On Taste & Finishing Things

When you don’t create, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow and exclude people. So create.

(Jonathan Gillette)

Have you ever been defined by a taste? Or perhaps, have you been judged for your taste? When we were in high school this probably was the only thing to recognize someone else. We had to develop certain tastes, to be able to mingle with some groups: clothing, music, sports, and probably dozens of other cultural products. Hardly were we judged with our ability to produce or create. It’s probably fair for high school. But not when we grow up.

How many of us are merely using rather than creating? We make selections on consumer products endlessly almost on a daily basis. The taxi we take, the clothes we buy, the food we pick for lunch, the way we relax and enjoy our evenings, the gadgets we purchase. We make a gradual loyalty to certain products, certain brands, and certain lifestyle. It’s not necessarily one brand, it could be a series of brands as long as they belong to the same lifestyle. However, the point in this is one: we never really made those products. We only paid for the services or items. We didn’t even think about those particular ideas proposed by the products we use. We were sold to some ideas the manufacturers (or the advertising agencies) proposed to us. Sometimes, we didn’t even know we needed a product. These ideas that we have sold ourselves into would accumulate and evolve into normalcy. They become our needs. They become what we are. They become a taste, a certain quality we are after for. They define us.

It is hard to return to a lower “taste”. Once we are accustomed to one level of taste, we’re more likely to go up rather than down. It probably takes years or a drastic change of work & life environment to shift this idealism.

What defines taste, then? Many things. Who we are, what we are, what we do for a living, where we live, who we meet, what we eat, how we are told to do and face problems. It is never the same for every individual, even when they live in the same household. We are raised based on the ideals set forth by our parents, and to some extent, our closest friends. When we grow up, we become even more defined by our job(s), the people we frequent and the ideas we submit ourselves into.

Then, we do collisions of ideas and tastes. We fight, we speak up against others’. Sometimes, we don’t even realise we are too self-centric, or too submissive to whatever our ideas are we don’t care or despise what others prefer.

We live in a multi-cultured, multi-perspective world and one idea could be entirely different to another, while some would be related to some others. There is no single answer to everything, there is no one way to do everything. The only aggressive way to force an idea into someone else’s mind is probably to create something and implant the concept you bring into someone else’s minds. Merely evolving your ideas into taste, and trying to sell that to someone else, will just result in rejections and doubts.

So, do and finish things. Yes, so create. Write. Code. Draw. Take photographs. Make a product and sell. And, be consistent.