Musings

A Niche for Each

A nice niche. Have you found yours?

I’m 42 and after switching gears and putting my drawing table up in the attic (which just today made a friend of mine *shudder* to hear that-I had to laugh and be flattered at the same time), I’m looking towards other avenues of creativity.

Art had been my thing for a cool 33 years. I loved it and still do, but feel like I need a break from it. Kind of like when you get into a tiff with your husband…you love the guy but  just need a little breather from him for an hour. Or two. Or three.

I’ve always used broad strokes when defining creativity and in fact, when people tell me they aren’t creative, it almost makes me want to scream like a teapot that you have forgotten about on the stove. Just because you aren’t a painter or an illustrator, doesn’t mean you aren’t creative. Since when do the tools necessarily have something to do with it? How about the way that you teach your class? Or landscape that yard? Or cook that meal? Or hell, look at the outfit you put on this morning? It’s all creative.

For me at the moment, I’m getting creative with words. Writing, blogging, looking for more ways to write. Illustrating with something other than my trusty colored pencils and ink (my kids just scored the worlds best haul of art supplies). I’m liking this…it’s invigorating and scary all at the same time. YET, it’s turning into a good adventure. Who knows where it will lead? Someplace new. That’s all I know at the moment.

Finding a niche…what an exciting and daunting thing to do. Amazingly, there is something for everyone, really. All the crazy jobs out there…someone is doing them (and you are probably thinking “why can’t it be me? I would ROCK at being a chocolate truffle taster!”). Just the way there is someone for everyone out there. You know what I’m talking about…every so often you will see what has to be the geekiest person on the planet and then, low and behold, you see them with a mate. Holy cow! There’s hope for us all. And I don’t mean that in a, well, mean way…just a make-my-point way. Hey, we’ve all seen it. Same thing with careers…you just have to be creative enough (or geeky enough or brave enough) to find your spot.

I was reading Wired magazine this morning and they profiled a man who designs corn mazes. Yes, that’s his job. He started sixteen years ago and now he’s the maize-maze- man (of sorts), with his company being the largest of it’s kind in the world. Talk about corn-er-ing (ha!) a bizarre market. But a market that has a following and one that people go haywire for this time of the year. Just a note…the ideal size of a corn maze is between eight and ten acres. Any bigger and people start to get lost and there goes the fun. Who knew?

Here’s another odd hobby that has turned itself into a lucrative job for some folks…there’s a pair of guys in New York City who…carve pumpkins for a living. Yup. Carve all sorts of jack-o-lanterns. For money. Apparently, they started just carving nice ones and then their friends wanted some (they didn’t have the patience to carve them themselves) and then companies saw them and requested them…and so on. I would not have even guessed that this was a job that could result in an income.

Hope. From corn to pumpkins and everything in between and beyond. Your niche is out there. So is mine. I think I can safely say that it doesn’t involve gourds, but then again, why rule anything out?

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