Monday, May 14th, 2018
Redefining the Creative
So a few weeks ago, I went to a DC: District Creatives happy hour. I didn’t really know what to expect, but that was the reason I joined the group. Their description was vague: “A collaborative community of like-minded professionals and innovators.” They didn’t have a strict definition for who a creative was. As someone who often feels like my hobbies are on the fringe of being creative, I was hoping to sneak in using this ambiguity. Bloggers get reduced down to “person obsessed with social media” and coders are often viewed as robots. Neither is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of creativity.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been creating. When I was eight, I created a 50 slide story in Power Point using stick figures. When I was ten, I wrote my first 18 pages of a story about flower fairies (don’t judge me.) I had a vivid imagination and was bursting with ideas, looking for any way to let them out. The outlets changed as I got older, but the energy remained constant. I was always singing, dancing, writing, acting, drawing, or designing something. My attention span was too short to focus on one thing, so I did them all.
Like many people, I felt like adulthood was trying to suck the creativity out of me. College brutally murdered my love of reading, and my creative writing energy went with it. I lived in the dorms, so I couldn’t sing without someone hearing me. I stopped drawing as well. Eventually, all I was left with was my coding and my clothes. I started to feel like an imposter when talking about my creativity. I thought a creative was just an artist, like a painter or a musician, and I panicked when I realized I no longer fit that definition.
In a desperate attempt to “earn” my way back into qualifying as a Real Creative™, I spent way too much time trying to revive my old outlets. After I graduated, I attempted to complete National Novel Writing Month again and failed miserably when I had only four pages at the end of the month. I bought a sketchbook that I used about twice a year. I was finally living alone and could sing to my heart’s content again, but my apartment was still quiet. I was frustrated with myself. It took a long time for me to realize the only person imposing these rules on how to be creative was me.
I’ve embraced the new ways I show my creativity by redefining the creative in my own mind. At the core of it, a creative is just someone who creates. All of the time I spend curating my closet, scoping out photo locations, and editing is time I spend creating. The hours I spend mulling over link hover effects on a website is time I spend creating. Even though I’m not sketching anything or doing vocal acrobatics that would make Mariah Carey cry, there’s still room for my kind of creativity too. Although I went to the happy hour thinking my creativity would barely fit in, I met plenty of other coders and creatives who proved me wrong.
Outfit from Forever 21
I hope this inspires you to think about how you express your creativity and share it even more! From decorating for parties to making jewelry, the ways to be a creative are endless. How do you express your creativity? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to follow me on instagram for more #styleinspo!
Lots of love,