A few nights ago I was talking with an aspiring young photographer at an AdhesiveNYC event aboard the improbably wonderful Fryingpan along the West Side highway. The soft July air stirred with the swaying of the boat as hundreds of energetic creatives mingled and spoke of talent. This newly-minted shooter outlined some of her possible career paths in New York City and asked what I thought she should do. It was textbook “When I get to NY I will _______!”. I can remember my own plans with clarity from those intoxicating days just ten years ago.
I suggested key insights earned over a decade of shooting in NY that might help her choose the most direct career path. Whatever her choices were regarding how and when, I suggested she read a fantastic Malcolm Gladwell article, “Late Bloomers” in the October 20th, 2008 issue of The New Yorker. The emergence of talent is an eternal question that Gladwell explores with the depth and skill New Yorker readers love him for.
“…sometimes genius is anything but rarefied; sometimes it’s just the thing that emerges after twenty years of working at your kitchen table.” – GladwellIf you find yourself wandering, this article is well worth the time. Exploration vs Experimentation.