One of the most important shifts in my thinking over the past few years has been the disassociation of being artistic and being creative.
If we could go back to 2006 and you were to ask me if I was creative, my response would have been “no.” I got there mainly because I could not draw, play the guitar, or write the next great American novel. I didn’t consider myself artistic and everyone knows that artists are the only ones who are truly creative, therefore I was not creative.
Move forward to 2013 and you ask me the same question, “do you consider yourself creative?” My response this time is a resounding “YES!”. What changed? I still cannot draw, play the guitar and have little chance of writing the next great American novel.
What changed is that I realize that we are all creative. We may not all act creative, but we are born creative. It’s just for some of us, somewhere along the way society subdues our creativity and it lies latent until awoken. Part of my goal with this blog and what I do at work is to awaken creativity.
BUT, I feel like I’m on the edge of another pivot. I now feel more and more like and artist. I come in to work every day and I make art. Sure it’s not a Monet, I’m not composing symphonies, but I am making art nevertheless.
It’s art because there is some risk involved. There is no A + B = C to what I am doing. I have a process, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t fail. And that risk feels great. It makes me feel human and vulnerable and connected with others. This project that I am working on, this talk I am going to give, this meeting I am trying to run, might all be unmitigated disasters. I might look like an idiot. People might not get it. But that’s ok because I am making art. Art is not for everyone.
And there’s more good news. There has never been a better time to make ART. I love this quote from Seth Godin:
This is a lousy time to be an industrialist. A lousy time to hope for a reliable, predictable demand. A lousy time to expect to extract unreasonable profits by making average stuff for average people. A lousy time, especially, to be a well paid middle manager who does what he’s told in exchange for a safe job.
On the other hand, there’s never been a better time to have something to say. To embrace change and see the world differently. There has never been a better time to make connections instead of stuff. And most of all, there has never been a better time to make art.
Make some art today.