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In the spirit of... - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
In the spirit of...
This morning, I opted out of a trip to the studio and opted instead to watch some of the "special features" from the Spirited Away DVD. One of these was a Japanese television special about the making of the film, and as I watched, I kept returning to the idea that it must be incredible to be part of a creative collective.

I'm convinced that I'm not well suited to the bureaucratic machine. Yes, I'm capable of the work, and yes, I have talents that lend themselves to the environment. It's just that there's nothing compelling about the work. There's nothing to inspire me to spend long hours to create something there. Nothing that says, "This is the work that I do." Nothing to create a sense of community or elan. Like all of my coworkers, I sleepwalk through my days.

Here's the rub.... I don't think I'm terribly creative, so while part of me desperately wants to be part of something like Studio Ghibli, another is fairly well certain that there's no place for me there. I don't think of myself as an artist. I don't think I have the mindset or talent or originality or whatever elusive thing it is that makes me look at someone and think, "Artist!" I'm just trying to figure out who I am and what I like.

I worry when I start thinking this way. If I continue down this path, everything ends up seeming futile because the standards of comparison are so high. The weird thing is that if I skirt the edges of the path, keeping the end at the back of my mind, I can sometimes find my way. Thinking of the end outright makes the exercise of throwing a thousand bowls seem almost as pointless as sitting at a desk. There really is a razor's edge here.

As a complete aside, I was deeply amused by a conversation Miyazaki Hayao had with his staff about the scene where Haku-as-dragon falls. He described to them how eels flail as they were gutted, and when he saw blank faces around the table, he asked if any of them had actually seen eels being prepared before. Answered with silence, he laughed to himself and said, "Japan is doomed."

It sounded like something I would say.
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Comments
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: August 21st, 2004 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think you've just stated for yourself what you need to do: Focus on the now of your creative endevours instead of the possible end-point that they might lead to. As I said yesterday, to me, you are an artist because of the ways you think and experience the world. Your creativity comes through not in a single medium, but in your cooking, your brewing, your pottery, and your writing. I have no doubt that you will find other mediums to experiment with in the future. Your work is not satisfying the part of you that allows you to be an artist in all these other areas: the desire to create. Perhaps you have found the tack you need to take in that area, as well, in this post. Find employment that allows you to create, preferably in concert with others. Don't focus exclusively on the product that you will be creating, but on the process that you will be a part of. Look for jobs that allow you that process.
futurenurselady From: futurenurselady Date: August 22nd, 2004 07:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Helping with the beaurocracy or business end of things in conjunction with people who create is also something you may want to look into. I know I will never have the math skills needed to go to medical school (and possible even nursing school), but working at Dr. Englander's office is very rewarding and purposful for me.
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