Friday, 2 October 2015

So Apparently Quitting Your Job To Pursue A Creative Dream Is Hard

This insight brought to you by Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger, those two South African ad people who left their careers for a year to go travel.

(And presumably find themselves and/or the lost treasure of the Sierra Madre.)

Travel and accommodation are not cheap things, and it seems that having the adventure of a lifetime can also mean cleaning toilets and doing rather un-creative jobs.

It’s easy to pile on at this point. If you were jealous before of their travelling and beautiful photos and how easy it seemed to be for them, now is your chance to feel a bit smug. Certainly when I read the first article on them I felt more than a tinge of green.

But actually this revelation makes me like their story far better. All too often on AdWeek and the like, you read these “quirky” stories about advertising people, especially young would-be advertising people, doing something to get attention. You know the kind.

“Let’s take your award on a trip to New York!”
“Let’s go around Cannes being quirky and documenting the experience!”
“Let’s send armed mercenaries to deliver my portfolio to the ECD!”

It’s all very well and good. Some of those projects are something worth doing, worth a read.

(Particularly the mercenaries one, if you haven’t already read it. It’s like, super quirky.)

My issue comes when you realise that the underlying assumption of so many of these creative efforts is “have plenty of money”.

There’s nothing wrong with wealth. It’s just not a shortcut to creativity.

So I’m glad when I hear an honest answer from these two – that creative projects and adventures are great, but they aren’t easy. And they shouldn’t be easy.

Money helps, but it doesn’t teach you how to work without that monetary help. Doing that cool thing you like with money – that’s easy. Doing that cool thing you like for money – well, that takes a bit more work.

You can find their post, and blog, here.

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