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Misconceptions About Creativity

Misconceptions About Creativity

It’s not something that just comes in a dream. You’ve got to work at it.

-Sean Lennon

There seems to be this truly unfortunate misconception about the arts.

I think many of the creative streams are viewed as hobbies or pastimes rather than Real Work. (I saw you smirking right there!)

It’s quite saddening, really, knowing that, and thinking of all the talent, skill, emotion, time and energy that go into creative activities.

Fair enough, I’m probably not an objective participant in this discussion.

However, even things I probably also view more as a pastime (e.g. mosaic) take an immense amount of preparation, thought, energy and dedication.

And money.

And disturbed fingertips.

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Disturbed fingertips also commonly occur when tirelessly playing stringed instruments, doing pottery, or woodwork, etc. Such hobbies simply are all-consuming.

Why is it that these activities are looked down upon by the bulk of the population? People are forever asking all the creatives I know for favours, for cheaper rates, and for free work just for “exposure” (that sounds creepy!) or, possibly more nauseating, the “honour of being featured”. Would you go to work at your office job all day for the “honour” of it? 


I find it quite amusing, actually, as I’m sure the music, film and related industries probably take the most money from the general public (other than, maybe, food and alcohol). But we don’t want to support our neighbourhood painter, singer, or cellist.

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Come now, John Citizen, let’s catch a wake-up.

Here are some common misconceptions I’ve come across.

Feel free to add yours via the comments.

  • Creative people do creative work merely for the love of it
  • Creative people do not have the same expenses as “normal” working types
  • Creative people owe you something in return for the honour of being featured
  • Creative people sit at home all day doing nothing much except drinking coffee
  • Creative results come easily and simply to creative people
  • Creative people can produce great work at the flick of a switch

Please, don’t be one of those people.

Appreciate your creative friends and relatives.

It IS a thing of passion, but we really do also have bills to pay.

Just like you normal people.

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2 thoughts on “Misconceptions About Creativity

  1. Jeanette says:

    I think your article is very relevant. I also experience these very misconceptions as a graphic designer. How to change these misconceptions…

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