The Burden of Creativity

As artists and creative thinkers, we may long for the day or days when we will be able to be “creative” all the day long. Perhaps we day dream about it while at work, or pursue jobs that allow us to be creative or at the very least allow us the time and energy to make and create in our free time.

At the end of the day, our desire is to able to do what we love and live a life which is richly fulfilled by our endeavors and creations and become financially secure because of our own making.

On the flip side, however, being creative, carries with it a burden. The day you find yourself in the position, THAT very position you’d dreamed about, holy moly!

It’s not so much a heavy burden or a cross bearing burden, rather it’s more like an insatiable drive that must must be fulfilled, a burning desire to be constantly in a forward moving state. Then there is also this pull to sit still because there are so many things you could be doing and want to be doing, things you could be sharing and want to be sharing with the world.

It can be frustrating. In his talk (by the same name of this article) at the 2012 Interlink Conference, Cameron Moll, suggests that this frustration might be the result of grappling with the misguided idea that originality is creativity. It’s the subtle notion that the product is more important than the process or all the various inputs it takes to get to the final destination.

He suggests that creativity is NOT the same or synonymous with originality. Our creative efforts certainly can be original but being original is not the pinnacle of creativity rather it is a part of a bigger equation.

I like the way Cameron thinks.

One of the things you need a lot of when being a creative individual is, as Cameron calls it, GRIT. This is truly where the rubber meets the road.  Execution + Persistence + Passion = GRIT. Creativity includes persistence in the face of obstacles and problems, synthesis of or even out right re-envisioning (oh, you mean stealing, yes that right!)  of ideas that already exist and putting your own spin them and finally, organizing all the little a-ha moments into something uniquely you. These a-ha moments can happen anywhere at any time, and maybe even when you are not aware that it is happening at all.

Creativity is a process which involves you, your ideas, the information and ideas you witness each day by many other persons and things, and perhaps also in bringing an idea to its final fruition it may be a process that involves many, many hands. It doesn’t happen over night, and it doesn’t always happen cataclysmically but rather creativity can happen incrementally.

Somewhere in his presentation, Cameron Moll, he says it best:


I highly recommend watching this video, I found it informative and insightful as I am on my own journey of creativity!


Carpe Diem!


Check out: 

Exposure365 – this is 365 day photography project I am working. I am using cell phone, medium format and 35 mm film formats throughout the year. Possibly also some antiquarian processes.

vparthur2002 – Instagram feed.


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