Tan just had a visitor: a cat whom we call Grey Cat. He came to the window and, at first, Tan didn’t notice him. (We think it’s a him). You see, Tan was busy chasing Mouse. It requires intense focus. But eventually Tan stopped in his chase, seeing Grey Cat there in the window, and jumped up to greet him. Only, Grey Cat wasn’t really looking at Tan. Grey Cat was looking at Mouse. I lifted Mouse up to the window. Grey Cat was transfixed. Then I realised that being an outdoor stray cat must get really boring. Nothing to chase. I always imagined that they chase the squirrels and rats and mice, but they’re too quick. With the sheer volume of street cats in SE Portland, if you’re a slow or relaxed squirrel, you’re a dead squirrel.
I think a big part of creativity is doing what you want. It’s a kind of personal freedom. Why would you go through all the trouble of learning a creative practice, doing it enough to make something worthwhile, all at the expense of a stable career, if it wasn’t something you wanted to do? Well, some answers come to mind: to please people; to please people; to please people; to please people; to please people. To name but a few. Pleasing people is validating, it makes you feel good because they feel good. It’s makes you feel cool because they think you’re cool. You might even be trying to please people who’ll never see what you’re making, because you still have their voices in your head.
In order to create in a way that is sustainable, you’ve gotta be unafraid to displease people.