On Being “A Creative”- Not Simply “Creative”

“As my sufferings mounted

I soon realized

that there were two ways I could respond

to my situation-

Either to react with bitterness

or seek to transform

the suffering into a creative force.

I decided to follow the latter course. “

-Martin Luther King Jr

Every human has creative potential, but to me, “a creative” refers to a person for whom creativity is center to that person’s life. Be it an illustrator, musician, photographer, dancer, or otherwise, the creative commits his or her life to the art of doing.

I get antsy if I am not creating. Something. Anything. Everything. From plating my food at work, to sewing on the train, on the way to tango, if I am not making I feel like I am being suffocated. I cannot simply sit in a car awake and not work on a project. It is one of the reasons I realized hospital work was not for me. The white sterile walls and unchanging scenery feels incredibly stifling to me.

I believe that the difference between someone who is creative and “the creative” is that “the creative” suffers for his or her art. There is no other way to live. The chance to work on his or her craft as the focal point of life often outweighs the promise of financial stability in a “traditional” job. The “suffering” could be as “mild” as hours of practicing musical scales to as intense as recovering from devastating injury with only the dream of getting back on stage pushing them forward.

Once a creative always a creative- if you are not “doing,” you are dreaming of getting back to doing precisely what sets your soul on fire.

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