Monday, November 26, 2007

The Creative Class

I am working on a few posts which I will name 'The Psychology of the Creative Class.' The inspiration for these pieces came after I became familiar with Richard Florida's work on the subject. This post will feature a snippet by Florida himself as featured in his 'Globe and Mail' column.

Richard Florida's text:

I recalled those Saturdays recently when I had my hair cut in Toronto. It turned out that the hairdresser, a stylish young man in his late 20s or early 30s, was once a resident of Birmingham, an upscale suburb of Detroit that I knew well because my wife lived there when we met. Without thinking, I said, "My wife used to get her hair done in Birmingham; what salon did you work in?" "I wasn't a hairstylist then, man. I worked for General Motors," he said. "Really?" I said, trying to dig myself out of a hole. "What plant did you work at?" "Plant?" came his reply. "I didn't work in a factory — I'm a mechanical engineer and I worked on new product development."

My jaw dropped. This man had quit a high-paying job in a good company so he could cut people's hair. He had left the creative class because it wasn't creative enough for him and had gone into a service industry to express his creativity.


dave said...

this made me think of your post on Stanly Tucci's film Big Night.

Eric said...

was he on the Colbert Report a while back?

Edward said...

A true artist never compromises his love for his/her art of choice. And a true artist sacrifices for the art. The hair stylist anecdote made the point quite well.

Anonymous said...

This scene seems more iconic of the transition from industrial to service economy in the U.S. with the attending large losses in income. Perhaps the stylist is intentionally sacrificing for his art, but this is far from clear from this exchange.

Joanna said...

This scene seems more iconic of the transition of the U.S. economy from industrial to service sectors with the attending large losses of income. The stylist may be intentionally choosing art over engineering voluntarily, but this is far from clear from this brief exchange.

(I don't know why the previous comment was posted as "anonymous." I was under the impression it would leave my name. When it didn't. I re-posted)