It is the word that has been popping up in every conversation since I arrived in Paris: authenticity. I am not sure why this has suddenly become a theme, but I am obsessed.
The word has come up in multiple ways- primarily that people recognize the authenticity of Culture Keeper and its goals / message / aesthetic. That is the biggest compliment I can ever be given.. that what I create is consistent with my values and personality.
Authenticity has also been discussed with regard to its absence… Paris is a huge city with a drive for luxury, and people are often not what they seem. With all these extremes I am getting better at sorting out the genuine, kind-hearted, creative types from the general sprawl of human existence. That is a great realization. The contrast has made me desire more than ever, to be authentic… to be an open book, honest and kind; my truest self. This may sound rather sappy, but I promise it is the result of serious interaction and deep conversation.
There is so much creativity going on right now. Humans are at work, laboring to make the world a more beautiful place. My challenge these days is recognizing who is at that labor, and who is out to make themselves. It is a confusing challenge. I often feel like my work is all about building my own career and my own voice- so each day I back up and remind myself about my grand goals:
All I want to do is enable others to create. I want to tell stories. I want to open up minds and hearts to imagination. I want to make beautiful things.
...and now? Now I want to be authentic.
Jonathan Randall Grant