Creativity tends to go unnoticed. Despite consuming the results of creativity every day via art, music, and writing, it’s rarely discussed as an attribute that applies to millions of people. Furthermore, the exceptions to the rule, like an over-demanding director or a finicky musician, often have more focus on them, frequently during their meltdowns. The truth is, creativity is something that goes beyond a select few in Hollywood and the make-believe worlds of children. Creativity is not a state of life, but more an overarching theme. And the time has come to disprove some of the more prevalent myths regarding creative people.
MYTH #1: CREATIVE PEOPLE ARE STUBBORN
We’ve all heard the story- a filmmaker or band refuses to bend to the demands of the executives because it would “ruin their creative vision.” In my experience, however, “creative vision” doesn’t really exist. While the base idea for a project may be set in stone, as the creator develops and works on the project, changes are made. New ideas are implemented while other ones are completely discarded. That’s not to say that a certain amount of stubbornness doesn’t exist, as ideas suggested by others may conflict with the main concept. But more often than not, creative types will listen to feedback and suggestions and work to accommodate them.
MYTH #2: CREATIVE PEOPLE ARE FLIGHTY
This may sound a little strange but bear with me. Yes, it is true that creative types are stereotyped as constantly being lost in daydreams, and stereotypes do exist for a reason. But that’s not to say that creative types can’t be grounded as well. Admittedly, some are more prone to “zone out” and think about a new project, but they are also fully capable of coming back down to earth when the time calls for it. Creative people can be just as practical and realistic as anybody else and know when it’s time to focus versus when their creativity can run free.
MYTH #3: CREATIVE PEOPLE THINK THEY’RE BETTER
Again, another odd one- creative people are, supposedly, naturally self-centered. They look at a beloved novel or Oscar-winning film and think “meh, I could do better than that.” And like I stated above, these myths are not totally unfounded. In my experience, though, creative types are more likely to think their end product as subpar and are borderline embarrassed to have the public consume it. It is, partially, due to a form of overexposure- the creator has been looking at the same movie, or painting, or chapter over and over again during the creation and editing process. Furthermore, creative types do have inspirations- people they look up to, other artists they wish to emulate to some degree and hope they have even a fraction of their skill. Which leads to…
MYTH #4: CREATIVE PEOPLE ARE THIEVES
“There’s no original ideas anymore,” critics say, looking at the glut of reboots and remakes. In a way, they’re right. Creative media has been around since the dawn of time and most ideas have been used. But it’s how someone uses those base ideas to take a new twist on the concept that proves interesting and endearing. For example, both The Hunger Games and Battle Royale feature teenagers battling to the death under the order of a corrupt government- they both have similar premises. It’s what is done with those premises that makes each work unique and beloved in their own right. “The Chosen One” trope has been played to death across hundreds of franchises, but nobody is calling Harry Potter a rip-off of Star Wars. Creative types- the good ones, at least- don’t steal. They make their own world out of something already established.
AND LASTLY, MYTH #5: ONLY SOME PEOPLE ARE CREATIVE
Some people are more creative than others, that’s true. But everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, or education, can be creative. Have you ever played pretend as a child? Come up with a different plot for a disappointing film? Pitched a new product to your boss? Congratulations. You’re a creative person. We all are, in our own ways.
So, it’s for the best we all understand one another.