Thursday, April 26, 2007

How creative are you?

I've been reading a good post by Andrea, "Maslow meets
the parents on Parliament Hill", which has several
themes in it, all centred around the arts. (Andrea
posted this on 16 April, BTW.)

Many years ago now, my parents steered me away from any
career in the arts, such as painting, and encouraged me
to choose between medicine or law as possible future
careers. They reckoned that I’d face years of poverty
trying to earn a living from something like painting or
similar creative work, though they both highly valued
the arts – they both enjoyed looking at modern and
classical painting, writing, reading serious literature
and listening to classical music – their main interests
outside work. In their retirement years they took to
travelling abroad quite a lot, to soak up European
culture (which is something I like doing).

The basic messages I received and took on board were to
find a job with good financial security, and in my spare
time to develop similar interests to those of my dad and
mum. And with a wife and four kids to see at home after
work, plus the maintenance of the house and garden, most
of my artistic/creative interests were shelved.

My dad was a keen photographer, which is something I’m
very keen on too. As I use mainly the automatic settings
on the camera (a Canon Digital Rebel), I focus my
attention instead on the composition and lighting,
especially when I’m taking portraits – people don’t like
to be standing around for ages while I’m fiddling with
the camera controls. I would like to go on and take
black and white portraits of people in subdued lighting
– to do more creative stuff. I like the way you can get
more or less instant results with photography, whereas
with painting I’d be spending 3 weeks plus on just one
painting. Who’s got the spare time to do that? :)

I have spent some time learning to play acoustic and
electric guitars on and off over the years … I’m not
very good at playing, but I get a lot of pleasure out
of jamming along with a couple of mates. I’ve
occasionally thought about writing books for children,
(like Harry Potter), but I haven’t hit on any original
characters as yet.

I see blogging as fairly creative and challenging
(especially when it comes to looking at and using HTML
code – which looks like hieroglyphics to me). I didn’t
start off blogging with the thought that I’d carry on
for any length of time, but blogging’s become
addictive and I enjoy reading other people’s comments
(and adding my own).

In recent years I’ve become a lot more sociable than
before, and less shy when meeting people – I now get
more of a buzz from chatting with folk, which I now
like more than sitting at home reading something, or
playing guitar or doing jobs around the house (all of
which can feel like solitary confinement at times).

Coming back to Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs, and looking
at Maslow’s triangle/pyramid shown in Andrea’s blog, I
would put the top three items all at the same level
with each other ... for me, they’re all equally
important, though others may not agree with me.
What do you think?


Blogger angel said...

its very interesting indeed.
and i think the hierarchy changes with age (and sometimes with circumstances) as well.
my folks also steered us away from careers where we'd potentially battle financially, and i sometimes wonder what could have been different had they not. as for my own son, i've adopted a different approach, as long as he's happy and doing something he loves he could be living in a tent on a beach!
i try to support him in everything he's interested in and if he's interested for long enough we discuss the career options around it.

4:35 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I missed this last time I visited! Just wanted to say that I did try a traditional career (teaching) and did it for years, but if I were to choose a traditional career again, it would be medicine, no question. I'm interested in psychiatry and sports medicine, but I think being a GP would never get dull, and I'd love the chance to build relationships with patients and their families.

6:28 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Hi Angel & Andrea -- I've just spoted your comments -- thanks for those. With our own kids, we've adopted a liberal approach, encouraging them to do what they really like. Our eldest teaches stage-fight directing at 3 drama schools, does gardening and also plays the traditional harp. L. went in for business & finance, and got well paid work in London managing a computer help desk. She took time out to do a degree in fashion design and is now looking after a baby full-time. R. is an environmental health inspector, and has taken some time off to have a baby, and S. plays and teaches classical guitar (and does p/time admin work at Leeds Uni to boost her income -- so they have done what they really wanted to do.

12:22 AM  

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