I’ve been questing toward a complete alignment of my values with how I spend my time; the time I’m paid for as well as the time I’m not, and it will still probably be a number of years before I get there. Till then, in order to live a secure and balanced life my choices might involve a little hypocrisy, at least in the way others perceive them. Thank goodness I have vipassana to keep me stable and hold my hand as I make this lengthy transition.
A year ago, if you asked me whether I was ever going to return to the video games industry, I would have righteously told you, “No! most games glorify violence, promote sexual objectification, like all entertainment are used as a form of escapism, and personally I don’t even play games!”
I had always loved the techniques and artistic discipline I acquired by doing commercial work, but there came a time when I could no longer accept the disconnect I felt with the products. The crux of my discontent rested upon the fact that in a small way, by contributing to these entertainment products, I was helping to reinforce what I considered to be false gender stereotypes. My job required I create brutish male characters that glorify the concept of “power over,” and hyper-sexualized females, cast either as damsels in distress or sexual power objects. For years I’d been developing perceptions of what evolved masculine and feminine polarities meant, and how I could balance them within, but the art jobs I was able to secure tended to oppose to my personal views.
However, after abandoning the industry, testing the waters of entrepreneurship (in the digital visionary art scene) and revisiting other much lower paying types of work, I sit here updating my portfolio, drawings images of the false masculine in a peacefully detached state. Thanks to vipassana I perceive these images as just shapes and colors. Yes I’m planning to go back to work. I may not be proud of the content I produce, but neither will I be ashamed. It’s simply the best way to finance an alternative education and path toward a more purposeful future, and who knows, there’s always the possibility that this time I’ll be hired for something a little more inspiring.