Creative People Briefly

Hey guys and gals!

[insert apologies for a late post]

The next Kaleidoscope story, “Fire Concoction” is ready to be published! It will be available in both my Smashwords and Amazon store this friday, June 21st. At that point I will publish another post notifying you and I’ll probably have a projects list up for you!

I was recently pointed at an article called Creative People Say “No” by a friend. It is a short and simple no-nonsense passage that attempts to help explain why a portion of creative people may come across coldly to friends, family, associates, etc.

First off, who counts as “creative people?” Well, plenty of people. People who are artsy, musical, writers, architectural, innovative, inventive, curious, researchers, etc. Creativity is not only limited to the “fine arts” section of a college campus.

This is a pretty good way to sum it all up: “Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs.” Now, what does that mean? An activity costs time, not creation, right? Not necessarily. You see, the typical phrase “time is money” references that the time you spend is directly proportional to the money you make. Now, to a creator, that relationship also includes the time it takes to create a work, hence the altering of the phrase to “time is creation” from their perspective. An artist that I admire named Shilin Huang publishes prints and a high fantasy graphic novel which she both authors and illustrates. She phrases the value of time and creation another way in the explanation for why she charges a certain amount for  commissioned works: “A commission is a client paying me for my time to draw something they would like me to draw, instead of using that time to draw something I want to draw.” As the article and Shilin say, the time in a creative person’s day is shifted and allocated to the task of creating. Every minute, every second something is cooking in their brain. Even when some of them are spending that time with friends, at parties, etc., their minds are still going; a section of their mind could be working out a difficult plot twist or the background for a character while they are talking to you about a recent shift in the job market, for example.

Spending time outside of creating can be difficult to various degrees for creative people. Some will spend a lot of time out at first and then, upon learning how much creative time they’ve lost, will start saying “no” more often to invitations, requests, and conversations. You see, “creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation” – it is never ending. Understand that the creative person you know may need to withdraw from the world for a while to focus on their craft. Unfortunately for some of these circumstances we have been taught that saying “no” and withdrawing are negative aspects and we should refrain from indulging in such petty anti-social behavior. How do you think the great authors, scientists, and designers of the past came up with such great works that still affect our respective fields today? Granted they were not as connected as we are today with text messaging, data plans, email, voice and video chat, but the bare basics in the process of creation have not changed by much.

Understand that while they need the time away creative people are very much grateful for the friends who stick with them and still appreciate their company when they are ready to step out into daylight. I’m sure it’s the same way you feel when there is a crisis and you call on your creative friend for help. Just because we withdraw does not mean we write off the rest of the world. For example when I am creating I may leave my phone and computer in the other room but most of the time I seem to hear the phone when something important from the outside world needs my attention and I am willing to put down my work, pause for a moment, when a good friend needs me. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a crisis but if I can swing by and help in some way I will try.

Overall the article is a pretty good read. I’m not with it 100% – as I also hold the opinion that if we can we creatives will try our hardest to make time in our schedules – but if you have a friend, partner, parent, offspring, etc. who is highly creative and who is frustrating to deal with, this article may help you start to understand them. Remember: everyone is different and the article is just one insight of many.

That’s it for now, guys and gals. Here are some pictures I’ve been working on!


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