How You Can Learn to Recognize Artists Around You?

Hiya SCG,

shipping emotional labor is pretty surreal term for majority of the people. Not a long time ago, I was not able to recognize doer/shipper from talker/pretender as well. Headhunters, HR departments cannot see what you have shipped and how emotionally you have labored through lines of your CV. Same it might be with your colleagues and bosses, when they wonder: “What’s her problem? Why is she not getting it done according that template, we have always used for many of our clients? Why does she bother to create new ppt. when that manual is already written in a word document? Why is she creating new slides for every speech she goes to, is it not less stressful to talk about slides from the last year, which she knows already by heart?”

Art Starts With You

I have realized that working creatively, out of blank sheet of paper, mixing up available tools and meshing information into something brand new so it stands out, is damn tough and that is why now:

It makes me to say thank you and share my respect with all those who do art, whenever I see it. I am so grateful that I have gained sensitivity for recognizing sincere emotional laborers (writers, artists, speakers, musicians, teachers, innovators, designers, entrepreneurs etc.) and all of that was possible only once I have started to ship and create out of blank canvas myself.

Whenever You Are in “Evaluation Mood”, Ask Yourself These Questions

“Would I be able to do it myself? Did I ever do something similar? How difficult was it/could it be? How did I feel when I was creating something similar?”

Believe me, such questions, will silence your “expert – critic – I know it all” voice in your head and you will spare yourself a loads of time, which you can use for shipping your art. Or it will make you realize, that till now all the work you have done was just following instructions given to you by your boss or by job description.

Go! Get busy with your own art now!


what about you? When you do emotional labor, do people appreciate your art? Are you seeing people around you, who create sincere art? (= who are not waiting for permission or manual to work according to) Do you express your gratitude and respect to them?


See you in comments, my dear artists!



  1. Hm… tough one Ivana!
    It’s true, that the “creative touch” is a valuable part of ones’ work and defines him/her. However, sometimes it really might be unnecessary – you have probably experienced that as well. Sometimes for work to be done quickly too much of addition, “newieness” and creativity might get you losing time… It is important for companies and individuals to be able to distinguish those, and also to give enough space for their people to have the chance to bring their art into whatever work they do – if the quality does not get affected negatively, of course… So on this one I am a bit dubious with your opinion…
    I do appreciate the artists around me, if they get the core of the work done before starting making it the art.

    • Hi Marek,
      thanks for sharing your view.

      Let me raise few questions: “Can we always do work faster? Cheaper? Can we be increasing profits or market share forever?”

      Yes, that is what most of the companies do, automate, optimize, do it faster – but that is not what connect human beings, that is what I would call missing core of the establishing of business – to serve people and do it with people.

      Art can be performed anywhere and it does not have to take longer than performing the same task in prescribed way. F.e. take a person in call center/teller in the bank/receptionist – they can talk to customer without any personal touch, greet them according manual or they can innovate and add bit of them into conversation, be mindful and authentic…

      As M. Luther King Jr. said something like, if you will be sweeping streets do it the best way you can, do it like Michelangelo was painting…

      Do not worry do unleash artist you have within, Marek!

      • Hi Ivana 🙂
        Agree and disagree – I believe it depends on the occassion. Yes, your examples are right. But let me give another – an unexperienced worker given a task shall not try to give his work the artistic touch of his/her personality, until he/she “optimises” the minimum needs of the task…
        And to your question – yes, there are limits of speed and optimization of process, that the companies do now, but in many of them those have not been reached yet. In others, of course, they have reached them and should rather give the space for bringing “artistic added value”…

      • Everything what I have done in last 14 months I was inexperienced and unqualified for…If I would be waiting for instructions to do things, it would be too late.
        Every day I am beginner, every day I do things I have never done before.
        Want to be remarkable? Ship! And fail often. Scary? Yes…Worth it? Hell, yes.
        Want to be a good factory worker? Obey manual, wait for instructions and be compliant. Safe? Yes…Remarkable? Far from it..

      • Marek Lutz says:

        Ok, so here we reach agreement – there are needed factory workers that obey manuals – that is what I also ment – in some professions, the artistic touch is not needed. In work like yours or many others, it is a necessity of course 🙂

      • 😉
        And the last question is: which side of the field do you see yourself?
        Note: there is no in between;-)

      • Marek Lutz says:

        I see myself in the non-aligned side 🙂

      • 😉

  2. I recently started ‘expressing my art’ through my blog about creativity and writing. It does take a lot of emotional energy to truly engage in creating from a place of authenticity. I realize it’s worth it, though, when I hear from readers how something I’ve written opened a place in them that needed to be given life. That’s what you have done for me with this encouraging post- thank you.

    • Hey Zoe!
      Yay, welcome to Inspiring Shipments and to SCG! (because you have left your comment here)
      I am really delighted to see, that you have found this post = shipment “in our lingo”:-) as inspiring!
      And that is the main thing why I create is to leave something what matters behind me at the end of the day, and I am totally with you, as you have said
      “When I hear from readers how something I’ve written opened a place in them that needed to be given life.”
      This is same thing what keeps me going;-)
      See you around here again and I have subscribe to your blog as well, so I am looking fwd to your shipments;-)

  3. Hey Ivana,
    Great questions you raise here today! I often get frustrated when I see people who think they “have” to follow the rules, even when the rules don’t make any sense – it’s a HUGE pet peeve for me. I think there are lots of people who don’t think of themselves as artists because of their pre-concieved notion of what art is. You are spot-on when you say that art is emotional labor. It doesn’t have to do with anything other than being attached and passionate about what you do and what you share with the world. We are ALL artists and although picking up the brush as we stare at our blank canvas is scary for many of us, it is absolutely what we need to do in order to reveal our true potential and the full picture of our lives. Thanks so much for all you do to remind us of that Ivana!

