# 40 (2014) I Wish I Wasn’t Creative
I watched a graduate university speech by Neil Gaiman last week. He was talking to the arts grads of 2012 , giving them advice on the real world. He told his stories of hardship and success. Above all he said ‘Make good art’.
Making good art is not enough in our day and age. Back when he was a newbie, out in the real world, it was. Things were newer, talent was fewer and like Gaiman you didn’t need a degree to do it. Because art is art and skill came naturally if you had an artistic bent.
But like everything in education these days it’s measured not by talent but by statistics, league tables and the subjective opinion of academics wielding final grade certificates.
And it’s all bullshit. Very few creatives make enough money doing what they love no matter how you percieve their level of ability. Making good art – doing what you do best – may be your one and only love. But if you make it your job and if people don’t buy it or the market is just wrong, you may never be recognised for your talent or escape poverty. If your skill becomes a second place hobby in your life because you had to get a ‘real job’ where does that joy end, and the noose of creativity begin?
I wish I hadn’t been creative. I wish I had been happy to tow the line, content that a regular job paid enough to cover my bills, a social life and perhaps a holiday each year. Better still I wish I had been academic like my dad. I wish I hadn’t wanted different things to most people.
Maybe I’d make things for personal enjoyment or freelance on the side as I used to. Turning creativity into a product in our hand to mouth pound shop society turns it into a monster and makes you question that you ever had talent in the first place.
And that’s more damaging than not realising the potential of your skill. Because if you are creative and you can’t use your talent, what are you resigned to? And in that case what happens to the dream?