When it comes to money, many Creatives would rather not deal with it. Although they know it’s important and they need it to survive, it’s still a touchy subject. There are so many more important things to think about than spending time worrying about money.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that doesn’t think as creatives do. All around us we are surrounded by, and judged by how much money we have in our bank accounts, whether we own or rent a house, and what kind of car we drive. Many creatives escape in their own world painted with beautiful colors, beautiful visions with windows of opportunities into a world where money is not the ultimate goal.
There is a cliché about starving artists that I am no stranger to. Even my own father expressed those words to me as I was graduating from high school when I told him I wanted to enter an art school and become a designer. Those same words cut through me like a sword, and as much as I tried through the years to prove my father wrong, unfortunately, it’s true with me as with many other creatives, we didn’t earn as much as we would have liked.
It’s so difficult being a creative, because it seems everyone around us knows better than us, with their judgement calls, and their advice. Their comments are meant to help, not hurt, but nevertheless, they are words that cut into us. Maybe it’s because they believe that we don’t know just how talented we really are, and we undervalue our own work. It’s true. Many creatives just don’t know how much their work really means to those who see it or value it. They don’t think what they create is so special. Like myself, some Creatives see not only the sweat we put into it, but all our mistakes, all the cover-ups and in the end, it’s our own obsession to want that piece of work to be so perfect, that makes us believe the piece is not so great. So when it comes to selling our creations, we undervalue them. When we undervalue and price so low, we devalue ourselves and sabotage our own success, because our potential buyer sees our lack of confidence. We overlook that people would rather buy something expensive, because it reflects a quality purchase, rather than buy something cheap, and therefore must be crappy.
Some Creatives have so much pride in their work that maybe that’s what keeps them from giving in to damaging their creative passion, and their integrity. What’s integrity without sensitivity and compassion. It’s this sensitivity and compassion that enables Creatives the ability to connect to everything around them, listening and hearing every sound, reading every word, seeing every image and vision, dancing to every rhythmic beat, acting on every word in every page. They are limitless in their abilities to be so tuned into the world, and that’s what makes them creatives.
However, while creatives are sensitive to all the great things around them, they are also sensitive to the not-so-great things. Creatives don’t receive well, words that may lessen the quality of their work, or bring hints of criticism. They are very sensitive to words that criticize or question their integrity. Maybe that’s the reason they don’t deal with money on a positive note, or want to discuss money relating to their creativity, which would otherwise depict greed on their part.
Creatives are right-brain thinkers. That area in the brain is always in the creative zone, and to let thoughts of money infiltrate, is allowing a danger zone of killing creativity to take over. Like everything else in life, nothing is so simple. Creatives are inspired to create, and when inspiration happens, they must express themselves through their art. They don’t stop to think about the value in what they are doing, they just create. Through their creation, they communicate to the world what is in their hearts. Creatives do for the love, not for the money. Nevertheless, they also know and are very aware of what’s at stake, and they will survive. Creatives will do what they need to do to survive and keep their creativity alive. In many cases, that cliché, “don’t give up your day job”, truly applies.
Keep creating, never stop creating. Remember to always demonstrate that your art has value. If you believe it, so will everyone else. Document your career value and price yourself competitively. Seek out opportunities that will bring value to your brand, to your art, to your style. Be courageous and step out there on a limb. Strut your stuff. Put it out there for others to see and don’t be afraid of the critiques. For every one person that vehemently disagrees with you, there will be one who will fight for you. Seek out other creatives like yourself, seek out others with your courage to step out, and hang together so you can inspire and strengthen one another. Seek out those creatives who have the courage to stand out on the limb, and learn from them. The cliché, “be careful who you sleep with”, also applies to business and reaching your success goals.
Keeping these tasks alive and well in your repertoire of things to do as a creative, will keep you creating forever, as long as you are inspired to create. You can’t kill your creativity just because you want to make money, get ahead, prepare for your future, or just survive.
Pam Henderson, author of the book, “You can kill an idea, but you can’t kill an opportunity” says, “it can take up to 3,000 ideas to lead to 100 projects, resulting in only 2 launches, producing on an average one product that breaks even and of these products only 20% turn a profit. Defining the opportunity first, leads to big ideas that win and increase the odds for success”.
So with that said, CREATE, CREATE, AND KEEP CREATING, whether you make money or not. Don’t stop creating. It’s in you to create — music, paint, photograph, dance, design, invent, and dream. Whatever it is, continue creating and increase your window of opportunities. Someday, you will reach the success you so deserve!
How is your creative success going? How do you deal with the money side of your creativity? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below this article.