One idea loosely touched on in the radio interview I mentioned in my last post was the fact that a creative mind and a business-savvy mind rarely exist inside the same head. The romantic stereotype of artists, writers, musicians, etc., living in garrets and scrabbling for absinthe money is the stuff of good novels and bad movies. I'm well aware that the exceptions are legion, but I'm still pretty convinced that the average 'art brain' has neither the hardwiring nor the desire to do both things well. Then again, maybe I'm just making excuses for myself by tarring my art homies with the same brush. But no matter how we do it, we all need to pay the rent, right?
When I first lived away from home I shared a shabby two-bedroom apartment with two friends in Victoria. I was a typically idealistic, naive art student at the time, and secretly admired older, wiser Dale because he seemed to typify the brooding creative type, sitting up late with his books making notes, chain smoking and drinking screw-cap wine. So when he told me that he aspired to be a letter carrier I thought he was kidding. He wasn't being facetious, though, and it jarred my preconceptions enough that I never forgot it. Over the years I have re-visited the idea and it has slowly dawned on me that he was onto something. Long before I realized the wisdom in his words, though, I became a teacher, a job so demanding that I didn't have the energy or discipline to even look at my sketchbook at day's end, even if the desire and need continued to torment me.
Earlier this week, Di sent me a link to this great post about armchair economics. Loving it, I did a little blog browsing and discovered the following video clip of the blog's author, Murr Brewster. Proof in the pudding. I can't tell you how many masterpieces I have painted in my head while wearing out shoes on the local trails and streets with my dogs, and feel as if I've missed my calling. (N.B. Dale may have been a man of rare insight but the picture lies: he was no priest.)