When your day to day activity requires you to be creative for other people, on demand, it can be extremely demanding and to put it bluntly, soul draining.
The reality of the creative industry
Yes, you can be creative, but not necessarily in a way you’d like.
For example in my industry (web design), whilst it’s a creative industry and people pay me for my skills and essentially creativity, on a day to day basis I am faced with a whole swag of restraints. These restraints can be designing within a set of established brand guidelines (aka a bad logo), for a specific audience (that doesn’t necessarily appeal to me), and for a client who has specific ideas (that I may disagree with).
The client often never picks the concept you love and ultimately spent the most time on. As a creative you have to get over it and do what they ask. After all the clients are paying us.
Young designers struggle with this the most, they take everything as a personal attack on their ability (or vision). Welcome to the commercial world of the creative. It’s just how it is and it can often break designers.
How to avoid becoming a broken designer
Find some thing else.
I don’t mean give up completely. I mean find something that you can do that will nurture your creativity, ignites your fire and gives you an outlet that is completely just for you.
Take part in Maps to Herself #makeartmonday initiative, signup to a pottery class, create a side project that gets you away from other people’s demands. Set some time aside per week just to work on stuff for you.
Do creative things on the side
Some examples of some amazing designer side projects include Megan at Happy Splat Design – designing her very own vintage inspired Paper Doll collection over at the Paper Doll Chick.
My creative outlet is a little odd, I find my marketing for my business (aka my emails and this blog) provides me with a creative outlet. My garden is also where I can just get away from the computer and use my hands and get creative (follow my journey at Love of Dirt).
To avoid the burn out that face most creatives, make sure you make time to nurture your gift. Look after it, because not everyone is blessed with creativity.
How do you nurture your creativity? Leave a comment below