I am about to editorialize about something that has plagued me for years. It's something that I think everyone in Southern California and NOT in LA has to deal with, and people probably deal with it in other parts of the country too. I am talking about the perception of regional creativity, or more accurately, the ability of a person to be creative when in a given region. The stigma that my hometown of Riverside, CA suffers from, as well as the surrounding areas, is that we AREN'T Los Angeles.
For the record, Riverside was never LA, nor was it ever a "suburb" of LA. Riverside was founded as it's own city by John W. North in 1870. Riverside has it's own history steeped in heritage, art and culture. But I digress, I don't want this post to be about whiny hometown pride.
The point of this post is this: The idea that YOUR creativity is connected to your location is ABSURD. Let's also get this out of the way: Yes there are areas that might have more resources, and yes there are areas that have more jobs available, that's just common sense. More populated areas typically house more businesses and so there is more work to choose from. Does that mean anything in terms of the creativity of another cities residents? Absolutely not. These are simply amenities.
Creative people can be creative anywhere. It matters not where they live or in what building they work. I don't want to downplay the value of an aesthetically pleasing workplace, especially for visual people, but the fact remains: creativity does not live in a building. Nor does any particular city have a monopoly on creativity. There are creative directors and artists out there who will tell you otherwise, but it's a bald faced lie.
My stated goal as a photographer, and a visual artist, is not to flee my hometown and work in the "big city" but to bring the work to me, where I want to be, and show that the artistic world is at least a little bit bigger than LA and NY.