kauri and lawson cypress)but where, when and how he came across the wood.
Today's been the best day for shopping - earlier we stopped by at Gourd man's gallery - very personable, and able to explain where I'd been going wrong with my gourd growing and decorating. His passion for gourds, skill and experience in the various traditional and more experimental techniques for decorating is incredible, and we can't help leaving with a small gourd and a packet of seeds.
The chance encounter somewhere in New Zealand Abel Tasman National Park is a stark contrast to the prescriptive, albeit 'choiced out', LA Hollywood experience from earlier in our holiday.
For example, we went to Universal Studios - the studio tour was fantastic - we saw the Bates Motel (Psycho) and, of course, classic Jaws coming out of the water. In the theme park there are any number of choices to make - whether you want to do 'Waterworld live performance' or 'Simpsons Virtual Rollercoaster' (both fantastic) or any number of inventive rides. Everything is carefully prepared for you - even the waiting in queues is carefully managed so you are constantly entertained.
Eventually though the highly professional spoon feeding of entertainment wears off and at the end of the day you have a nagging empty feeling. Whatever you've done, there's no feeling of discovery. Despite the many, and amazing choices on offer, you don't get the same sort of conversation I got with gourd man with a giant Bart Simpson.
It's true that we had a huge range of quality stuff on offer in LA, but that's not the same as finding it for yourself. I know the majority of my present work will end in July, and I'm beginning to think about what I will do, how I might sell myself. I've been following bloggers like the excellent Helga Henry on how to run successful creative businesses and make money. I agree the two aren't exclusive, but you do need to set priorities.
I can see that researching my market will pay dividends. A better, more professional website would benefit my business. Also I don't separate my work much from my home - when or how I do it. In many ways I am not professional. That's because I am an amateur - That is, the work I do is driven primarily by my passions. Money-making does come into it, but very much a secondary thing. I can see my experiences and skills put me in a good position to have the luxury of choice. However, in the words of Prof. A. Dumbledore, 'It's our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our skills'.
MacDonald's started in California 1940. Did they make a choice at some moment in time, sacrificing the quality and enjoyment of making food for a more saleable product? Is it really possible to continue 'lovin' it' or 'living the dream' if the dream, or what you're lovin' is about making money? I just hope there's a gap in the market for two gourd men.
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