    • Yay, Tisha!
      So, great to see you!;-)
      You are so right, people just think they cannot, we all have been trained to believe in need of instructions of someone superior to us, in order to start to do something.
      I am happy that there are more of us who are getting together and encouraging each other to ship art;-)
      I and we in SCG, certainly count on you to be part of this movement towards emotional labor;-)

  4. The problem is that the enterprisey culture is (sort of) over. All in the corporate machinery that use to work is decaying.

    That machinery thrived in the Knowledge Era but now the audience is asking for more.

    People are sick of being ignored as persons. Bosses that steal social capital of the group are starting to be de mode. Less social capital vampirization is leading us to a better world.

    The thing with ignoring you as person was a convenient during a time as a way to get rid of too much crazy emotions (that tons of people have) but it also ignored tons of valuable, non-crazy-value-added emotions (that another ton of generous people) decided to provide as gifts.

    This revolution is about an economy with better emotions.

    Not that we put rational totally aside. We sum the thingy in a whole new product that has more sense that anything we saw.

    I see this as a signal of our global culture getting a tiny bit better at using emotions. We are getting emotionally smarter or, if you like, less dumber (by learning and growing up together like we do in the blogosphere for instance).

    We have a long road ahead, though

    • Hey Seb,
      what a wonderful comment! I had to tweet you as well.
      Thank you so much for putting emotional labor into this comment.
      It is a piece of art!

      Guys, read Sebastian’s comment, it is a must read!

  5. I just really have to stop by every time you ship, Ivi:)

    I’ll add my opinion to the question opened by Marek.
    Honestly, I really do think that even a factory worker can be/become an artist. From my experience, I, personally, started small. Used to work for little money, manual work. The great thing is that manual work and repetitive tasks allow you to think a lot. Manual work opens the back door of your brain and enables you to see, visualize things you’ve never thought of before. So the question is, what stops you from using your inner brain to innovate the processes you take part on (even) as a factory worker/one in a million?

    Don’t know if I expressed myself clearly. To sum up – there is no profession, no place in the world, no job, no employer where you couldn’t become an artist. The only thing you need to do is to find the “artist” within you. Do what you love. And if you can`t do what you love – motivate yourself to love it, find out a way how to enjoy life, even if the life itself maybe doesn`t give you what you deserve… DO NOT THINK BLACK&WHITE.

    • Spot on Zuzi!
      There is no difference between manual workers or office workers, we are all the same and how we do our work is just about our attitude.
      More over manual work can be very thoughtful or even spiritual experience, and as you have said it is all about what is going on between our ears, in our brain.
      The greatest zen masters are gaining their wisdom on life through performing manual tasks like archery or tea procedures.
      We all should learn to be mindful, playful and present in every moment. There is nothing more we can do than to BE.

  6. A cutting lens I use is to look for people that either help see things a new way, inspire, make you feel, or solve a problem really well.

  7. Great page,

    but don’t humiliate factory workers. In fact, I think that all consultants should work every year for 3 weeks in coal mining to ensure necessary humility.


    • Hi Alessandro!
      Welcome to Inspiring Shipments;-) thanks for your 1st comment.
      I want to assure you, that this blog is a place where respect is one of its virtues, so I would not dare to consider manual work as a reason for humiliating anyone.
      In our (SCG-Super Cool Gang) language, we understand under “factory worker” anyone who is just following instructions and not creating anything meaningful for this world. And in this case many times consultants are unknowingly factory workers, while miners are truly performing art by their daily work.
      Thank you for your consideration about it and I agree with you, that corporate world workers should learn from those who are doing “simple manual jobs”, to see how their work matters.

      • Hi Alessandro and Ivana…
        I am sorry if our discussion examples sounded like a humiliation. It was not ment to be. I have personally worked hard for few months in steel/wood processing company 6 AM-6 PM and I know the value of the work and I also know, how much it can give you to do it also from the intelectual point of view. As Zuzana said in one of the comments above, it opens the back door for the brain to think…
        So no, noone is lowering the need of any profession here, be sure about that.
        Cheers to all of you

  8. Great one 🙂

    I think everyone of us is artist in some way. I find it out by work with my girls in scout, I can see it in school (IT school), I can see it everywhere I turn my head. So I can say I am an artist too… And I really like to do my art, to show it to another people. Mainly when I can see they like it, but the most for me is, when I can see that it somehow helped them. I really can´t sometimes believed in those things, but I know it´s true. Everything we do can help somebody… we even don´t have to know that.
    And that´s the biggest art for me – to help people by such a small, simple things 🙂

    • Wonderful Lucka!
      I am so happy to read your beautiful comment.
      Please ship and share your art!

      It is really remarkable to watch your journey and evolution since our first meeting one year ago on NGLS.
      Keep on marching!


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