Because robots can't make you feel things...yet. 
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Photo: From the Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition, David Bowie Is.... Photographer Unknown. 

Several recent events have made me ponder the current state of being an artist. 

  1. I read an editorial in the Chicago Tribune by writer Chris Jones. He says that artists are going to lead the charge on improving the ills that plague our city. Performing and visual arts are a draw to the city, benefiting the economy, and artists are able to think outside of the box to address social issues. 
  2. David Bowie died, and my regret over missing the David Bowie Is... exhibition at the MCA last year turned into downright grief. 
  3. President Obama gave his last State of the Union address. He said that while America's job situation is strong, the nature of jobs has changed. Whatever can be automated will be.  
  4. I found the Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine calculator on the NPR Money website. Take a look for yourself. Art-related careers are some of the safest ones, along with education-related careers. The least safe jobs? Those in the business and financial sector. For example, a painter has a 4% chance of being replaced by a machine, compared to a loan officer, who has a 98% chance! 

After this week, I am more convinced than ever that the future will belong to artists, creatives, educators, and other professionals who provide thinking and feeling processes and outcomes that can't be automated. 

So please share this with a young person who is being steered into a "safe" job. While being creative for a living isn't always "safe" from frustration, temporary shortages of cash flow, or the emotional toll of creative work, it's pretty much fail-proof against robots. 

Be human and create, 
Chakka AKA J.K. Rowdy
Highwater Weekly Picks 

  • Visual artists: Communication Arts' annual juried competitions recognize the best creative work being done today in visual communications. Winning entries are published in one of six Annuals—Interactive, Illustration, Photography,Typography, Design and Advertising. The deadline for Illustration is January 22. Click for more info. 
  • Film and Media Makers-Big Vision, Empty Wallet's #KickstartDiversity program is accepting proposals for feature films, digital series and TV pilots. A project qualifies when the writer, director, or producer is a woman, person of color, or member of the LGBTQ community. 
  • I was so excited about this resource last week that I forgot to include the link! The New York Public Library just added over 180,000 digitized out-of-copyright materials (images, manuscripts, streaming videos, etc) to their already extensive digital collection. The materials are free to use and no license or attribution is required. 
  • DJ Cuzzin B's and Trillicon Valley have produced a mixtape (Mixcloud) especially for the hustle. Featured artists include Big Sean, Quadron, D.R.A.M, Pac Div, Jidenna, Oddisee and more.
  • Mayer Hawthorne does throwback like no one else. He is giving me all The Delphonics feels on his latest single, Cosmic Love (Soundcloud).
Watch List
  • There are several films from the Criterion Collection on Hulu for free right now, including Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 (1963), widely regarded as one of the best films of all time. 
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