work output at jobs. I know there's somedays people feel like they did a easy $200 days worth of work. You not getting that shit though. Creatives set the price for the amount of work they do so that's why you're seeing a lot of creatives and people in general quit jobs.
I like having my own work space. Playing Nirvana or N.E.R.D while I work. Being comfortable while I create. The flexibility to move from project to project. You don't get that freedom at jobs.
Let's touch back on family and friends. My parents are cool so they don't really shame my creativity. They've adjusted to the times. My friends always been cool but I still see a lot of really talented artists get shamed by their family and friends for being a creative and pursuing a career in their respective creative field. It's bad in the black community. It's hundreds of years of terrible conditioning that is the root of that. They're taught to work for people. It's all they know and see. Especially our elders. They see that you don't have a routine pay period and they panic and judge what you do. You have to give us that trust. Show some faith. It helps us. Continuously being on our backs about our passion and how it's not a regular job hurts more than helps. This isn't the 60's or 70's. The internet has given every creative a shot. They just have to put in the hours of work. The internet has given everyone a chance to at least make enough money to survive doing what they love. It's truly a blessing. This is like our gold rush.
Just remember. Everyone is different. Everyone isn't passionate about the same things. Just show us respect and let us live. Stop creative shaming.
*Every photo is of creatives that inspire me*