Creative work, no matter how many times you do it, never really gets less intimidating at the outset. It is hard to make something more beautiful than a blank canvas. That challenge, and fear, is what makes me love my job. I feel privileged to be in a situation where I don’t just get to express my ideas, but also have the means to follow up on them.
Particularly if you are a fellow proud Canadian, there’s a good chance that you know about Commander Chris Hadfield and his astronomical adventures in space. Even beyond our borders, millions of people around the world watched as his performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station went viral back in 2015. His son, Evan Hadfield, came up with that idea, collaborating with other professionals to make it a reality.
Far fewer people are familiar with Evan Hadfield and his work compared to folks who know about his famous dad, and understandably so. What many of us don’t realize — myself included, up until quite recently — is that Evan was literally his father’s “man on the ground,” managing his social media and other related endeavors. Evan is remarkably tech-savvy and very creative in his own right.
I feel like we live in a time where a greater percentage of the population is at least afforded the opportunity to explore more creative ventures. There’s a lot of noise out there, to be sure, and it is increasingly challenging to get noticed, but we have unprecedented access to an incredible wealth of creative tools.
Want to write a book? You can do that. Want to produce your own music, shoot your own documentary series, or create your own web comic? These are all within your grasp. And each time you stare down at a blank canvas, an empty Word document, or a video editing timeline yet to be populated, you are faced with near-infinite possibilities. It’s intimidating and invigorating, all at the same time.
Success to me is feeling like I’ve made a difference. The first time I realized that my work could actually change things, and matter to people beyond my social group, it opened my eyes to how enjoyable work could actually be.
As for Evan Hadfield, he’s been very busy with the Rare Earth series on YouTube. He covers such varied and fascinating topics as the warrior women of Vietnam, the minesweeping rats of Tanzania, and how the Yakuza eventually gave rise to Nintendo. Most recently, he explored the history of Easter Island and story of the people who erected those iconic statues. And how their gods are now “dead.”
Truly fascinating (and totally binge-worthy) stuff.