Being Creative: The reality is…

This blog will be focused on the truths of being labeled a creative. Being categorized in this group has it’s benefits, but it also has its share of difficulties.

Like when I was in bootcamp and “commissioned” to paint a mural for my platoon towards the end of training.

This allowed for a short reprieve from the months of forced happiness that was the core of training and punishment. However, it also meant I got less sleep due to the extracurricular activity of designing and painting said mural.

It also meant I had more expectations from those who were ensuring we received the highest caliber of training possible. This included the highest level of “corrective training” if we didn’t meet their standards.

Having their attention wasn’t really what you wanted. I very well could have been better off had I not raised my hand when asked if I knew how to paint and draw.

Lesson learned.

Yet, in reality, it was a great experience having made it through. I appreciated the challenge.

Besides, it was the first time I had the opportunity to paint a life size musclebound bulldog human holding a chained skeleton in a fiery dungeon filled with bones and skulls.

Yes, this was really what I painted.

*If i can find the photo, I’ll add it later, but this will require a lot of digging

***Update*** I found the pictures!!

Creativity and the military shared an interesting dynamic for me.

If you’re curious, check out my blog “Creative in Combat: Lessons from a War Zone” to learn how a war zone taught me about creativity and mindset.

Creativity Unleashed

I love being a creative, but it can be a challenging path to follow. If you categorize yourself as a creative I’m sure you can relate with some if not all of the concepts I’m about to discuss.

All this said, if you don’t think you’re a creative you should check out my blog “Confidence to Fail”. After reading it you may have a new and renewed perspective on what it is to be a creative as well as how to approach it.

Moving on.

I find pride in being labeled as a creative. Throughout my life there are uncountable occasions where I was sought out to create something in different social circles.

Whether that’s a design for a poster, video production, photography or painting a mural. Or maybe something as abstract as set design for a musical performance.

These are all things I’ve had the opportunity to work on due to carrying the label of creative among those I frequently hang out with. That said, at times it can become a bit of a catch-22.

I’ll share what I mean by that.

Take for example someone that’s a technologist. For a time in my life I was working in a technology position that required knowledge of the inner workings of data centers and networks.

I wasn’t a program developer and actually only had a limited knowledge of networks based on my job function.

However, as soon as someone in my network would find out I worked in IT it was very common they would assume I knew much more about all things tech. It was as if, due to the career, I was expected to help those that knew less than me.

The catch-22 is this. When you have even just a little more knowledge or experience in a given area you are suddenly perceived as the subject matter expert. Regardless if you possess the skill required to solve the problem in question.

So when you’re put in these positions to fix something or design something there is an expectation from the beginning. This is also compounded when those requesting the assistance think you should hook them up with a big discount or even do it for free because you’re friends.

This is an insult. One that many times, as a creative, you find yourself considering the best response so as not to offend the person that has just insulted you.

If they valued your services they wouldn’t ask for a hook up correct?

Professional Insight

Being approached with a problem is great because it means your insights are valued. Yet if not managed, the requests can rapidly consume your time and energy.

On a lighter side, being a creative can present many opportunities you would likely otherwise never get. Take for example working on collaborations with other creatives.

I recently filmed an R&B music video titled “Supposed To” with a local performer by the name of Paige Ellis. This was through my business Optic Ninja Media, but was purely a passion project.

It was an awesome challenge to conceptualize, plan and produce this content with her.

However, it wouldn’t have been possible had Paige not believed in my abilities to create the vision we developed.

To wrap this blog up I’ll just say this. Being a creative presents difficulties and opportunities alike. This isn’t even considering the internal personal thought processes that come with the creative process.

That said, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I appreciate the uncertainty that comes with creating and publishing for the world to critique. I also enjoy the challenge of the continued effort that’s required to continue developing and improving in my craft.

Having others approach you to help with problem solving or creating unique content is a privilege. Even when a hook up is requested it can still present a great opportunity.

These opportunities can eventually lead to working with others who share the same passion you have to create high end content.

Glass Half Full

All in all, the glass is always half full when it comes to creative projects for me. I enjoy all of them, even those that aren’t initiated by me or require additional effort above and beyond my planned schedule.

I have a summary page where I briefly discuss concepts of creativity and provide a few more links to podcasts or blogs that further illustrate my perspective.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my podcast. It would be great to hear your feedback.

Contact me with any questions you have or with ideas for content you’d like to see. Be sure to check out Tasty Dangerous on social media for regular updates and insights to lifestyle development.

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