Director's Desk: "Dear Non-Creatives"
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
I used to be you.
A few months ago, February to be precise, I put out a tweet asking if those who were in creative fields would be open to dating someone who was also in a creative field. I could not have anticipated the response I got back. My notifications went crazy with so many different viewpoints being rendered. Of course, me being me, I had to peer much deeper into the rationales people were offering in order to be able to gauge general consensus. I'd say approximately 70% of those who responded said 'yes' because that they saw value in being with someone who understood their somewhat chaotic lifestyle. The other 30% said 'no' for pretty much the same reason- that two people having the same lifestyle would end up driving them further apart than bringing them closer together. I get it, who actually want to talk shop under the sheets too?
Increasingly it became clear to me that people saw stark differences between those who work in creative fields and those who did not- and those differences extended beyond just 'lifestyle'. These differences were mental more than anything else. Apparently non-creative people aren't able to, and I quote, "think outside of the box", "be spontaneous" or have "compassion" enough to understand their partner's creative craft.
As you can imagine, I was completely but-hurt when I read all these comments. I am not traditionally a 'creative', which is extremely ironic because I'm a talent manager who works with creatives. Do you know where I shine? Administration. Honestly, a well-written email brings me so much pleasure. I also love organising things, squeezing the most out of budgets and colour-coordinated calendars are simply orgasmic for me. It's just who I am and I can't change that.
You might work in Finance, Human Resources, Admin or even Medicine. These are all sectors that lie outside of the spectrum of 'creativity', so you're not a creative, right? Wrong.
I want to draw your attention to something very quickly. When you look at how the brain is split, there's the left side and the right side. The left side is the 'logical' side whilst the right side is the 'creative' side. Now if you have a more dominant left side then you're more likely to be academically-inclined, whilst if you have a dominant right side...well, you get the picture. Actually, let me show you the picture, just to be sure.
At the risk of this becoming a science lesson, I need to make something very clear here. The two halves (or hemispheres) of the brain functioninterdependently. Simply put, that means that they depend on each other. Nobody is completely logical and no one is completely creative. Neither one is better that the other. We all have aspects and parts of both which build up our unique personality combination.
Okay, now back to me. For so long I had been calling myself a non-creative simply because the work that I do is extremely linear and it's not anywhere near as bright and colourful as I imagine when thinking of creativity. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realised just how wrong I was, so I'm holding my hands up.
The essential truth is this, you can be creative without being a creative. You don't have to be a photographer, graphic designer or artist. Creativity runs deeper than the industry you're in. It's more to do with how you work, not so much what you're working on. I personally see creativity manifesting in my everyday life particularly through problem-solving. My clients come to me with all sorts of problems and it's my responsibility to come up with a solution. So, how do I go about it? I challenge myself to think outside of the box. Heck, I've tried so many of those creative brainstorming hacks that I don't even need to grab a piece of paper anymore, I just do it mentally and I have a good fix within minutes. The point is that creativity is not the skillset we once thought it was, but it is a means of elevating your mental capabilities to new heights. You can only do that when you realise that logic and creativity were meant to work best side by side.
So, from an ex non-creative to hopefully (soon) another, I want you to remember that you don't need your paintbrush or the full Adobe Suite to be able to manifest in all your glory- you just need a sprinkle of creativity. As for if you'd rather date someone who works in a creative field or not, that's completely up to you.