Monday, January 21, 2008

Entering the Creative World

My internship with WYA was unexpectedly one of the more creative phases of the past few years. Suppressed creativity is like a dormant volcano; it will stew and explode when the time is right. I'm so happy that originality is a requirement for my job right now.
But to always think outside the box can be quite disconcerting. I do not understand how this:

WYA Christmas Card, front

WYA Christmas Card 2007, back

which took less than ten minutes, made the people here so happy. (Geez, I’ve had longer showers.) Doing THIS a hundred times, on the other hand:

Here, I'm holding a pair of forceps, dissecting an embryonic mouse brain to get its hippocampus. Don't ask.

took months (I’m not even sure if it’s done yet), yet didn’t do much. (I'm happy that it turned me vegetarian, though.)

FYI, this “Christmas Card Moment” has since leaked into other projects. I love the WYA logo. I walk into New York City and I can see it everywhere. I'm getting a little high on design; I bug everyone in the office here.

I am so confused. I used to avoid things that came too easily because I questioned the good that they do. But now, I’m thinking it's better to be extremely productive with something that comes naturally. At least everyone’s happy, and my sanity is in check. Plus I’m sleeping better. Whatever path I will embark on, it has to be based on actual talent and instead of relying primarily on the work of other people.

I’m also a bit terrified of this new artsy path. No one wants to be a starving artist, you guys. There are times when I am tempted to go to the subway or Central Park and juggle for a couple of hours for a few bucks. (I actually would, but it’s freezing, and my tropical butt cannot take it. Perhaps in the spring. I’ll announce the dates.) I also dread being among Depressed Artistes -- artists who can only see the world for its ugliness. But neither do I want to return to the land of smart geeks who may or may not care about other people, although I miss my pipettes.

I feel like I'm intellectually gay -- someone who's in between.

On the bright side, the satisfaction of having a written article or a T-shirt design at the end of the day is incomparable. You do it; it’s done. You might have to edit, but the original output remains. The work is irrefutable because I printed it out. And after years of having to listen to people’s blithering drivel all the time, having to memorize gigabytes of information that anyone can find in a book, making sure your competitors do not get ahead of your data, and being around obnoxious pseudo-intelligentsia with bloated egos, I’ve come to a disturbing realization:

Dude, I just really want to make stuff.