Creative Is More Than an Adjective in a Job Title

graphic of different colors of paint splashing in front of a white background

Albert Einstein once said, ”Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Good one, Albert.

I believe that whole-heartedly. I’m not imagining a crafts project here, one where you follow instructions or a tutorial to recreate someone else’s idea—not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s an inclusive project and it’s fun and rewarding. But no, I’m imagining mind-stretching, taking-a-deep-breath-and-diving-in, “what if?” creativity where you’re making something out of nothing and playing in a new corner of your mental playground.

And I think it’s important, very important, for commercially creative careerists—designers, copywriters, videographers, marketers of every kind—to maintain a personal creative outlet where they can test themselves and challenge their capabilities.

I’ve been a creative director for 40 years and have maintained a dual fine art career the entire time, which has helped keep me fresh, extend my vision and make me a better communicator. As a writer, I’m currently working on my sixth book. The process of creative writing has enhanced my vocabulary, clarified my voice and made me a better speaker.

I often hear graphic designers say that they want to work on more creative projects, something other than the corporate day-to-day. My answer to that is, “So, what’s stopping you?” Do it. Grow your skill set. Expand your capabilities and broaden your career possibilities as a result.

And I’ve often heard copywriters say that they feel stifled by the corporate constraints put on their writing. So, write a novel. Again, what’s stopping you? Develop your voice. Extend your vocabulary. Become a better writer with a more-diversified portfolio. How about that?

Is it hard to maintain a creative outlet in addition to your 9-to-5? Yes, it is. But no one hands you a career on a silver platter. You build it brick by brick. And a diverse knowledge base and a variety of creative experiences are two very big bricks.

There is no downside to a personal creative outlet, at least none that I’ve experienced. So, why not go for it? Become a more interesting you. Become the best version of you. Build your confidence in the process and find the joy!

And if you can’t find it, make your own.

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