I am doing Meredith Lewis daily creative prompts for December and today’s challenge is to:
List at least five different supportive people who can support you in your creative endeavours, whatever they may be.
And if you can’t, list some ways in which you might find them.
Wow, this is a tough one.
I’ve long believed (and confirmed) that my creativity is inspired by the belief of others in me. I feel my most creative when I am working together with others who are also doing or creating something “bigger than us”.
The moment I feel that the group starts to disband or work individually or start bickering, or if there’s some underlying and unexpressed tension in the group, I feel it instantly and start to close up inwardly.
To me, my creativity is best suited when I have a vision of some sort (whether it’s my own or someone else’s) and whether everyone is able to express their work or craft in such a way that brings about the end goal.
To me I feel my best – and at my ease – if I’m allowed to play with others and in the process, create something that other people value and share.
As such, my most memorable times for creativity have been when I have been working with others to create something for ourselves that is so different, so unique, so “out there” and ultimately, lots of fun and laughter.
My creativity definitely comes from people in my life who spur me on to try things out, experiment, give me feedback and make me test my own boundaries.
I’ve been lucky to have a handful of people in my life who have allowed me to do this and they are my parents (who are both creative themselves) and my husband (who is always supportive of any creative endeavour I undertake). I would say that these three people are the stalwarts.
But what about others outside this circle?
Mmm. This is a tough one.
I would say my boss Paul Woods (@paulwoods) instantly comes to mind as he’s always been supportive of my ideas and suggestions. It’s nice to know that you have a manager who welcomes you exploring different things and then being open to discussing the potential (or not). As an employee, you have no idea how incredibly liberating this is. Paul inspired the idea of writing a book about Microsoft Teams as a co-created activity and I jumped onboard with this idea. It has been one of the best projects I worked on at Adopt & Embrace and loved every phase of it.
Other than that, I am struggling to think of anyone – outside of my close circle of family – who I can call upon to stretch me in my creative endeavours. That’s actually quite sad come to think about it.
For example, I know I can always call upon my friends and I have a supportive Twitter network but if I was to think of someone who I can turn to at any time of the day or night, blurt out the craziest ideas and have them work with me, support me, provide feedback to me – or even get involved with my ideas – and jump into them fully with me – then, I’m struggling to come up with anyone. That’s okay because people have their own circumstances.
I have found that when it comes to creative endeavours, you really need to find other people on the same or similar wavelength.
People who can take a risk and not worry about their reputations, or how this joint creative endeavour impacts their personal brand. I’ve noticed that many times there’s an ‘arm’s length’ approach to people getting involved in your creative endeavours.
To be creative, you need to throw caution into the wind and just give it a go. People are willing to give you encouragement but to ask them to commit, to create something new with you, to trust you – it’s a big ask.
I cannot write this blog without mentioning one of the most creative endeavours I had undertaken in recent years that was inspired by someone I admired.
Cameron Murray had started his own fake news channel on Snapchat called CNT News some years back and at the time, I loved his creative concept and how he inspired a group of people whom hadn’t met each other to provide news reports every week.
Cammy’s talent for pulling all the videos together and consistently publishing and sharing these amusing videos every week had inspired many people including myself. At the time, I believe it was “cutting edge”. His support, feedback and encouragement for each of us was great. I know for me, it inspired me to become bolder every week by making my character Sharon (Don’t Call Me Shazza) Breaknews, a luddite Foreign Correspondent crazier. I took more risks with the character because we were all working towards something “bigger than ourselves”.
It was an idea ahead of its time and I wrote about it in: What Being Part of a Fake News Channel Has Taught Me.” To this day, I believe that the concept wasn’t as recognised as it should be for its applications because this was before COVID when people didn’t see the value of these social tools for creativity.
I think a lot about this creative project in my life and would say that it’s been one of the greatest highlights of my creative life.
In some crazy way, I’m trying to find something like it again but also know that there will not be anything quite like it again.