The Anniversary of Colouring Outside The Lines

posted 22.05.2009

Painting with my son, 2002, Gabriel Knecht (7 yrs.) and L. Vandegrift Davala

Harry Chapin recorded “Flowers are Red” on August 19, 1980. Eleven months later, he was dead. His heart wrenching and poignant song beautifully captures our individual and collective struggle about our creative needs and worth, and the way we pass this on to our children. I think that Chapin would endorse this beautiful, very short film; if you follow no other link in this post, please have a look at this.

I wonder what Harry would make of our present information and tech-centered culture, which increasingly incorporates “design thinking” and the creative approaches of artists into the management and production of products and services. An how about the artists and creatives themselves? The concept of the “portfolio career” for creative professionals is now mainstream. Artist’s are now sharing the benefit of their whole brain approach, molding and shaping space, concepts, technology, speaking at TED. What does your creative “portfolio career” look like? Comment and let me know what you are doing.

Maybe our guilt about not spending every waking moment in the studio can be lessened when we realise we are embodying Harry’s message: we don’t colour between the lines, for that matter, we can’t even keep it all on the canvas.