Today’s WordPress Prompt reminded me of this post I wrote 5 years ago – it’s as relevant as ever.
I hope I don’t turn out like my father.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my father.
Tonight we were doing an early spring-cleaning, just one closet. Out came the old coats, the worn out shoes, the broken kitchen appliances, and assorted memories.
There was a large leather portfolio that I dump unceremoniously on the side. It was just waiting to be placed in an organized allotted space. My father passed the wreckage that was the cleaning, and spotted the portfolio.
“My old stuff!” he said excitedly. He picked it up, cleared whatever was on the kitchen table with the sweep of his hand, laid down the portfolio and opened it.
Inside was my father’s old work. His work as a graphic artist, years before computers were standard. Where the artist actually had to be one, and not rely on the manipulations and clip art of present day (not minimizing today’s graphics artist, but it’s a completely different field with a different set of skill requirements).
He pulled out papers where he created an accountant’s sheets. He drew ALL the lines. Perfectly. He pulled out posters he created for concerts where all the elements where pasted on top of each other and then printed together. Brochures, where he drew the products, and the simulation of person trying it. He pulled out a yellowed New York Times, where an ad he created had ran. He pulled out several envelopes and letterheads in which logos he created graced. And then he just took out fun things that he drew with an advertisement theme. It wasn’t just, oh I put together the logo or I worked on it; he CREATED it.
“Ta,” I said. “You were amazing. What happened?” He just laughed and said something like,
“I’m so busy just printing now, I don’t have time to patchke on this stuff, besides, this is not how it runs anymore.”
“But, you’re so good!” I protested. He smiled for the compliment but sighed slightly.
“Maybe when I retire I’ll go back to it.” He said optimistically.
I always prided myself on having some artistic skill, I knew I got it from my father, and I’ve seen plenty of his personal work. But seeing today how he utilized his talents for business was successful and loved it, made me feel a bit inadequate in my dabbling in the arts.
But he’s not using it anymore. He loved it. He was great. But real life gets in the way.
I don’t want that to happen to my talents. I want to use them, for them to be me, not for me to tell my children years from now,
“Y’know I had blog when I was younger….”