Notes For Creators

creative soul surfing

We’re all creatives now

In the marketing world there is a sharp delineation between those who do the creative work and everyone else. Those on the creative side are called creatives. So obvious a term it was unlikely to be thought up by a creative.

Who are they? The copywriters, the photographers, the designers, the graphic artists. Those who form and fashion the advertising. Those who come up with the ideas.

Today I was watching a mechanic figure out an electrical issue. I’d picked up a Uhaul trailer in the mountains of Colorado. In Greenwood Springs, where incidentally I saw my first pot shop.

My thirty-year-ago self would have loved it. This was the advertisement blaring in the window:

Lemon Haze
$125 oz
Say what?!

Back to the mechanic.

Some of the signals weren’t firing on the Uhaul trailer after being connected to my van. It was a little nerve wracking. The shop was closing shortly for the weekend, and I had to load up artwork from a client’s home tomorrow, Sunday. 

And that client has a very tight window due to the closing on the sale of her mountain home.

It was nerve wracking only until I went to what the Japanese refer to as the Hara point. Where you breathe yourself into a calm so deep you feel it in your gut  and then you feel the most desirable outcome from there. Which I did.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s not about things working out well when they didn’t seem to be going that way. Though things did work out well.

It’s about watching the mechanic figure out why some signals weren’t firing. Specifically the left turn signal and the running lights. The brakes and right turn signal were copacetic.

It struck me: We’re all creatives now. Every job has a creative aspect to it, some more than others, true, but there’s virtually no escaping creative engagement.

The factory jobs, the rote jobs, they are disappearing. They’re offshoring or digitizing or roboticizing.

This is good as well as demanding.

This past year I’ve been dealing with a businessman who’s been helping an artist friend of his get on her feet. This guy is far more creative in his efforts on her behalf than the vast majority of artists are on the business side of their careers. Or gallery owners for that matter! (Like me.)

I even get miffed at this guy because he’s continually challenging me with suggestions that put me in unfamiliar territory.

We’re all creatives now. This business guy, this mechanic, the waitress who served me artfully this afternoon, John Marshall, parents who are into parenting, you.

If we want a fulfilling life in the new paradigm we have to learn to rely on our fertile imaginative minds to probe possibilities, to get us where we want to be.

Creative engagement is exhausting . . . until we go there daily. Until asking questions and seeking answers becomes a part of our personality continuum.

Grappling with something creatively means teasing out a result when you don’t know how to get there.

It’s a lot of, Let’s try this.  . . . And now let’s try this.

And perhaps paradoxically, it’s thinking like a scientist. No failure is failure, it’s just data. It’s just something you’ve learned that will bring you closer to what your seeking.

We’re all creatives. Experimenting like scientists, figuring out steps that will take us there like engineers, sparking ideas like artists, loving the process like lovers.

For you —

Evan Griffith
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What creators do

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