Last week, I asked the question, “What Is a Creative?”
Many of you chimed in on Twitter, giving some very thought-provoking and compelling answers. Here are some of my favorite responses to the hash tag #acreativeis, describing what a creative is:
…someone who reveals truth, who sees & understands a need & articulates a solution in whole or in part, signposting what’s next. [Ian Finch]
..someone who is able to pull art (beauty) from life. [Melissa Greene]
Someone who dwells in possibility. [David Ballard]
…“designed by God with hungry hearts and eager ears” [Patsy Clairmont, via Jim Drake]
…someone who lives in obedience to a God that is the true creator and willing to live I’m faith despite the risk. [Adam Fagankela]…someone who uses the arts to intentionally communicate a story in an engaging and inspiring way. [Drew Brown]
Everyone. We all share the image of God. We all were given a box of crayons in kindergarten. [Trey Chandler]…someone who is willing to see what could be and pursue it at all costs. [Cynthia Cullen]
My definition was: “A thought leader.”
But as we were doing this fun little survey, something occurred to me: A creative is not what he or she does.
This is a common mistake that people fall into, and it's especially a slippery slope for artists. As someone who creates, you may be inclined to think that your identity comes from that activity.
That's not true.
You are not what you do. (As a great Jars of Clay song teaches us.)
No one is.
Being creative is who you are, not what you do. Your artistic activity flows out of your unique ability to be creative, not to create. That's the difference between art and production.
You are not a creative because you create things. You're creative; therefore, you create.
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Recommended reading: Entrepreneurs: It's Not What You Do, It's Why You Do It