Welcome to week number seven in our study on creativity! Let’s review briefly in an effort to go forward… If you have begun to discover your individuality as a creator (wk 2); you have a solution others can embrace (wk 3); your work expresses itself in contrast to others (wk 4); you have learned to face acceptance and rejection with maturity (wk 5); and you can incorporate rational and emotional methods to promote your work (wk 6), you can now effectively begin to use your creativity to unite the world around you.
Quoting Scott Derrickson (Director, Dr. Strange, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sinister 1 & 2, via @scottderrickson), “Great art is irresistible, regardless of ideology.” This is not to say that we all hold the same preference for a particular art form, and certainly our idealogical differences abound, but because we all share humanity we can appreciate how creativity presents us with perspective, empathy, and a connection to the emotional spectrum.
As you walk your path as a creative, know that your gifting comes with great responsibility to be wielded properly. As an artist, writer, dancer, poet, orator, actor,… the type of work you produce will be influenced by your perceptions of beauty, excellence, and character, so I personally challenge you to be true to yourself, which could be difficult when first starting out—everyone wants to “fix” that to put you into the mold. Therefore, a lifetime perspective toward achieving your goals over obtaining the immediate poses a stronger overall line for success with fewer regrets.
Here are a few pressures filmmakers face in Hollywood:
- Downtimes. The film industry has busy times and dead times. The irregularity in production can be difficult on finances and relationships.
- Sacrificed personal standards. At every level you may feel pressure to give up or to lower your standard for excellence, taking on projects where you see little-to-no growth or personal advancement. Additionally, your ideological and moral standards will be challenged. Hollywood is not all fun, and the enticements to set aside one’s upbringing when it comes time to pay the rent can be stressful for those who are not prepared.
- Image. Things really are not as they appear in the film industry. The expensive cars, homes, and parties are often facades to cover for how people are behind closed doors.
Here are three recommendations as you seek to stay true to yourself:
- Build a healthy community. Positive and caring friends can help to keep you on the right track toward reaching your goals. From experience, I guarantee you that isolation and loneliness will quickly lead to unhealthy thinking and choices. The right relationships will also help you to grow and advance in your efforts, reinforcing your creativity.
- Hold a high standard for personal excellence and continually develop your skill set. Each project you complete should challenge you and allow you to perfect your creative voice. Otherwise, you will eventually find yourself settling for mediocrity when you know you could be seeing stronger results. You know that unsettling feeling that lingers when a project just wasn’t as fulfilling as it should have been. Follow your drive to press forward!
- Serve your audience. Be real, and you will find a place at the table. Such a place of personal transparency can be quite enabling in itself, but this is not the time to sit back. Humbly accept wherever you are regarding your position of influence. Keep speaking for greater change and choose to help those who join you on the road. As a servant creative you will see your audience and network begin to grow with deeper meaning than just the bottom line and a social media following.
Questions to Consider
- If you are just getting started on your creative journey, what are some possible roadblocks you may face? Are there ways you might prepare now to address them?
- As you garner greater trust, what will you do with it?
- How can you make a difference in serving others with your creative work?