“So what subjects have you chosen to study for your A-levels?”
“Music, drama and art and design.”
“Maybe you should choose an academic subject as well…”
It’s been seven years since that conversation took place and yet I still remember it so clearly. A conversation that seemed so simple at the time and yet the words had a huge significance over my life.
I was actually quite an ‘academic’ pupil at school. Achieving high grades and ticking all the boxes that would make the teachers happy, I was one of the geeks of the class. There doesn’t seem to be much space in the education system for the arts and creative subjects. Those who don’t consider themselves creative aren’t encouraged to explore the arts as an avenue of potential, while creative types are asked to study more academic subjects. When it came to deciding on my future I knew that I was going to pursue my passion for creativity.
People tried to tell me that art was an easy subject and music was a waste of time. I found these words very difficult and frustrating to hear. Why is it that those wishing to pursue a creative future are seen as unintelligent? With creativity there is never an end, so the workload can be as little or as large as you want it to be. The journey of creativity has taught me that creativity does not have to be seen as work, but rather a journey of freedom and adventure.
I chose to ignore the voices that told me I would get nowhere and have no job if I went on to study a creative degree. God’s voice was louder when it came to the calling on my life.
In Summer 2013 I graduated from university with a degree in graphic communication. During my degree, I was told that in the creative industry it’s all about who you know. You were only going to have a successful career if you knew the right people. My response to this was: “I know the creator of the universe, so I know I’m going to be OK.”
I’m not saying that life as a creative graduate is easy. It shocks me that there are so many unpaid design jobs and internships available for graduates. Design takes time, precision, confidence and skill, as a lot of other professionalisms do, so why is it that we are asked to do things for free? Why are creative people treated differently?
God is the creator. We are created in God’s image, therefore we are all creative beings.
It saddens me that so many people have chosen not to pursue their passion for creativity because of words spoken over them. People that fear creating because they were once told they couldn’t draw. This leads to associating creativity with negativity. Creativity takes courage and confidence. We should not be dividing people into categories of creative and uncreative. We are all creative. We don’t have to label ourselves as musicians, painters or photographers – though you can if you wish. Let’s see ourselves as a creative collective, with the DNA of the creator in us.
Image courtesy of Sarah Hawkins herself! Her bio is below…