Thursday, May 10, 2012

"What you see is what you get. My God, I don't have the time nor the energy to live up to some persona."

I was talking with a friend recently about the concept of creating a persona for oneself. It seems to be the artist thing to do.

A quick preface; I have certain issues with using the term artist on myself, but that's a whole other can of worms for another time. So let's just say that, as a "creative type", I have spent a decent amount of time wondering if at this point in my life, I should be working on creating a persona.

In the process of thinking about this, I had to ask myself, why do we even do this? Why am I thinking about doing this? The main conclusion I have come to is that the creation of a persona is done essentially to create a more marketable self and that right there is why I don't think I can do it. It is a process that requires creating a new self--a self that is a commodity and this is something that has a stench too artificial for my liking.

So unless I am totally off base here, I get why people do this on a surface level, but I am still trying to figure out the reason on a deeper one. Are our true selves so borring that we have to create something new for the world? Or is it that the concept of exposing our true selves to the world is so terrifying that we feel the need to create someone new. Perhaps the process of having a separate self for the public is used to protect the personal self. Someone used so that the public doesn't get to have everything.

I see a risk to this process though. The creation of a persona is something that seems to have a lot of upkeep, and when a person spends so much time working on this public self, one may run the risk of neglecting the private self. If you neglect that private self--your original self, at a certain point, after a certain amount of neglect, all you may have left is your persona. It is a sad concept to me.

I also have to ask, why do we need to be so marketable? Is it because the more marketable we are, the higher chance we have of becoming well known? What on earth is the point of becoming famous if you are famous for being someone other than yourself?

Something I love about being in the graphic design field, while most other creative fields require fame as a part of success, there is no real fame in graphic design.  No one, save for other designers will know, or even care about who you are. When on a class trip to New York, we visited Mike Perry's studio. One student asked him, "what is it like to be famous?" to which he replied, "being famous as a graphic designer is the least famous you can be." No one stops you when you're on a plane and goes 'Oh my god it's Mike Perry!'

Well shit... I guess I've just answered my own question. Not wanting to create a persona isn't the answer, it's that I don't even need to, and for that I am glad. It means getting to put my time into what really matters--working on my real self.

So I guess that's all there going to be. My incredibly flawed, fucked up, loud, clumsy, obnoxious, personal self. At least it beats presenting a fabricated faux-me.

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