My Love-Hate Relationship with “Creativity”

If you weren’t scared about what people would think – how would you express your creativity?

I live in a creative field. Film, television, advertising, and promotional fields require an innate hunch for creativity. But you can’t just be creative. You have to be the most creative. You can’t just be good at graphics, you have to be the best at graphics. You can’t just be funny, you have to be the most funny. And quite frankly, it’s exhausting. We all have strengths, but we can’t be strong at everything.

Even though my mom saved all the ridiculous things I made, drew, colored, created as a kid, I often feel creatively deficient. You know when you’re a kid – and you just go at it? Whatever you’re doing, it doesn’t really matter how it looks, you just color, or build, or paint, or draw. You don’t even realize it looks like crap until an adult asks “Why is the cow purple? Have you ever seen a purple cow?” As a child, you fold yourself in, embarrassed, and mutter “I guess not.” The older you get, you lose touch with the creativity because you realize maybe you’re not very “good” at it. And you should just cut your losses now.

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I’m talking about this kind of crap. What does this even mean?? DUNNO! DOESN’T MATTER!

I can not sketch anything to save my life. At least anything representative of the real world. (Ohh it’s supposed to be a dog?) But the real reason I feel creatively deficient is because I’m surrounded in my professional and educational world with creative masters. And in that world, you must prove that you are the best to have any kind of value.

When was the last time you let all expectations loose and just purely created something for the sake of using your creativity? I don’t know about you – but, uh, I don’t really…..do that. Ever. And I should.

There are so many talented people out there that we feel like if we can’t reach their standards, that we shouldn’t even try. And it’s ridiculous!

STOP COMPARING YOURSELF.

The point of creativity isn’t the product you’re building, making, drawing, whatever.

I stumbled across this song today and, boy did it speak to me.

All of my comparison is rooted in fear. Fear of not being good enough. Scared of being admonished, made fun of, seen as incompetent, or even worse, lazy. I’m scared of not being successful. Being able to make a living. These are real things that haunt me every day and ultimately, squash my creativity.

So you see, I have to find a way to face my fears, let go of my expectations, and let inspiration run wild every once and a while.

1. Fun should be fun. It should not feel like work. If it isn’t fun, find another way to have fun.
2. Creativity is personal and intimate. Forget everyone’s else definition of creativity, and live out your definition.
3. Fear is a good thing. And it wants to be faced.
4. Indulge every once in a while. I mean don’t go crazy. But have a piece of chocolate for crying out loud. Buy the damn shoes. Stop the guilt. Guilt feeds fear.
5. Forget the outcome. The point of fun and creativity is 99.999% the journey. I mean sure you have a nice painting to hang in your bathroom. That’s the .0001%. But fun should still be fun.

Ok. That’s my inspiration of the week. Now go forth and create.

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