Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Creative Life: Geography is No Longer Our Master

Technique Tuesday

The was a time (now past thanks to real-estate development and immigration) when I was related to nearly half of small town in south-western Utah. Visiting there as a child, I felt, like Luke Skywalker says of Tatooine, that I'd come to one of the places farthest from the bright center of the galaxy. [Except there was so little light pollution that the Milky Way blazed in its starry band across the summer nights and it was actually easier to see the bright center of the galaxy there than from other, more civilized places.]

Now, thanks to telecommunications and significantly improved roads and freeways, that corner of Utah is a bedroom community for Las Vegas.

Austin Kleon's seventh point in his presentation, How to Steal Like an Artist, is, "Geography is no longer our master."
"I grew up in the middle of a cornfield in Southern Ohio. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was hang out with artists. All I wanted to do was get the heck out of southern Ohio and get someplace where something was happening.

"Now I live in Austin, Texas. A pretty hip place. Tons of artists and creative types everywhere.

"And you know what? I’d say that 90% of my mentors and peers don’t live in Austin, Texas. They live on the internet."

We live, at least in the developed world, in an age of pervasive interconnectivity.

Distance no longer prevents you from seeing the great works (though there is something ineffable about seeing it in its actual setting).

The accident of location no longer dictates whether or not you may associate with other creative people.

The tyranny of space no longer prevents you from studying with the masters.

The confines of your current community no longer keep you from finding the audience who responds most strongly to your work.

In short your latitude and longitude no longer excuse you from your calling to live the creative life.


Image: luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net