May 13, 2018
Why creative people apologize so much
As an apologizing creative person, I've known a lot of people like me, and I recognize it readily. I'll see if I can explain it in this blog post. If you disagree with me, I apologize - see, I'm doing it already, as I create this post! It's always on my mind, and it's been all of my life.
I've been a creative person since I've been old enough to lisp the words "I need more crayons!" and I continued this attitude all of my life, as a graphic designer, and cartoonist, along with many other things that most people wouldn't even consider "creative". And yes, there are people like me out there, and yes, they're very weird, and if you're one of them you may find yourself doing things that the vast majority of people don't do, and can't possibly understand. So it's important to have an apology ready.
Most people are spectators. Visit any sporting event and look at the ratio of people watching compared to people playing the game and you'll see that. When I realized this, I knew that socially I was in trouble. I had no interest in watching other people do stuff, I wanted to do it. If you showed me a comic book, I wanted to learn how to draw super heroes. If I saw someone playing a guitar, I wanted to learn how to play guitar. Creative people are never passive, they're always in motion, and they learn at an early age to apologize all of the time. I was an antsy, squirming kid, and I still am.
Sorry, my drawings aren't better, sorry I don't know how to play that song on the guitar, etc. etc. It's the life of a creative person. And I especially like cranky artists who say, "I don't need to apologize to anyone!" because the apology is implied.
I've known a lot of creative people, and they have lots of apologies, and excuses for what they do. They may be restoring a classic car for a car show, and for most people (who are just spectators), this makes no sense. So there's an apology, or an excuse, built into their conversation. It makes the rest of the people comfortable - thinking it's all about making money, or becoming famous, or something that most people, as spectators, can understand. Creative people don't do what they do for money or fame, they do it because they simply must. That's why so many creative people, like actors, who are rich and famous keep doing what they do long after most people would be satisfied with the fame and the money. Most people miss the point.
Speaking for myself, there isn't enough money and fame in the world to drive me. I always have many creative projects going on, and if you're a creative person I love to talk about them. If you're not, I apologize.
Posted by Brad Hall