#024 : Confessions

  • Christopher Lutterodt-Quarcoo
  • Charisse Chikwiri

Anonymous : To be financially poor is an act of selfishness.

Image — Kanye West, St Pablo Tour Soundtrack — Cloud , Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX –
“My name is Christopher and I am impatient. It’s been three days since my last bout with doubt, obsession with wealth and self-identified stagnation in development, to put it bluntly, I’m in a battle between desire and prescribed success.”
Entering the third term of ‘Emerging Journal’, the markers of emerging in your field have shifted — as they should, while your motivations have most likely become more specific with the formation of cunning strategic plans to match. The criteria for emerging creatives is unfortunately dictated by our vanity as faces of our practices; there is a necessity to feel needed, valued and equal, we have redressed those needs into three markers; knowledge, notoriety and respect (at the cost of choosing between making work or eating three meals a day). It’s important to clarify that financial independence isn’t necessarily a pursuit of riches but the opportunity for autonomy and the formation of a valued voice. However, the pursuit of success focuses on the acquisition of power, influence, wealth. True, there has been an evolution in perspective and status, from wanting to be accepted and maintaining relevancy to being an example and carving a permanent space as a critical member of your community.
That in itself are two criterion thus far; “emerging” for recognition and “success” for leadership, with a third looming.
Anonymous : Have you made that transition yet? CL-Q : Psychologically yes, practically no. Anonymous : What does your practice/s need to get you where you want to be? CL-Q : —  Anonymous : That’s your problem, you either haven’t prioritised or you’re ignoring your priorities. CL-Q : Guilty Anonymous : Where do you go from here?
In reality back to the last achievement with a critical analysis as to whether it was a step in the right direction. Ironically success in the wrong direction can be just as devastating as inactivity and rejection.
What’s become abundantly clear is that we are operating in a realm of service, whether it’s creating artistic forms of enquiry for the public or engaging with revelatory insight through personal investigation, it’s all outward facing. Reflecting back on the conversation above, what are my priorities? Notoriety, respect and financial independence, I have either subconsciously or consciously decided money is the least pertinent objective. Why? One, the money gained in the early stages is short sighted, by that, I refer to a circumstance of entering an unsustainable cycle of production. Two, an increased anxiety to replicate what is regarded as successful, fearful of an inability to satisfy the demand for consistency. Or three, I’m insecure about the value of the work.
Anonymous : To be financially poor is an act of selfishness.  CL-Q : How so? Is it a choice? Anonymous : How else can you invest in others?
Regardless of which answer or is accurate or whether it is a combination of all three, one thing rings true. Does our existence, whether online or in presentation acknowledge that our practice/organisation is a meeting point for those of mutual interests? or is it just a portfolio of work? Does it establish yourself in your field or sector of choice as an active voice?
Speaking strictly on my behalf honestly…No…well not yet.
The most valuable lesson thus far is the realisation that from the early stages of arts education or creative production. Creatives have been encouraged to generate outcomes typically single-handedly out of nothing and relying on their own will for momentum, negligently unaware of the opportunity for their audience to fuel their practice outside financial means, namely through insight and research which ironically can be more proven more valuable than money. Case and point, Creative Review and Design Week serve as excellent examples of how access to their content can be marketed as a privilege, with engagement in their community coming at a price of personal details which are monetised directly and indirectly.
Irrespective of personal practice, there’s a sustainability in creating a relationship of dependency and necessity. Whether a client, user, addict and subscriber each operate in the same mannerism, their need dictates an appetite for what you create, all you need to do is keep them there and permit them to make it a haven.
If La La Land teaches you anything, narcissism is the demise of fruitful relationships and a missed opportunity is the only thing worth regretting.
Let’s be honest, giving is an exhaustive act, what we as creative entrepreneurs do is unique, subsequently this means that the payoff is more so cultural than anything else. The challenge is making what is unique sustainable while it sustains you, and that requires allowing the viewers to be participants.
In light of my misguided priorities, I have taken this time to subscribe to the creative holy trinity; Purpose (the act to serve/engage), Passion (an interest to enquire, perceive or educate) and Professionalism (a necessity to communicate).
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In partnership w/Shades of Noir