“Where do [you] want to be in five or ten years? Do [you] want to die with the most toys, or do [you] want to die with the best life and experiences?”

- Tibor Kalman

a plan | sink or swim.


“My design team was hit by a tsunami...”

quote “I can't help feeling like it's all downhill in torrential rains...”

“I'm hoping I'm safe, but I guess I'll never know until the storm hits...”

Times are tough all over. Sink or swim, as they say.

What's next? Get another job in an over-hyped design studio? Accept that position as corporate creative director and help realize their vision of the next ultimate pet ecommerce site? Or, perhaps it is time to throw in the towel and move to a remote part of the coast to take up that long-held dream of being an artist.

Whatever the next step, the burning question is: will we all walk away from this older and wiser? Or will the industry continue to navigate the same treacherous waters that led to this mess in the first place? In the meantime, however, we need to find a way to deal with this “oh-I-feel-so-used-and-abused” feeling.

The truth is, this is not necessarily a quandary that is new to creative people. Granted this particular bout seems to sting a bit more than usual, with industry press and NASDAQ stock prices tracking the painful blow-by-blow. However, the classic battle of creative-spirit-vs-corporate-gain has been waged for ages, forcing bright and talented individuals to constantly re-evaluate why they got into this type of work in the first place.

Many creatives don't need a splash of cold reality in their face like a pink slip or a failed “revolution.” Fueled by vision and passion for their life's work, their drive often comes from within, leading to an endless cycle of self-examination and rediscovery. Without that cycle, they would rarely push themselves to greater heights, instead succumbing to “burn-out,” feeling their work is unimportant, their talents have been underappreciated, or, worse, exploited for someone elses' capitalistic gain.

As Tibor would say, “money isn't everything...” >>>


Illustration by Vanguard Studios, Bombay from the book "Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist"

[ &*$#@~! ]

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