Creative artists, or anyone who engages in creative work, face a set of systemic barriers to sustained good work:
- The following unfortunate progression: 1) A creative mind makes something really great, something that didn't exist before and has the potential to change how people perceive and think about some part of the world. 2) The conventional minds that control resources agree to put it out there, but only if first they get to fuck it up.
- American education—elementary, secondary, higher—rewards obedience, work that can be gauged by irrelevant metrics, and answers instead of questions. It is no surprise that it mass produces adults who favor the average, the reassuring, the affirming, and the safe. Creative artists challenge that status quo, and millions of people, constrained by pervasive fear, back away from and on occasion actively oppose any such challenge.
- Institutions and structures of all sorts—governments, organized religion, school systems, universities, tribes, professions—abhor friction. Creativity produces friction. Artists produce friction. Untrammeled minds produce friction.
- The value of creative work is real, but often intangible and ineffable. Employers, distributors, and influencers most often lack the courage to foster what cannot be subjected to standard measurement, to a conventional calculation of return on investment.
More on this another day.