October 7th, 2020
I’ve seen countless posts, mostly from well-meaning parents, about technology and how it’s taking away our artists. How our children are being deprived of creativity by cell phones and video games and computers.
I, respectfully, disagree. But (also respectfully!) I feel like I have the pedigree and point of view to explain why.
If a person is a creator, they will find a way to create. Period. If a person is an artist, they will create art. Period. If they’re a writer, they will write words. Yet another period.
And how do I know this?
Because for my entire existence, creating art has never been easy. In fact, it’s been consistently hard and sometimes nigh-impossible. And yet I keep finding ways to do it.
I loved making movies when I was young. I did have a camcorder or two. Okay. But I didn’t have editing equipment. And tapes were both expensive and barely held any length of footage. And I only had so many friends — not enough for a crew of actors and technical positions and directing roles and everything else a normal production would require.
But we made movies.
I’m a writer. But I’ve never had a publisher. That hasn’t stopped me from releasing four novellas and a graphic novel. And not just digital versions; real-life books to hold were part of the package. Do you know what that required of me? I had to learn how to write (and it’s debatable if I did), how to edit, how to format, how to art design, how to digitally produce, how to find a place to print material, how to raise funds, how to promote — I had to do everything a publishing house does. It wasn’t easy.
I still did it.
And on and on. So what does this have to do with technology? Technology makes it EASY. Look around at the young artists in your life. They’ve been given a near infinite canvas to express themselves, and they do.
They take photos. They use filters. They make movies to share on social media and YouTube. They paint in Photoshop. They type on Word. They play video games with artistic depth that rivals feature films and literature. They create memes (and brilliantly). They play music, and often learn how to play with online tutorials. They do things with make-up that I could never imagine.
They express themselves with the voice they possess and the tools they have with as much ferocity and ingenuity as I have ever seen any creator express themselves.
So don’t worry about our artists. We will always make ourselves heard.
Instead, just make sure you’re listening. Caring. Supporting. Because we’re creating in more ways than ever before.