Last week I was lucky enough to sit down with Mike, Mat and Mary Ann from Defining Skin tattoo shop here in Columbus Ohio and we sat and talked about their journey as creative entrepreneurs in the Greater Columbus area.
There is a bubbling here in Lansing, I can feel it. I light rumble beneath my feet filled with creativity and innovation. Under the rusty foundation of a once great General Motors I can feel Lansing coming alive. For the past few years I have been noticing the growing creative class of entrepreneurs who wish to walk there own path here in this great city.
The Greater Lansing Transition
In today’s world the American economy is in a transitional phase that will shape not only the face of the country but also the dynamics of the world economy. As more blue collar manufacturing jobs move overseas and the industrial framed foundation of our nation continues to crumble, a new resurgent economy built from the arts and technology is taking its place.
I would like to give a special thank you to all the subjects that I interviewed while undertaking this project. I would not have been able to gain the massive wealth of information I obtained about the Greater Lansing area as well as about how communities function, without there help.
It hit me today how much the modern day toolbelt for an artist like myself has changed in such a short amount of time. From my mothers age of charcoal and acrylic to in just a short amount of time Adobe creative suite. From film to digital, clay to Zbrush we have to a large extent found ways to replicate manual art in a digital world. But sometimes I wonder if I have missed out on an important step in the artistic process by not fully immersing myself in the traditional arts.
This inspired me to pick my sketch book up and begin sketching on a more consistant bases.
The greater Lansing area is a place that is caught between two identities. On one side it has a strong and entrenched blue collar culture. A town that is striving to have its residents live the American dream reminiscent of the 1950’s and 60’s.
The separation between the Lansing and East Lansing residents that once worked to give traditional families and the student populations there own space, has caused a divide that has destroyed any connection young college students have with the area as a whole. This being a huge problem seeing as Michigan was one of the only states last year with a negative population. This being largely due to young college educated adults choosing to go elsewhere with there talents.
The two cultures of Lansing has caused a cultural clash between the traditional industrial minds of the past and the creative minds of now. Lansing has every tool to become a creative thriving city that can move into the future but first it must figure out how to form a new identity that does not exclude certain groups of the population. While taking advantage of all the young educated minds that fill the area.