What’s your creative origin story?

Who are you and where did you come from? This is a powerful question that we often use to describe ourselves to ourselves and to others. It can have a profound impact on how we treat others, others treat us and how we treat ourselves. This is profoundly important on many levels but it’s also important that, as creative professionals, we understand our origins as creatives.

When I taught at the Creative Circus, we told the students that they ARE creatives and they need to start acting like professionals immediately if they expect to move on to a professional career once they graduate. Day one of every semester, numerous copywriters, art directors, and designers are birthed and start to write their origin stories that will define their careers.

Of course, the journey of discovery may begin that day, but the creative journey usually begins earlier. It’s up to them to find the thread that will help them stitch their new identities as creatives. Like the art director being told by a talented art teacher to pursue their passion. The writer who found meaning in writing poetry and keeping a journal. We all piece these stories together to build a framework that justifies our existence and creative professionals. If we have a story that makes sense to us internally, we’ll project confidence and believe in our own abilities.

Mine began a similar way when I was a student at Portfolio Center. It took an old-school writer looking me in the eye and telling me I had a natural talent for writing headlines before I believed it myself. Then within a few months, not only did I believe it, but I started to become competitive and develop a bit of swagger. I began to understand what I was made of and where I was going. I thought about how as a kid, I’d sit in front of the TV and mock the commercials as if I knew I could do better. That my high school art teacher told me I had the eye of an artist. How in college, I’d pick apart how the great writers put together stories and used language. Suddenly, it seemed like I was in exactly the right place doing what I was supposed to do. It all fit and I had confidence.

At the Circus, I’ve seen this transition happen many times. Sometimes it happens quickly and sometimes it takes until the later quarters for creatives to find their voice and understand who they are where they’re going and what exactly their unique voice is. And once they do find that unique voice, watch out.

If you have never taken the time to think or write out your origin story, take a few minutes now and think about it. Maybe write it out and tell it to someone. And if you’re truly bold, leave it in the comments.

Posted on: January 5, 2018, by :