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Yes, Virginia, There is Creativity After 15 @ktshy @katieshanahan

This comic strip by Katie Shanahan aka @ktshy is exactly the conversation I have with my 'vampires' these days about my blog, my comic strip, and creativity in general.

CreativityblogMany years ago I "temped" for a major media company in LA. I was in legal services and was assisting the head of the department.

One day I overheard this person chew out their son over the phone for missing a prep class for the SATs. The kid was 14. I wasn't really challenging them on this but was just sort of trying to get an idea of the problem... "aren't the SATs something that one takes when one is a little older?", I asked.  

This person looked at me as though I had just taken off my clothes in the office, and followed it by saying "no one does anything creative after the age of 15 and there is no merit in anything that they do after that; MY SON'S TIME IS ALMOST OVER". I must remind you here, that the son was 14. 

As someone who was, at the time, within spitting distance of 40, I was at first appalled and then I was genuinely sad for them that this is how they led their life and figured how miserable the son must be. Even if they were making bajillions of dollars, to be that full of fear and loathing, well, was it worth it? And what did taking the SATs even have to do with creativity in the first place? It all seemed to me to be so mixed up and strange. 

The son would be about 34 now and I wonder how he turned out. Was he b.s. crazy like his parent or did he (hopefully) find a way to live even a semi normal life? I would be really sad for anyone who thought that because they didn't write a blockbuster movie as a teen, that their life was a failure. 

The temp job only lasted a few weeks as I couldn't take the constant shrieking for very long (who could? Indeed, I was the third temp this person had had in as many months. Clearly this person needed some external help. Maybe the shrieking was a literal cry for help?) 

So here I am, many years later, attempting to create, write and draw... and there are days when the devil voices the 'you took too long' mantra and, although I hear it... I find a way to bring up the strength to respond "there's no cut off date for creativity" and "it won't be a waste of time if I've enjoyed it".

Thank you, Katie for the encouragement!