In an agency, there are about three million fancy job titles. Most of these titles don’t actually mean anything, and among agency employees, the titles are divided into three broad categories – Creative, Client Service, and Admin. The department I fall under is Creative, and my official title is Copywriter.

I read an article about the contradictory characteristics of creative people. I also saw a tweet that claimed the current fad on social media is to call yourself a ‘creative’, because ‘all the cool kids these days work at agencies.’ So it gets a little awkward for someone like me, who actually does work in the creative department of an ad agency. When someone asks what I do for a living, I usually just go with ‘writer’ and focus on my freelance work. It’s easier than getting the derision, knowing glances, and veiled envy reserved for ‘creatives’.

Thing is … the more I read and hear about creatives, the more I worry that I might not actually be one. People call me ‘creative’ all the time, but that’s just because I wear jeans to work, write for six different blogs, and have purple strands in my hair. I think the word they’re really going for is ‘eccentric’, ‘strange’, or even ‘weird’.

My family calls me ‘creative’ because I worked from home for a year and just barely managed to pay my bills. They’re from the conservative office culture, so this ‘freelancing thing’ (and the single mom thing, and the rock music thing, and the goth tattoos thing, and the making money online thing) makes me some sort of alien.

Alien girl

Back to social media, ‘creative’ is the new ‘hustler’. I read that on a tweet too. It’s a vague, generic term that covers writers, designers, DJs, events people, art directors, dancers, stage poets, musicians, sketch artists, emcees, random agency personnel, anything really. And it sounds a lot more professional than saying you’re in ‘the arts’, which would make people assume you’re an unpaid resident at National Theatre.

Creatives are thought to be a pretty wild bunch. They have tequila for breakfast, inhale coffee, smoke like chimneys, and routinely sample hard drugs mild stimulants space cookies. Me, I’m one of the only people in the office that turns down free tequila on non-religious grounds and consciously avoids staff parties.

While my fellow creatives thrive on long hours, leave the office at midnight, and hold brag-fests about who’s survived the longest without sleep, I sneak walk out of the office as early as possible. I also get to the office before eight, but that’s because my hours are dictated by my baby’s school timetable. I’m no more a ‘morning person’ than any other creative, who routinely strolls into the office at 10.

One typical creative character trait I possess is that I constantly bitch about how hard it is to come with ideas … and then I come up with them anyway, sometimes in record time. It’s the creative’s nightmare, because the next time you bitch about last-minute briefs and ask for more time, nobody takes you seriously. Sigh.

According to the article, the true mark of a creative is the ability to pick unusual associations of ideas. You see things that other people don’t see, and you bring them together in ways that make them fit perfectly, or seem to. Then, because it’s such a subconscious process for you, you worry that others will spot you for the fraud that you are. You’re pretty good at hiding your insecurities about your work, but deep down, not even the largest raise, loudest compliment, or shiniest trophy will convince you otherwise.

That’s probably why so many creatives are substance addicts – they’re chasing their next big idea, trying to stay awake, and desperately hiding from their own inadequacy. I suppose in that one aspect – at least when it comes to my work at the agency – then I am a creative. And my chosen addictions? Long walks, rock music, unusual reading material, random bursts of sunshine, and lots and lots of sugar. Twende kazi.

Broken wings ♫ Alter Bridge ♫

119 thoughts on “Characterizing the creative

  1. I think this is among the most significant info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The website style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  2. F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I am very satisfied to look your post. Thanks a lot and i am taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  3. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this information. Today bloggers publish only about gossips and net and this is really frustrating. A good web site with exciting content, that’s what I need. Thanks for keeping this website, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  4. Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all appear to get one thing done.

  5. It is truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I’m so happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  7. I do like the way you have presented this specific difficulty and it really does give me some fodder for thought. However, through what precisely I have experienced, I just simply hope when other feed-back stack on that people keep on issue and not embark upon a soap box involving the news of the day. Still, thank you for this fantastic piece and while I do not necessarily concur with this in totality, I respect your perspective.

  8. I cherished up to you will obtain carried out proper here. The cartoon is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be handing over the following. sick undoubtedly come more earlier once more as precisely the same nearly a lot frequently inside of case you shield this hike.

  9. Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Wonderful. I’m also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  10. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  11. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, wonderful blog!

  12. hello there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this site, as I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  13. I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for posting. “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” by Albert Einstein.

  14. I truly wanted to develop a simple word to be able to thank you for some of the lovely guides you are showing on this website. My extensive internet lookup has at the end been honored with good quality information to write about with my family members. I would repeat that many of us site visitors are rather lucky to be in a fantastic website with so many wonderful individuals with beneficial concepts. I feel extremely fortunate to have seen the weblog and look forward to tons of more entertaining minutes reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.

  15. It is truly a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.