Do you consider yourself to be a creative?
Artwork by Timo Kuilder
I believe people struggle with this identity because it’s not as simple as stating a fact. I’m 20 years old, I am a UNCW Communication Studies major, I’m an extrovert, I love dogs: these are easy. Saying you are a creative goes deeper than that. Being a creative, to me, is recognizing that you have a mind different from any other mind in this entire world. It is realizing that you are possibly the only person who has had those thoughts and all you want to do is bring your unique ideas to life. Your idea may be a brilliant plan for creating support and understanding amongst the people in your company, or arranging the pieces within a room in a new way to promote a more peaceful atmosphere. Your idea could be filming a documentary to promote awareness around an important cause or even producing a work of art from your imagination. Merriam Webster even describes the term with the example of “managing to get around legal or conventional limits”. Being a creative, or innovator, doesn’t entail being any sort of genius like Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, or Steve Jobs. In fact, I think a lot of people are creatives who don’t even realize it.
I love the definition Tanner Christensen wrote for Creative Something’s blog. It states,”Being creative means solving a problem in a new way. It means changing your perspective. Being creative means taking risks and ignoring doubt and facing fears. I means breaking with routine and doing something different for the sake of doing something different.”
After a quick scan of the internet, I quickly saw that many people have an issue with the term “creative” as a noun. There are the people who claim that the word ends in –ive, logically making it an adjective. Then, there are the people saying it is unfair to describe others who get around the law or incorporate a new business plan as being on the same level creatively as an artist.
To argue the first point, speaking as a creative, I am going to reiterate the fact that I prefer to think outside the box. Under my circumstances, and grammar rules aside, (because what rules are made not to broken) the term creative is perfectly just. I believe that while language is used to communicate and understand, language is also used to illustrate. If the term “creative” as a noun better represents what I am describing, then that is the term I will use.
As for the second kind of person against the noun—the people who believe it is unfair to categorize others as possessing the same level of creativity as artists. Well, I realized most of these people are artists. Maybe they’re prideful of being more creative in their eyes than people of other professions. Maybe they are greedy and want to claim all terms relating to creativity as their own. To all those artists: I thank you for your work and love what you do, but I personally, do not believe that is the only kind of creativity.
If you still disagree with me and believe creative should stay in its place as an adjective, then I guess we will have to agree to disagree. No matter what you believe about the actual word, I think we can all agree that these types of people are important. We need more people in the world who will speak up and generate new outlooks. I want people to test my views, move me to see things I have alway looked at in a new light. No two people are alike and in a world with so many minds, nothing should be impossible. We have been taught throughout history that conformity is not the answer and the world is in desperate need of open minds and new perspectives. That is your cue creatives. I challenge you to ask yourself what makes you unique, what new ideas can you bring to the table and what are you inspired to create?
Artwork by Gökhan Kodalak