Trade Barriers, Diversity & On Being Naive

Playing a Poor Hand

Trade Barriers

Naive = Self taught = Bad

  • In the creative industries (art, writing, music) the output is there for everyone to judge. Does it matter how it was achieved?
  • In fast-moving industries like technology you have to learn and re-learn constantly on the job because everything changes. A professional qualification from even 5 years ago might be useless. And, again, the output can just be judged; does it work or doesn’t it?

The “Right Way” is Exclusive and Limiting

  • she couldn’t get formally educated or trained in art because of her position (which was a combination of her poverty, illness, family, gender etc..)
  • she couldn’t afford fancy kit or space
  • she couldn’t use the standard, rigid art techniques that were designed for the more able.
  • She taught herself by experimentation and reading and she worked out her own techniques that suited her.
  • She creatively made the best of the materials available to her, even where they were extraordinarily meagre (people and stuff).
  • She was prepared to take huge risks to improve her situation (she left a stifling but presently safe home for a very dubious new one) and stick with it no matter what.
  • She trusted her own judgment and her own style. She didn’t need society to approve of her. Although eventually society did love her it’s not obvious that added much to her happiness — or even her wealth since her husband just saved the money she earned.

Takeaways for Other Pursuits

  • Teach myself, experiment. If it works it works.
  • Don’t be overly bothered about other people’s opinions. Trust my own judgment. Be contrary if I want.
  • Make things up myself if I choose. I’m allowed to be different, to do things that are not traditional or standard that work for me.
  • Be very aware of my resources but stretch and build on them.



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