Friday, August 03, 2007

C is for…Creativity.

C is for…

People always assume I'm very creative.

But I'll let you in on a secret…I don't feel it. I struggle a lot with creativity. It doesn't come easily. And it doesn't feel like it should be that difficult.

I think the reason people think I'm creative is because I do creative things. And enjoy doing them…for the most part. Sometimes though when I'm struggling with a concept or an execution, I wonder why the heck I got myself into a creative field for a living. Life would be easier if I had become an accountant, or even a farmer (as my high school career guidance test results indicated – yes, really, a farmer, don't ask me how).

My days are filled with solving other people's graphic design needs, trying to make them presentable, attractive, professional…and most importantly, not hokey. My nights are filled with craft projects, knitting or doing some other random doings. For the most part I like doing things. I like my hands to be busy and my mind to be working out solutions. Some of my most enjoyable times at work involve me mocking up proofs for clients. Exacto knife in hand, carefully slicing along a ruler edge. I didn't get a lot of that at my last job. Things were pretty straight forward and standard. I'm now able to try different things. Picking layouts, designing die cuts, not really caring about what cost may be. We worry about that later. It's freeing really. But leads to many more struggles inside the head.

I decided I would become a graphic designer when I was a sophomore in high school. More impressively, I decided I would be an artist when I was in kindergarten (but that may be a story for another day). I always enjoyed art class, and was one of the only of my friends who continued on with them into high school when they were no longer mandatory. The thing is I would never consider myself an artist. You may have noticed from some of my posts, I can't draw…or paint…or sculpt for that matter. I can doodle, and for the most part in my profession that's all I need. Sophomore year in high school, I found the perfect kind of art for me in the Commercial Art class. I was one of the youngest in the class, a class usually filled with seniors trying to coast through their final year. I had an eye for what looked right, and this was an art where I wouldn't exactly starve until I could sell something. A perfect solution, right?

As simple as that…I had decided on my career choice at the ripe old age of 15.

The funny thing is I tried my senior year to take a graphic arts class, and dropped out within the first week. My teacher was my old boss's wife. In the year and a half that I worked for him and saw her on a regular basis, even talking about my old art teacher and how I looked familar, I never let on. If I had…I would have been a fraud, right? Working at a printer and all, not being able to make it through basically a printing class.

It's funny how I get off on tangents…you may understand now why I chose my current path and not one that perhaps dealt with words.

And because I do a lot of crafty things, people assume this makes me very creative. But I, for the most part, use patterns. I see things and modify to make things for myself. I don't know if I've ever created something that was completely, 100% my own idea. That discounts a lot of those claims of creativity, I think.

It's just that nothing I do makes me think, "Wow, that was really creative!"

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