The notion of using the word “creative” as a noun is certainly not a new concept; but one that some people seem to have a problem with. In the advertising industry, this is a standard use of the term. The Creative Director is not just some “clever guy in charge of stuff”; Creative is an actual product – one department develops the “creative” while the art department develops the visuals to support the creative department’s concept.
But we have gone a step further than that according to current business industry analysts. If you follow the writings and research of Richard Florida and his book Rise of the Creative Class or Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, you will find the face of the most sought after in the workforce is changing; and that creative is not only a noun, it’s an actual person. I personally love this concept! We now have a term to connect artists with designers, with inventors, with writers, and innovators. I love the notion that the term “creative” can eliminate the necessity to debate the differences between art and design. We can now embrace their similarities and benefit from the strength of the possibilities that emerge from them.
I love the way Florida sums up the creative industry professional. Quite simply, creatives are those in business who are directly responsible for the creation and development of intellectual property. Intellectual property includes copyrights, design and utility patents, and trademarks, the foundation of growth and innovation for businesses. His research identifies how “creativity is revolutionizing the global economy.”
I think this distinction is very similar to the change in the word “craft”. In the Bauhaus, the German movement and academy most directly responsible for the mid-century aesthetic known as International Style, the term “craft” included architecture, interior design, ceramics and sculpture, metalwork, design, graphics and printmaking. Today, if you say the word craft, or crafts, visions of macaroni art and crocheted granny squares and potholders come to mind. So “artisans” struggle to differentiate themselves – a work that deals with more skilled “study” from individuals that are involved in projects that are more “hobby” than “study.”
Much the same way “creative” is no longer a simple quality that we possess along with a whole host of other qualities; it is, in fact, WHO we are…why we breath…our reason for being. Let us begin to embrace this idea. I AM A CREATIVE….there is no question about that in my mind, heart, and soul. Unfortunately, I believe that those who can’t grasp this concept are approaching it with their left brain; which means that they are probably not a creative. That is not to say that they are not creative persons; perhaps its just WHAT they are and not WHO they are; and understanding that distinction is the key.