What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was seven years old I wanted to be an artist. I never pursued that dream but it set me on a creative path I’ve been following ever since.
If you ask children about the future their replies are usually big, bold and full of ideas. They talk about the things they love and excite them.
Somewhere along the way we seem to lose the passion and change our focus. We no longer voice our dreams, we talk much more about making a living.
What if we could do both?
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”Pablo Picasso
Yesterday I was talking to a good friend about dreams, passions and the future. We discussed what that might look like and how our plans have changed due to recent events.
We mentioned how life after university doesn’t always look the way we thought it would and what part creativity plays in our plans going forward.
Choosing a creative career path
The problem with creative careers is that many people don’t seem to think they’re real jobs. Or else they deem them fields so competitive that success is elusive and in their eyes you are doomed to fail before you even start.
“It’s the path of the starving artist,” they say.
You might have believed this too and given up, but there are ways of combining our passions with our careers. I guess this is true for many professional paths, but today I want to focus on creativity.
In this post I am going to talk about three key aspects I believe every creative person has and how you can explore what these look like for you in order to pursue your dreams for a creative business.
The importance of pillars: a lesson from Ancient History
As a travel loving creative I know you love exploring and learning about different cultures. So let’s take a brief detour into Ancient History.
Have you ever visited Roman ruins? What’s the one thing that is often left standing? That’s right, pillars!
Pillars help distribute the weight of a building, allowing us to build higher structures that won’t collapse when we start piling more material on top.
Ok, so before we continue, I must admit the Romans copied the Greeks when it comes to columns. Some were merely decorative rather than weight bearing. However, nothing is ever 100% original and my travels have put me in contact with far more Roman ruins than Greek ones. Parenthesis over, let’s get back to pillars and creativity.
Just as pillars are important in architechture, they’re important when we establish goals for our creative projects. If we’re clear on what our basis are, we will be able to build our ideas on top of them and they will still hold steady.
I believe there are three aspects every creative person should consider in order to succeed in their creative endevours.
The 3 pillars of creativity
Let’s dive right in! These are the three pillars of creativity you need to establish before starting your next creative project:
1) Stories. Find what you want to say. We all have a story to tell, a path that led us here, an idea we can’t stay quiet about, we have something to share with the world.
2) Passion. Passion is contagious. When we get excited about our ideas it’s easier for others to catch on and join in.
3) Community. Sharing our projects with a community of like minded creatives, friendly faces and people who will cheer you on in your endevour to create, is vital to provide us with encouragement and give our work the visibility it needs.
Let’s take a look at each of these in detail.
Telling your story creatively
Having a clear idea of what we want to communicate is the first step to building our creative business. It provides a starting point and a focus going forward.
By learning to tell our story, to voice our concerns, to focus on an issue that needs to be highlighted, we can find the ‘What’ for our project.
Creative storytelling is an amazing way of exploring ideas and experiences. For many of us our journey started as a creative output for telling our story. We found a way to express the many emotions which arise from an international lifestyle and the best way was to use our creativity.
You may want to base your work on your personal journey or you may want to explore a concept that is interesting to you. Either way, there is a reason we pick our subject matter and we usually come upon it for a reason, even if it’s mere curiosity.
Your life story may have lead you to this point, your life story may be the point. Whatever it is, finding and defining it is key.
Here are a few question to ask yourself: What am I aiming for? What am I trying to express? What do I want others to know? What skills do I have that can help others or solve an existing problem? What is unique about my experience or perspective that will set me apart form the competition?
Finding the right passion
When someone is passionate about something, you can tell. They’re excited or articulate about it, they’ll bring it up in conversation often, they’ll find themselved focusing on it, giving it time and energy.
Passion is contagious and if you’re excited about what you’re doing, it’s easier for others to show interest. Plus, if you’re going to be investing time, money and energy into something, it should probably be something you believe in.
If your story helps you find your ‘What’, passion helps you define your ‘Why’.
Questions to ask yourself: Why am I excited about this topic? Why do others need to know about this issue? Why should others care about this? Why is this important? Why am I or my business a good fit for this issue or niche?
Sharing with your community
A community who will receive your art and learn from it is the third and final creative pillar you should consider. This can include anyone from friends and family, to menstors and professionals who have gone before.
It can include the audience you share your art with and the contacts that give you your first big break. It’s people you can bounce ideas off, its the people you are hoping to help. Your community will be your source of inspiration, motivation to keep at it, or the reason you choose to change direction. It can be a support group, your brand’s ambasadors, your future clients, the people who will champion you and your work all the way to success.
It doesn’t matter what your community looks like, whether its big or small. To get started all you need is a little encouragement and inspiration, and your community should help provide that.
This is your ‘Who’ and your ‘How’, the one thing that will keep you going when it gets tough.
Questions to ask yourself: Who is my community? Who can I rely on for feedback and inspiration? Who is my audience, my ideal client? Who can support me in my creative endeavours? Who can help me take the next step in my creative journey? How can I meet them? How can I get my work to the people who need it? How can I help my community?
Don’t give up on your dreams
Creativity has many different faces. Your creative journey may look different at different stages in life. Sometimes it will be something you can only pursue as a hobby, the thing that fills any spare time you have when paying bills keeps you busy elsewhere. Sometimes you might get to work in an area that uses your creative talents and sometimes you may get to start a creative business of your own. Maybe at first it will be a side hustle and maybe later you’ll be able to make it work full time. Whatever stage you find yourself in, don’t give up on your dreams. Persevere and see where it takes you.
Creativity is being able to think outside the box. Coming up with new ideas or concepts. There are no right or wrong answers, just original solutions or forms of expression.
Finding your passion, learning to tell your story and reaching out to your community can help you take the next steps towards your dreams.
What’s your story? What are you passionate about? Join me in the comments as we start a community for travel loving creatives such as yourself.