On a recent episode of Creative Pep Talk Podcast, there is a snippet of conversation in which they talk about the significance of a pin that the guest is wearing that says “I have seen the future”.
Go listen to the episode, I’ve linked it above.
But the gist is that these pins were created back in 1939-40, amidst complete world turmoil with the Great Depression and World War II, as a memento of an exhibit at the Worlds Fair. The concept being a look ahead to the wonders of technology that they were envisioning for 20 years in the future, yep, the 1960’s.
Andy’s guest, Hugh Weber, wears the pin to signify and celebrate the fact that even in the face of terrible times world-wide, people were still looking to be innovators. They were still imagining a world of wonder 20 years in the future.
It’s essential because without that forward thinking, we don’t move forward.
Yeah. I get it. Seems like a pretty obvious statement.
But stop and think about this.
How often have you, as an artist, been so frustrated with where you are at in this moment that you can’t imagine a better tomorrow, let alone a better 10 or 20 years from now?
If you say it doesn’t happen… you’re an outright liar.
We ALL have moments where we are deep in the creative struggle or frustration and we find ourselves asking “what’s the point?” or “why am I even trying?”. The LAST thing on our mind is looking forward to where we want to be a year from now or 20 years from now.
Yet it’s crucial that we do.
I don’t believe we should obsess over where we’ll be in 20 years to the point where we just ignore the here and now. We have to stay present because that’s where life happens.
But it’s essential that we find that balance.
We need to be able to appreciate and stay in the moment right now while keeping an eye on the horizon. Pushing ourselves to keep creating, keep innovating, keep learning.
It’s a delicate balance. But it’s a balance we need to maintain.
Without it we’ll find ourselves stuck in a creative rut, making the same thing 20 years from now that we are making today. And if you find yourself in that position, it’s not going to be viewed as consistency…
It’ll feel like a washed up, has been, artist was never was able to adapt.
So keep the curiosity, keep pushing forward, find your balance so you can say “I have seen the future”.
Followed by “And the future is good.”
***PS – I’d LOVE to get my hands on one of these pins so if any of you have a connection, send me a DM via social media and hook me up!
David (Usually Dave) Szweduik is a photographer, podcaster, and all around geek from the great state of Minnesota and can be found weekly on his podcast Adventures in Creativity. There you’ll find him having conversations fueled by curiosity around the amazing world of all things creativity.