Middle Aged Crazy is about reinventing yourself, not a bad idea if you haven’t tried it. Recently I’ve been writing about some of my superficial changes like losing weight, changing my wardrobe and even riding a new bike, but true change comes from the inside. True reinvention comes when you begin to see yourself (and the world) in a different way. There has, in fact, never been a time when Releasing Your Creative Beast has been easier, we are in the midst of a new Renaissance, a golden age for creative people. Are you playing along or simply watching?
There have never been more tools, information or less barriers to master your craft, get your work out there, to find your audience. Technology has made it possible for a single musician to sound like an entire orchestra, for a writer to write without a trash can full of crumbled drafts, for the dancer to see himself on video for instant feedback. Youtube, Itunes and Print on Demand allow you to get your work to the public with virtually no barriers or costs, anyone who wants to produce work can get it out there. The gatekeepers have been vanquished.
You know, the gatekeepers, the people who set themselves up to judge your work, American Idol opens a new season without Simon Cowell and that’s not a coincidence. Simon represents the gatekeepers of the world, the editors who don’t open your manuscripts, the college professor who tells you you’ll never be a writer, the record company exec who makes more money than the artist. Yes indeed, the system has been turned upside down. The new televisions will play Youtube video as well as network sitcoms, your Ipod and cell phone play through your car radio and blogs replace newspapers. Business models have been sacked and burned, revolutions do that. It’s no coincidence that no- talent critic Simon has been replaced by artists, Viva la revolution!
Oh, did I mention money? That’s a problem, isn’t it? Scarcity raises prices, the current glut of creative work means that more of us will create while fewer get paid, mob rule is a double edged sword. Does that mean you stop creating? No. New business models will emerge, good artists will recognize them. The artistic square dance is currently being called by 14 year olds editing films on I Movie, by 54 year old bloggers and search engines spiders.
You create because you have to, because your Beast will burn a hole in you if you don’t. I bought a new car this week and the technological breakthroughs since my last new vehicle 4 years ago are astounding, cars are being designed by artists. Artists are emerging everywhere, the lady who waits on you at the DMV might go home and paint, your accountant could be an actor, your next door business man neighbor a talented carpenter. Creative people don’t lean back and watch anymore, they lean forward and participate.
The age of sitting back and being entertained by mass media is coming to an end as mass media itself dies. What replaces it? Creative people and their wonderful work, that’s what. I hope you’ll grab a mitt and get in the game, we’ve been waiting for you!