Monday 6 February 2012

Creatives Anonymous

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about creativity. Where the need comes from, and what we do about it. What happens when it is repressed, and what is possible when it is encouraged.


I used to have a very creative job within the television industry. This was in a bygone era when you only needed to give your left arm to work in the media, so all it took was a bit of tenacity and a willingness to forfeit dental flossing for the rest of your life. Ah, halcyon days.

After I got made redundant, I had to learn to cope in a profession that was a bit more, well, normal. Most other people I know manage it, I thought, and they're creative too. I can do this without popping.

Well, after three years, maybe I'm popping.

Just a little bit.

Are there other people out there like me, managing a bit less every day? Where does that creative energy go, that fizzes away inside you every waking hour, and you can only expel it in tiny bursts - an hour here, a minute there, when you're away from work and have a second to yourself, if you are lucky enough to even have that?

This article is a great read, and completely inspiring. It views the creative process as like a muscle that needs to be repeatedly used in order to become powerful. It makes me feel better about myself, the fact that I constantly need to play music, write a silly and enormously self-indulgent blog, make pointless things, write mediocre songs... all of this endlessly and with a relentless fervour (truly - my only real strength is in how prolific I am). I will openly admit that I am a bit embarrassed about the fact that I spend my time doing all these things, at the age of 31. It feels like a refusal to grow up. But as I get older, I realise that I have a compulsion to do this stuff, and if I don't then I quickly become very low and unhappy.

I'm not really sure where I'm going with this - I suppose I'm interested in what other people think, as so many of you are creative, artsy types. Do you have an outlet? Is your outlet enough for you? Do you find ways to be creative in your day job, and is that enough?

Topic to be continued.....

All images by Salvador Dali


  1. Brilliant images.

    Good questions about creativity. I don't think of myself as being creative, I'd like to be more. I am trying to use video and photos more to promote Leeds, but I'm not that good at either, it's a learning process.

  2. I do think creativity is just a state of mind more than anything, and if you practice anything you'll improve. Darren, you exhibit very creative thinking in your business so there's no reason why you can't translate that to your photography and other arty things!


  3. Nice post, I also like this video that lists 29 things to stay creative (in a creative way) xx

  4. I used to be a scientist and now work in telly but never really thought of myself as creative. But I've slowly realised just how creative science was, and how much I miss that process. I'm not an arty type but I miss making things, even though the things I made were molecules. I think it's really important to have an outlet, or your talents will be going to waste