How Deep Is the Well?

by grafixworks

ImageI belong to a few LinkedIn Groups directly related to design and/or creativity. These groups have lively discussions on the direction of design, tools, portfolios, and fair compensation for work. Members of these groups run the gambit from college students to seasoned professions, like myself. When I have something substantive to contribute I weigh in but generally I monitor the contributions.

This week a creative person from Florida posted the following question, which got me thinking about my own creativity.

Creative Question! If you were no longer able to use the medium that you are now working in, how else would you express your creativity?

I have identified myself as a creative person for most of my life. Actually, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t creative. (Painting, drawing, sewing, crafts, etc.…)

Growing up people always told me creativity is a gift. I don’t know about that. I never thought I had it a gift. I’m just your average person. Maybe I just didn’t value creativity because I didn’t know any other way. If it’s a gift my daughter has been blessed with it. If it’s not a gift I exposed and ultimately infected her with the same disease when she was young.

Both of our creative lives have not been all about medium but more about cultivating the creative mind and soul.  Granted one can be more adept in one medium than another but it’s the creative mind/soul that will not be squelched and will find a way to express it’s self.

When my daughter was young she asked me where my ideas came from and how I kept coming up with new ideas. I’d not been asked that before and didn’t know how to explain something unexplainable? The best I could come with was a descriptive a metaphor.

My creativity is a deep well and when I need inspiration I reach into that well with my bucket and draw out ideas. Sometimes the well bubbles and churns with ideas and others I scrape the bottom, but I’ve always been able to pull out something.

Silly metaphor, maybe but it’s the best way I’ve found to describe how it works for me. It might explain why, when a client asks for a design I’m generally able to give them several more concepts than they aniticipated.

Do I worry about “the well” going dry? Sometimes, but I’ve learned to take care of my “well”. I don’t poison it with emotional garbage.  I’ve learned to separate my professional/commercial art from my personal art and the two seldom meet.

I’ve been lucky and have made a decent living using my creative mind and over the years the mediums have changed/evolved. Bottom line, medium is merely a vehicle for creativity to escape and if you protect your “well” the medium will be of little consequence.