Blog / "The Tense Duality" that governs every creative career
Oct 17 2012
"The Tense Duality" that governs every creative career
[Exhibit A: My more personal side]
[Exhibit B: the gapingvoid mission]
One of the better things I ever wrote was The Sex And Cash Theory, something to explain how to realistically balance the need to pay the bills with the need to do something creative with your life. It ended up being a key idea in Ignore Everybody.
“The creative person basically has two kinds of jobs: One is the sexy, creative kind. Second is the kind that pays the bills. Sometimes the assignment covers both bases, but not often.”
“This tense duality (between these two extremes) will never be transcended.” Even if I know that to be true (Hell, I pretty much wrote an entire book on it), most days I still struggle with it.
But we all do, artist or non-artist, creative or non-creative. “This tense duality” is what one of mankind’s great books, The Bhagavad Gita is also really all about: Poor ol’ Arjuna would like nothing better than a quiet life of spiritual contemplation, but his duties as an up-and-coming warlord keep getting the way. So Heavenly Lord Krisna comes down from On High and tells Arjuna, well, get used to it, Kiddo. This tense duality is in the DNA of Creation. Hence the Dharma, hence Karma. By the end of the book, Arjuna “gets” it. Happy Ending.
My personal “tense duality” is a lot less tense than it used to be, Thank God. It used to be “silly advertising day job by day, drawing silly cartoons on the backs of business cards for fun by night”. Now the duality is more, my wee “business card doodles” on the personal side (See photo above), the external side is the “Transform Office Art“ mission (See video above) that gapingvoid is on.
And I’ve grown to treasure the duality. Every time I’ve tried to permanently wear just one hat, the personal hat or the business hat, I get bored silly within a week. The work seems to need the constant dialogue between the inner and outer.
But like I said, I think we all have that. Finding that sweet spot where that never-ending dialogue can exist happily forever, is one of THE great tasks (and gifts) our brief life gives us.
When you have enough, you are thankful. When you are thankful, you have enough. A friend of gapingvoid, Peter Diamandis, founder of the ‘X-prize‘, wrote a book entitled “Abundance”. The main thesis of the book? That human well...