Words Fay Edwards // Images Jack Martin
The value of functional outcomes – a job, a house, food on the table – can often eclipse the intangible value of the spiritual and the creative. We’re constantly justifying, explaining, evaluating, measuring. But dreaming, doubting, questioning, creating….? How can we put a value on that?
‘Drawn to Change – Calling for a Creative Counter Culture’ by Jack Martin (aka Jack Money) explores the discordance between the rational structures of society and the creative self. In what is a rollicking step-by-step guide to placing more importance in creativity, Money provides an insight into the frustrations of a creative mind.
The book is structured around three sections ‘Problems’, ‘Solutions’ and ‘Artistic Futures’, and proposes ways to overcome society’s limitations on creativity. It is a book that packs a huge punch which ultimately lands a little too softly.
A strong theme throughout the book is the failure of society to accommodate and encourage thinking outside the box. This observation dips into critical discussion, but wavers with naivety. Comments about the suffocating rigidity of society, or the mechanical way we live, are observations that have been made for decades (if not since the beginning of human kind). As any working lad or lass will tell you, the 9am to 5pm life (make it the 8am – 10pm life) is a shock to the best of us – but pure optimism and a sense of injustice (while admirable and important), aren’t sophisticated enough for this beast.
In spite of Money’s rejection of the rules and regulations that run the world, his writing is articulate and relatable. His message is clear, well thought-out, and well structured – much like a High Distinction academic paper. It’s a speedy read that leaps at you with enthusiasm – you can’t help but be swept along. But as I reached the end I had to catch my breath. Upon closer inspection, what appeared to be golden nuggets of wisdom were only pyrite. Glittery and full of potential, but lacking in depth.
Money’s work taps into the ever-present conflict between structure and freedom with enthusiasm and diligence. It is an enjoyable gallop through the author’s mind, but needs a bit of grit – a bit of real life – to help the messages hit home. //