The fruits of human creativity are all around us. Behind everything from the humble milk carton to your favorite shows, there’s a creative mind or two at work that makes our lives easier and more meaningful.
It’s tough trying to make it as a creator, especially now. Here we explore some of the main obstacles creatives need to overcome and offer practical tips to help them.
Table of Contents
Balancing Between Creative & Monetary Pursuits
Unless they want to live out the starving artist cliché, creatives have to cater to popular demand at least some of the time. There are many job opportunities, whether you’re content to work for an established company or strike out on your own. Either way, paying the bills requires compromise.
It may be challenging to navigate between very different tasks alone if you’re working as a freelancer. Swimming in commissions can be almost as detrimental to your path as not getting paid for work.
Meanwhile, working for a company means less flexibility. It can also become tedious if you’re a cog that’s part of a larger design team and have to concentrate on one type of creative task. Before long, it seems like creativity gives way to routine.
That’s why it’s crucial to pursue your creative passions regularly. Most importantly, don’t think of these as frivolous! Exploring other creative avenues and creating art for enjoyment’s sake are powerful tools for tackling burnout and creative slumps. Even if a hectic day or week is behind you, picking up a brush or the guitar can go a long way towards recharging your batteries as a creative.
Feeling like You’re Not Good Enough
Far too many creatives are their own worst critics. Either they feel like there’s not an ounce of creativity in them, or their work is garbage. Other people might complement their achievements, but what do they know? If you’ve been there, you’re likely experiencing Imposter Syndrome.
As the name implies, imposter syndrome is a feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy connected to a part of your life. Creatives may be overwhelmed by a professional work environment or humbled by the work of idols they feel they’ll never reach. For some, it’s temporary until they get their bearings. Others seem to never get rid of it.
Self-compassion is the best Imposter Syndrome antidote. The quality of individual projects might vary, but employers and or fans judge your body of work to warrant respect.
Comparison is the theft of joy, so try to avoid it unless you’re comparing today’s version of yourself with an older, less refined one. Look at your first videos or portfolio items and realize how far you’ve come. The improvement journey never ends, and that’s something to be excited about!
Dealing with Online Safety & Privacy Concerns
Many of today’s artists have the internet to thank for their success. It allows them to reach niche audiences they’d otherwise never discover or learn almost anything related to honing their craft. A strong online presence is a must if you’re independent or a freelancer. That’s where problems arise.
Exposure brings interest, and not always of the good kind. Someone might develop an unhealthy obsession with you or try to trick you into downloading something malicious onto your computer. If you think only fools fall for phishing scams, you’d be surprised at how sophisticated these emails can become if the sender knows enough about the recipient.
Then there’s the matter of plagiarism and theft. Your creativity is your livelihood, so protecting it is paramount. Watermarks are a good start, but removing them is becoming less difficult. If you’re a digital artist, you’ll want to use cloud storage to securely store your projects. You don’t have to lug around your MacBook to access them from anywhere. Anything you store gets encrypted by default, so only you and the clients you authorize have access to layered Photoshop projects, vector files, etc.
Try to balance growing your personal brand with maintaining anonymity. Make as little information as possible about you publicly available. Maintain an air of professionalism when speaking as your creative persona and note how others interact with you.
Weathering the Winds of Change
Trends have always been fickle, but creatives have always been able to adapt or carve out a space for themselves with enough persistence. On the other hand, the arrival of generative AI may herald a tectonic shift in the creative landscape.
Automation has been advancing by leaps and bounds for decades, but few foresaw how machines would also be muscling in on creativity, a pursuit we thought was at humanity’s core. Various generative models are still clumsy, but soon they’ll be composing, drawing, and writing with the best of us.
Creatives have legitimate cause for concern. However, this may prove to be yet another opportunity for growth. AI can become your sounding board, offering versions of ideas you can flesh out to bring your vision to life faster. Even if our collective consciousness becomes flooded with countless artificial permutations, some people will still value human ingenuity above everything else. So instead of fearing or detesting such things like AI, embrace it, and you’ll be able to advance beyond all the concerns.