I’m the type of person that has always lived and breathed design, aesthetics, literature, culture, and philosophy. It can be isolating depending on where you are in the world or in your life. I wanted to share some advice to my fellow creatives out there that may be struggling to find their place. Sometimes it just helps to hear that you are, in fact, not alone!
Here is my love letter to creatives, from a lifelong creative:
The majority of people will not get you
This is not only OK, it’s a desired outcome. This is the best route to realizing your path and creating truly original work. When you are young it is more difficult because of the need to fit in a certain predetermined social order. Keep your head up and stick to your guns. Be you above all else.
Traditional work is not for you
You are needed where creative problem solving is appreciated and compensated. To invest your time and money in a profession that does not serve your creative mindset is doing a disservice not only to you, but to the world at large.
If you feel miserable in your environment, change it
This means you aren’t in the right place. We operate on a different wavelength than the majority of people. Again, this is OK. Learn to craft and shape your environment and lifestyle to suit who you are, not the other way around. Find inspiration in the little things around you. No square pegs in round holes if you want a metaphor.
Travel often and experience all that you can
Nothing is better for inspiration like a change of scenery. Go somewhere different than you are used to. Learn to communicate in another language or just hand gestures. See art that is older than you can really comprehend. Listen to stories locals tell. Eat food with indeterminate origins. Take tons of photos. Write about it all as the sun is coming up.
If you are depressed, be sure you aren’t just surrounded by assholes
Ok, that is paraphrased from a William Gibson quote, but it rings true for us especially. If the people you have surrounded yourself with aren’t supportive and uplifting to your big dreams and everyday activities to get there, cut them loose. Before there were Prozac and other prescriptions to dull us down, the treatment was to “change your surroundings and try something new.”
Find the close people that act as your barometer
You will go through many fluctuations in your lifestyle, mood, goals, projects, and general outlook on life. You need a few stable people who really love and know who you are that you can look to for guidance when you embark on new things. Keep in touch and share with them often.