I worked at a marketing agency for just under a year, and in under a year I managed to quit 3 times. Out of the 4 times I thought about it.
I could never really figure out why I wanted to quit so many times.
But looking back, I realized there was something about working at that agency that just didn’t sit quite right with me.
Things were just a bit too templated. “Different” was discarded in heavy favour of being boringly the same.
And I think somewhere in this arid desert of billings-driven sameness, I lost my mojo.
I lost my confidence. I lost my outlandish sense of humour. I became robotic in the way I talked and communicated with people. I nearly developed a taste for greed.
But in the end I couldn’t do it.
And it’s not because I’m too good for “corporate greed” or whatever SJWs are complaining about when it comes to capitalism. I think capitalism’s done amazing things for humanity.
But I cannot stand being forced to act in ways that are incongruent with… well my gut, for starters.
I can’t work at a place that lacks integrity. I can’t work at a place that doesn’t value divergent thinking and truly chaotic creativity. I couldn’t be at a place that lacked a high tolerance for foolish risk.
I’ve always been the court jester. And while that’s led to many embarrassing moments in my life, I also know that trying to contain this inner desire to make others laugh (even at my own expense) only amplifies its strength, till it comes bursting out in unpredictable ways. Like quitting 2 months after getting a promotion.
For the artist. The creative person who lives on self-exploration through whatever medium of art. You cannot sacrifice your creative soul for the benefits of conformity, no matter how lucrative.
There is no substitute for being able to put out work that you believe in. There’s no substitute for doing what looks and feels right to you.
There’s no substitute for chasing meaning in life and going after the things that you might actually rather do than have sex with the girl of your dreams.
Because being able to be creative in your own way is pretty much like making love. Only better.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore money. And it’s not just because you need money to survive. In a way, it’s really more a matter of what the money indicates to you about your art. That is, money is a way of telling you whether or not your creativity is meaningful.
Because art can’t just be meaningful to the artist. I would say any art that an artist creates is immeasurably larger than the artist himself. The artist is simply the messenger, and not by any means the author of the message.
So what is the effect of your message. How is it contributing to humanity?
It’s ironic, because I don’t think real art is based primarily on how it stands to benefit others. Art that we really appreciate — the songs we listen to the and the paintings we pay heaps of money for — emerges from the depths of some dark place that doesn’t exist. And it’s precisely that novelty… the lack of conscious engineering and configuration that makes something artistic vs. something else you copied off of a competitor and pawned off as your own purely for a bigger bottom line.