…there you go I’ve said it.
I AM A CREATIVE!
Might seem funny to hear a musician and web designer making a proclamation of this fact but the truth is I’ve never really been able to say it before. That is, before this year’s Recreate Conference in Franklin TN, and particularly the specific elements of the keynote speeches from Randy Elrod *(particularly) and Ken Davis on what it is to be ‘a creative’ i.e. someone who is quintessentially definable as such.
I think up to that point to call myself ‘a’ creative rather than someone who ‘applies creativity’ or who ‘is’ creative would have been to call myself ‘a flake’ or ‘someone that think’s everyone else should pay for their self indulgence.’ Quite possibly because of the logical / scientific side of my personality; possibly because I’m a businessman that deals with the realities of the design industry daily, or maybe simply because I’m english (and we typically don’t want to create a fuss!) I’ve just generally had a problem with the associating myself with the moniker. I haven’t liked the kinds of people it often brings to mind – disorganised, head-in-the-clouds, self-absorbed drop-outs… (harsh? yeah, probably but I’m trying to articulate a negative starting point!)
But now I don’t. There’s too much evidence in my life of the personality traits defined as being in the character make-up a person commonly as being ‘a creative’. Here are just a few examples that spoke to me the most:
A creative has a generally more emotionally-charged form of Empathy
Randy identified the forms of empathy as being:
- Cognitive empathy – understanding intellectually how someone feels
- Emotional empathy – feeling how someone feels
- Compassionate empathy – it’s like your living it with them
A Creative is more likely to be a compassionate empath. This means they have some great strengths but also some very clear weaknesses. In a simple example I know I’m best deployed at work when shaping the future, putting teams together, generally inspiring. I’m not best dealing with things like disciplinary or other HR processes where I may get so involved in someone’s story that it makes it a very emotionally draining process whereas someone with cognitive empathy will be able to do something sensitively but dispassionately.
A creative person is intuitive.
The spirit is to the soul what the mind is to the body and we need to understand our spiritual mind and remain connected to that which feeds the soul. As a creative I think you have a natural awareness when something is missing, when the spark is gone – either in yourself or whatever you are objective considering.
Often times I have a general feeling about something well before I can articulate it. For a long time I’ve forced this part of me down in favour of working through a logical process. Because it’s describable and traceable I trust the logical process much more but as I’ve got older I’ve been able to speed this rationalisation process up and time and again my natural intuition has been proven right, even if I may early thoughts as to maybe why something is the case have been wrong.
An Interesting fact in all this is that almost all kids are scientifically validated as being ‘highly creative’ on a creativity scale – the results diminish as follows over time:
- 90% aged 5
- 70% aged 7
- 5% (5!!) aged 18+
We need to be more attentive to our creative spirit generally. I’ve always felt being childlike in life has immense value.
A Creative person is charismatic.
Charisma, apparently, can be defined as the ability to help people feel intimate in a none-intimate space. Charismatic people are people comfortable in their own skin (Charis = grace. Grace =God in us. It’s the fruit of truly understanding freedom you could argue). Other people have recognised me as being someone who doesn’t change when in different circumstances or social circles. Being authentic has always been important to me as has being attentive to my own emotions (even if its not agreeing with myself that I’m having the correct emotional response to something and figuring that out) as has been trying my best to focus on other people and reacting accordingly. Someone once advised – are you listening or planning what you’re saying next?
A Creative only feels good when they’re living to the maximum extent.
This is SO true of me. For YEARS I’ve put myself down as just being a discontent or at worst ungrateful. But actually, hearing this is so much more life-affirming a validating – of course you’re going to feel discontent if you’re quintessential nature as a creative means that you need to live life to the maximum extent. I need new projects, new learning, new experiences, new places to visit. And I don’t feel bad about it! How freeing!
Creatives inspire other creatives as well as doing the business themselves.
One of the reason’s I love running a business, performing music or leading worship is that I love connecting with people. Now the truth is I’m an introvert – meaning I get energy by being on my own. People drain me, and yet I love the feeling of making something happen or being a part of something where the whole becomes greater than the sum of it’s parts. Where everyone moves forward together. Where everyone is inspired to reach higher, dreamer bigger, go further.
Creativity and Entrepreneurship go hand in hand.
So I look at my resume and that I’ve set up and run a web business, co-own a watersports school, produced numerous CDs (inc Supervision and Finchley as well as others) and have even commercially my house by always having lodgers…. and I reckon this is true!
So, in conclusion – I am a creative! And actually, I look up at the above examples and feel quite content to be so. I am free of seeing only the negative and am therefore going to be more a-tuned to preserving my creativity and living a life that protects it and lets it flourish.
Because it’s who I am and what I aspire to be.