The voice of a creative is a powerful thing when used correctly. Unfortunately, most of us creatives don’t know this. Many of us have been lead to believe that our skills are under lock and key to whoever employs us, so we fail to see all the possibilities they can unlock.
Yet, our creative voice is what shines through our work and touches the hearts and minds of those who interact with it.
I remember when I first started as a graphic designer. The joy of being able to create something based on the ideas in my head was overwhelming, but somehow I just couldn’t pull away. Later, I learned how to build the things I designed and use them as a way to improve the lives of those around me. As time went on, I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else.
Years went by and I still had no clue that I even had a creative voice. Job after job, days filled with simply filling requests that came down the pipeline. Some days felt as if I was just a line item that would eventually get crossed out. Not every moment was filled with this feeling, many days felt as if I was a part of something bigger, part of a team making a difference. Sadly, in many instances, these experiences turned out to be nothing more than a carrot on a stick.
Deep down, there was a nudging of sorts, guiding me on a journey to understanding what it meant to have a creative voice.
A Light in a Dark World
At first, when we start out with something new, things can be quite daunting. The more we work at it, the better we get at the skill. Nothing great happens overnight. Our best creative experiences have a tendency of revealing themselves to us in the moments we least expect.
Yet, one of the biggest lessons we often miss from these experiences are the individuals that are on the receiving end of what we’ve created. Behind every screen is a person whose life we’ve been able to improve, someone who isn’t just a number in the analytics report.
Digging even deeper, that experience we’ve helped to generate may have inspired the next generation of creatives because we were willing to share the joys of that with them.
As creatives, we’re privileged to be involved in the lives of those we create things for, but we miss this in the quest for industry fame and accolades, depriving our work from truly being great.
The Journey, Destination, and Detours
During elementary school, I participated in quite a few track and field events. Those rare opportunities to beat the older kids at something we’re too good to pass up. I’ll never forget our physical fitness teacher, Mr. Marcus, who always had a unique way of making us want to push ourselves to be better while making the whole affair fun.
This same mindset was carried over into computer class and rocket club, two additional areas he brought the joy of discovering knowledge and applying it to everyday life.
At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to be. What I did know was the ability to create things, especially things for others was exciting.
Every step on my journey has been a continuation of that excitement to learn and create. Our creative power goes beyond just what we do. When others interact with it, the experience should help make their journey easier.
Things won’t always be perfect, and as we go along, there will be many sources of inspiration for us to draw from as well as many sources we will fill.
Our paths will be filled with twists and turns, roadblocks and moments of disappointment but this is all a part of our story. To enjoy the destination to its fullest, we have to start with enjoying the little things we tend to view as obstacles that appear along the way.
Sometimes in these obstacles, we can find a different way of reaching our destination, new experiences that can take our creative power to a whole new level if only we take a moment to discover them.
Many times, things going not exactly as planned may be just the thing we need at that moment.
Embracing Chaos to Create Order
Chaos is a funny little thing. Usually, it’s viewed as something to be avoided, and rightfully so. What we neglect to notice during chaos is that staying focused on the goal is our biggest asset.
I like balance, harmony and those around me to be happy. Equally, I’ve learned to appreciate chaos. It brings a perspective to the harmony that is refreshing and inspiring.
When things go in the opposite direction of where we imagined they would, we slowly lose sight of where we are trying to go. We allow the bad things in life to continuously knock us down, surrendering our success to phrases like “That’s life for ya”, “Life is just unfair “, or “Nice people don’t win”, soon we find ourselves feeling confused, lacking drive and settling for whatever we feel it is we deserve.
Chaos, roadblocks, and obstacles all exist to make us stronger, smarter and wiser. Without them, we would have very little appreciation for the success on the other side.
Each chaotic experience is one that helps us to build the character, grit and reputation we need in order to survive. They drive the narrative behind the stories we share and help paint the picture for those who are observant of our actions.
It’s within these moments that the power of our creative voice becomes apparent. As creatives, we are able to see the order within the midst of the chaos. It’s because of the ashes around us we are able to inspire, motivate and improve the lives of others through our work. Because of chaos, we are able to shine.
With the immense nature of our power, we have an equally important responsibility to those around us. We can choose to keep our talents hidden, waiting on the “right moment “, or we can use that creative power to make a difference.
[Tweet “Focusing on what everyone else is doing only subtracts from what we could be doing.”]
Now is the time to work on that idea, waiting until the right time only brings regret. The world is waiting on your unique voice, perspective and skill set to stand up and make a difference.
Don’t spend a lifetime asking what if when it comes to working towards your dreams.