Society is a roiling mass of development whether that be in terms of fashion, technology, religious practices , or many more. Our world is a rapid-fire secession of innovation. In this kind of culture, where an idea quickly blossoms into a way of life, there are the leaders and there are the followers. So what makes a trendsetter? How does somebody become the triumphant frontrunner of a new fad or way of life? Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work raised that question for me when he stated that, “ we all carry around the weird and wonderful things we’ve come across while doing our work, and living our lives. These mental scrapbooks form our tastes, and our tastes influence our work” (75). By that token, there really isn’t anything one can do to earn the coveted title of trendsetter. Personal abilities and tastes are formulated from past experiences that we have little control over.
This concept brings up the age-old question; are we really independent beings capable of free will or are we all meat machines, slaves to the brain? The argument against the brain as a slave master claims that it doesn’t matter. We are our brains. It’s our essential essence. But that’s exactly what they want you to think. It’s not impossible that we are all on autopilot pretending like we know what we’re doing but in actuality we are as foolish and automated as a Sims character. We are the plaything of our brains and we’re too self important to realize it. We are trapped in a flesh prison of deceit and expertly executed treachery. There is no point to any of it and death is coming for us all.
How does this relate back to the reading? This massive and relevant existential crisis comes into play with Kleon’s concept of the “cabinet of wonders” that shapes the human experience and therefore the entire creative process. It’s all a sham, basically. There are no trendsetters, just statistical outliers with a logical and superior accumulation of experiences.
Anyway, attached are some of my “creations”. There is a picture of a few crafts I made for my little and paper hot air balloons and cotton clouds I made for my apartment. Whether they are just an automated response to the stimuli that makes up my life or proof of free will is up to you.