“Being An Artist is Alright. Some Other Jobs Are Alrighter”

On Q CBC Radio tonight, radio host Gill Deacon, talks to Darren O’Donnell, a Canadian novelist and performer and all around artist,  about this Facebook post and forum about the reality of being an artist. Here’s his Facebook post that started it all:

Wanted: strategies to convince young people that being an artist is actually not that interesting and that, when you’re 39, you’ll look at your friends who went into most other fields and be shocked that they’re actually doing really creative and meaningful stuff while you’re spending most of your time drunk at openings and launches within a small circle of other drunk people who only socialize at openings and launches.

O’Donnell has some interesting points about creativity in the real world, but I also love how Deacon pushes back and questions his motives: “Part of what you describe sounds like you being at a point in your career when you say,

‘I’m kind of fed up’…Everyone gets to a point in their career when they look around and all the other jobs look like they have more of what they wanted.”

Is O’Donnell experiencing career envy or is most every artist really just sending email?

I’ve definitely have experienced career envy.  Right now, after reading Rambunctioius Garden by Emma Marris, I wish had studied biology or ecology in college. In the world of plants and animals and how they all work and relate…there is still so much to discover. I’ll admit I’ve been in a bit of writing funk, and partly because I’m lacking faith in the empty page (and in myself) to discover. And for me, writing needs to be the act of discovery.

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