There are people in this world who come across as only caring about the fame something can bring them. Then there are those who quietly contribute to the world and aren’t concerned with their public image.
Is this vanity? Lust (yes, lust applies to more than just doing so after another person) or just a fleshly need for recognition? Or is it something different altogether? Not ever having been a person who cares much for fame or fortune, I simply cannot answer that question nor relate. I’m not implying I don’t want to make a living doing what I am passionate about…I do, I have been…I just don’t chase it down.
Instead, I fly under the radar.
Until recently, I thought doing so was beneficial to me…and in a sense, it is. I don’t mind being the person working silently, behind the scenes on a project and releasing it into the world to flourish, then going quietly back into my room. But I’ve began to ask myself ‘Is this normal’? In my humble mind, yet, very; but to the average person who looks at what I’ve got…they say, no—it’s not normal.
I had a conversation not too long ago with a friend and fellow creative professional (she’s in the visual world) with whom I have come to realize, I share many common traits. We had a conversation regarding a group project she worked on…then went into hiding afterward instead of relishing in the spotlight for a bit. I think it surprised her to find that I understood, completely, why she felt the need to be a shrinking violet.
Firstly, when you are a truly creative individual, an independent thinker, and one who is selfless—working with others often wrings you of your energy. It takes so much thought and self to collaborate, especially when you are a natural leader (as both she and I are) and you end up putting in much more than you expected. Due to others realizing this about you, they let you do it without thinking it’ll phase you. However, it does phase you…it taxes the life out of you.
She mentioned during our conversation that her goal as an artist has never been to be a gallery artist (one who creates and strives to exhibit their work only to be bought, sold and critiqued)…she is more communal minded than this. She wants her efforts to be fruitful; to benefit more than just one person. As do I…I take on projects that I hope will benefit more than just myself.
Due to our shared ideals of what our careers should/could look like, my friend and I both tend to ‘fly under the radar’ in our respective lives, communities and professional circles. And the irony is that we are both realizing, in unison, that perhaps we need to try to change this habit. Instead, to let it be known…that we are working toward goals; goals that will benefit those around us and that we’d finally (for once) like for people to take notice of us.
We wonder…is the time ripe to take our humble beginnings and turn them on their side.
Time…to invite others in to watch our glorious minds at work? I believe we are in synergy and feeling as though we DO want and need to benefit from the fruits of our labor instead of always being so darn selfless.
A mutual friend of ours, and fellow artist/creative recently told me over the phone, and then again over dinner, that we both have so much to offer and he doesn’t understand our desires to stay virtually unknown when we are trying to do great things. (Then again, who is he to talk…he’s one of us too…a humble Joe.) He stated it is finally time for us both to be given the respect and recognition we deserve, therefore, we really need to try and let ourselves outside, into the public spectrum.
Thus, I’ve been contemplating…and contemplating on this: Am I taking the easy road by not putting myself into the pubic eye or am I being smart, and salvaging my sanity, by flying under the radar?
To be continued…