I've been carrying on a gentle research project lately about people who really hit their stride in their 40s (for obvious reasons). It may also just be a list of people I like, but, whatever. Favourites so far include:
- Peggy Guggenheim - I've probably read the most about Ms Guggenheim, and, even though it feels a little disingenuous to compare myself to her, it's perhaps more that I'm inspired most by her (so far). When she turned forty, she opened her first gallery, in Cork Street in London, called Guggenheim Jeune. I went there one evening when I was nearby. It's not there anymore. It was in her forties that she built most of her fantastic, world-changing modern art collection. I also enjoyed the Lisa Vreeland film about her, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict. (And, Mum? I think you look a bit like her. Maybe that's why I like her so much :).)
- Charles and Ray Eames - Late 1940s, early 50s they created work like the Eames House, but moved steadily away from architecture into furniture and other things,
- Barbara Hepworth - Apart from sharing a birthday with me, she found her studio in St Ives when she was in her mid-forties
- Nora Ephron - Finally entered the fray as the brilliant screenwriter she was, with Silkwood, released when she was just 42.
I'm about to take a bit of a leap here in London, taking on a new office space after a good first year in business. I'm nervous about it, but also feel strong about my work and the new network of friends, colleagues, and advisors I've been weaving here. It's also nice to feel committed to building something over the coming years, especially for myself. Maybe that's it. Maybe that's why some people hit their stride in their forties (or another time)... because they work out what they want to do with their time, instead of working for other people on what they want to do.
I was about to write "fingers crossed" but instead I'll write time to knuckle down. It's not about crossing fingers, it's about jumping on chances when they come up after you've given them a good think. The office is a bit of a risk, but I think there will be benefits too, and I'm betting that they will probably outweigh that risk over time.
That's it for now. I haven't really been writing anything down about this research, so the list is a bit short and may or may not be added to.