Curse of the Creatives
At the end of the day, being creative isn't necessarily something to aspire to; maybe it's enough to enjoy other's creativity?
Born and bred a romantic; raised on the classics and submerged into a lifestyle where your imagination rules the daily narrative. Being a creative means a life surrounded by ideas, a million things before breakfast that you can only hope to complete. When you attend an art gallery, the first thought; maybe I should start painting again? Further still, pandemic inflicted isolation is leaving a longing in so many to be doing something, well, something more.
The world is increasingly becoming a place where creativity is encouraged, with CVs taking short film form and a multitude of new methods of expression appearing year on year. And oh, what a joy it is to be able to express! To write, sing, play or sketch your emotions does in fact cause a release - often a well needed one in the increasing global mental health crisis. Lifestyle bloggers are praised for their ingenuity and the complex make up of their photos (so they should be), and graphic design allowing a brush stroke to be brushed out to form a perfect picture. It is a delight that art is so easily accessible in both free galleries and a simple internet search. The joy of art and culture can be seen so easily.
And yet, sometimes I wish my brain were not wired the way it is: I wish to enjoy in peace rather than constantly long to create. It's increasingly known that social media is changing people's perceptions of what their bodies should look like, but what about how their work? Some art accounts posting new content daily, and full time singer-songwriters releasing new songs every month or so - if not more frequently. For the normal ear, this can be a joy. Fresh content to step right into a 21st Century-length attention span, but this high output cannot be realistic for the number of creatives that populate the planet. I am in no way shaming those who do make their creativity their work, for it is a bold choice, but for the majority of us, our income becomes our time consumer and our income does not look like our most prized form of creativity. Following a full day, morning or afternoon it seems like a vast majority just want to relax - there is often no time to create in the way many long to be able to. Thus, hours of Pinterest browsing go to waste. And oh the shame of being a creative and wasting your talent - so many learn of a hidden outlet and automatically wonder why it is that that isn't a person's profession. But, it is okay to be a creative and not be actively creating. It is okay to step back from your passions to pursue a career, to follow a different dream and switch off your ideas brain.
If not just to prevent split focus stopping you from being able to succeed, but taking the time to actively step back from being creative can bring freedom. It is so easy to feel like a failure when seeing other people's creative work being produced on a regular basis, yet this so often doesn't portray the truth! The months of backlog, the hours spent on research, the painstaking weeks of creative block. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to enjoy the success of other creatives unadulteratedly, without the pang of 'if only I could.'
And so, this rambling, I guess it leads to this; this is my unpopular opinion: being a creative, if you let it, destroys your ability to enjoy. When your brain is hell-bent on making use of some of the ideas populating it, it barely ceases from self-deprecating enough to enjoy others' art. Films spark story ideas, art evokes art, songs cause "I could do better than that," and rest is hounded by the thought of wasting time.
Maybe this says more about the writer than the reader, but if you resonate - be encouraged. Be encouraged to take the impending isolation of this season as a time to truly, deeply enjoy the creativity of others without challenging yourself to create better or more than them. Watch a film and enjoy the plot; read a poem and let it sink in; listen to a song and take in every beat. Sit back, relax and let the art wash over you.