The East End Market is one of my favorite places in Orlando. In fact, I am sitting there right now writing this very post. I love it because it is filled with art. No, not paintings and sculptures. It’s filled with the kind of art that Seth Godin talks about: art that gives something away and changes the recipient. And I would add: art also changes the person creating the art.
What I love about the East End Market is that the building itself is a work of art. It used to be a little hotel squeezed in between the Winter Park and Baldwin Park areas of Orlando. Someone had the artistic vision to turn the abandoned old place into a market of artisans. Just doing that changed countless lives.
Now the Market has a coffee shop, a small bookstore, an asian market, an artisan bakery, a craft beer bar, a cheese shop, and a couple of sandwich places. Each one of the proprietors of these places is creating her own art. The coffee shop directly imports beans from Africa, Central America, and South America. It’s changing the lives of the farmers that grow the coffee. It’s also changing the lives of the employees of the coffee shop, giving them a regular job. It’s also changing the coffee business in Orlando by using beans that are “firsts” instead of the “thirds” that most coffee shops use.
The little bookstore is a treasure in a day and age when bookstores are closing. This bookstore gets to be highly selective in what they offer. There are highly specialized cook books, books on Florida culture, unique novels and children’s books, cards, and small items for your home.
The craft beer bar serves local brews. The bakery offers delicious bread and pastries you can’t get anywhere else. The sandwiches are far superior than anything you’ll get in a fast food place. The cheeses in the cheese shop come from all over the world. The asian market has pho and food you can’t get anywhere else.
Simply being in the place changes me and makes me more productive and more creative. Creativity breeds creativity. There is a certain energy that flows through creative people and places.
And it makes me wish there was more of it.
Here’s where you come in: The world needs your art. It needs what you have to offer. You may not be a painter, sculptor, or musician, but there is something you have to offer and give that will change other people. Maybe you can make sandwiches, or coffee, or beer, or bread. Maybe you could sell unique books.
A number of years ago our daughter, Ashlyn, started a blog. It was funny, interesting, and had a clever title. Unfortunately, she gave it up. Recently she’s had an idea for a new blog. I know what it’s about, and it would be such a cool thing for people to read. I hope she gets it out into the world soon and often. It will not only change the world, it will change her.
Here’s my encouragement to you (yeah you…the one reading this): stop putting it off. Make something. Ship it. And then make something else. We need your art. The world will be a better and more beautiful place because of it. Your creativity will help someone else’s. It might even challenge us to change or think differently.
Come on…what are you waiting for?