Whether freelance or staff, I can’t say I know any normal creative people. Creatives don’t think rationally, have weird living spaces no one else understands, contribute to conversations with complete non sequiturs and, even though dressed for occasions in classical, basic black, it’s usually styled from the 19th century and at a wedding or Christening.
Creatives stand out. I would always be asked if I was an artist and usually answered I was Andy Warhol. I look nothing like him but it shuts people up even though they have no idea who Andy Warhol was, when he was alive. The joy creatives feel is in being different.
Being a Creative
So, we were the kids at the edge of the playground, building something beautiful from found objects, garbage and dirty medical waste. We amused ourselves while the other kids played kickball, kick the creative kid in the ball and attracted the bullies and their cronies because we were alone and would be afraid.
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That’s one of the reasons artists formed guilds and unions — as headbreakers and hitmen. It didn’t quite turn out that way but the abuse made us stronger and more in touch with our creative side… which is the side the bullies would kick repeatedly.
Creatives are NOT Wimps!
My art school was more like a reform school. Some of these kids were already on probation for murder and most of the girls brought their babies and toddlers into class. Even the toddlers had switchblades!
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It’s not about physical toughness, however, that makes creatives so strong. Our daily lives are struggles with the unknown. We yearn to create something out of nothing, to take chances and try things no one has ever tried before.
- Creatives love a challenge. Favorite assignments are those that seem impossible to solve. Ask the average office worker to do that and watch the mental breakdown!
- Normal people say “keep your feet on the ground.” Creatives have our heads in the stars. No one else sees that view?
- Creatives excel under pressure. Many do their best work under ridiculous deadlines.
- Creatives often have to fight for their basic rights as professionals as well as getting paid by clients. Who else can live with that pressure?
- Creatives brave a world where we are considered less than human because of our acts of creation. It’s those playground bullies again, jealous they are in boring, dead end jobs. If it was the 17th century, we would be hung for being witches.
Creatives Built the World!
A “creative” is not just someone who paints pretty pictures for museums. Designers, illustrators and photographers, to name a few, create everything beautiful around us, usually without so much as a pat on the back from those who enjoy their creations. The world will remember the poster, book cover, web site or package but not the person who designed it. Creatives may yearn for recognition but quietly and humbly accept anonymity.
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Creatives designed the ships that carried mankind all over the world, the signs for shops, the illustrations for early books, paintings of heroes past and the maps that showed where they should go next to murder the local indigenous people. So creatives are every part of this society and history!
Loving a Creative
There are actually people who not only abide creatives in their lives, there are also some who prefer us as lovers. While that may be suspect of deeper emotional problems the “normal” partner has, there are things one must understand before committing to a creative in their life and possibly reproducing with him/her.
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- The craziest sh!t gets us all excited! Be prepared to learn to ignore your creative partner while he/she takes a picture of a coffee stain or you have to wait for the sun to reappear so your lunatic creative love can take just the right picture. A creative sees beauty everywhere and in everything… especially you!
- We seem to interrupt a lot. Understand the way the creative mind works — we aren’t interrupting because we were zoned into something else completely while you were describing your shopping trip when we scream something out because we just remembered it and are really excited to tell you about it. It’s not self centered behavior. A creative significant other is sharing his/her inner feelings and thoughts with you. It’s like a cat putting a dead bird in your shoe. It’s a strange sort of gift of affection. Just be glad this sign from your loved one doesn’t ruin your shoes!
- We will get bored really easily, like when you start talking about a shopping trip. Learn to lie and embellish the story just for entertainment value. Don’t be afraid to throw in a few pirates, ninjas and comic book superheroes as it will keep him/her riveted to the actual story. Basically, treat a creative lover like a child. Of course, you will marvel at the sights those child-like eyes will show you.
- Creatives are always going places! Is that bad? Does adventure and discovering new things frighten you? Then run as fast as you can from a creative love. Those that remain will discover new things and new ways of looking at the simplest of objects. As long as you distract a designer from a badly kerned menu or illustrator from stick figure drawings in advertisements, you will never be bored!
- Creatives are more often than not liberal thinkers and passionate about our beliefs and causes. Expect to share your creative partner with a volunteer organization or two. You should probably join him/her for a little more quality time but remember that you are both there because your loving creative cares about others. He/she still cares about you and that’s why you should be there with him/her. How can you resist someone who is passionate and judicious about helping others?
- Despite a lifetime of being told to get a “real job” by relatives, creatives are very close to their families. Don’t you want to be part of that? Don’t you want to be there, among mothers and cousins and uncles and siblings who will no doubt ask you what you see in their relative as if shocked anyone could put up with him/her. Always say, “it’s that huge d!ck!, even if you’re talking about a female. Then wink.
- Creatives are rule breakers. That’s one of the things that separate good designers from great ones. Oddly enough, it’s creatives who always colored outside the lines in kindergarten. They don’t like rules or boundaries and may withdraw if you place too many of them. Let them soar and then just sit back and enjoy the sight. Watching a creative work is fascinating. Just don’t make any suggestions about their design or ask why they chose a certain color and suggest another. That’s the relationship killer.
- When it comes time to reproduce, a creative will make a loving, patient and attentive parent who will strive to make sure his/her child(ren) discovers the wonderful things in life. Adventure, learning, surprises and fun will fill the child(ren)’s life while mom or dad picks out nerdy T-shirts and bibs with the right fonts on them. Beware of toy problems that will arise. Creatives love toys and we will buy toys for our kids that we really want to play with, as well as have our own toys that no one else can touch. Respect our toys, or else!
- There is something in the creative blood that makes us stay up at night and sleep during the day. While we would make a great stay-at-home parent, expect the kids to start keeping the same hours, drinking too much coffee, missing half the day of school and getting there in time for the lunchbreak before afternoon classes. You will hear from the teachers and principal because your kids are arguing with the teacher about who really discovered America, and winning the debate, causing the teacher to doubt 25 years as a teacher.
- Creatives are filled with love for so much. You will be one of those things. Like the great artists who had muses in their loved ones, you will be your partner’s butterfly. You may have to insist that all nude sketches he/she draws of you get burned but enjoy being the main object of his/her desire.
If all of these traits scare you, then go for a nice, safe banker who works regular hours, talks about deposits, trusts and market fluctuations. Before you know it, you’ll be having an affair with a creative for some excitement in your life. Oh, yeah… creatives are better in bed (and other locations) because we’re adventurous and love to experiment.
Did I mention I’m a creative and single? I also have lots of toys. You guess which kind!