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Creativity, Culture, and the Factory Mindset

5 Thoughts to Keep Creating

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Creativity, Cultural Shift, Labour, Factories

Getting labeled as creative, there's a motivation or pressure to always be creative. If you draw, write, craft, it "must spread into other avenues." In some cases, that is true. Thriving off creativity, normally something on my plate is creative, whether it's a drawing, a meal, or how I'm going to tie my shoelaces.

In some cases, it might be an attempt to shake up and forget the routine or make it less of a routine. And, I genuinely believe more and more people are finding "ordinary 9-5 jobs" really hard to manage. Sure, in concept they are easy. They are repetitious and become fairly clear-cut. But that is working for less and less people. And, in many cases, the drastic shift in values into the next generation has different jobs that would be "easy" for them.

An interesting concept was brought up to me: a lot of North America's workforce history is factory work. So they created systems to help create factory workers. Even how a lot of jobs are set up is to fulfill that skill-set. But, as we shift, there are more machines achieving those jobs. And school is slowly changing with the realization, but it still is rather stuck in the mindset of factory work, while our cultural infrastructure is adapting to adaptability, constant learning, and "creative thinking."

With the integration of social media and internet use in our daily lives, it becomes the window into possibility. It allows for culture, technology, and knowledge to quickly evolve. The accessibility is better than it's ever been, and there are a lot of people willing to do the digging to get that knowledge.

On top of technical logic, there is an increase in creative accessibility. We see so many expressions of creativity (whether art, memes, thought challenges, etc.). And, though creativity seems nebulous, in many regards it is a display of personal collections of culture and experience. This means, with a more collective experience through the online world, creativity is requiring more "work" than ever before. In many regards, that is a matter of perception, but it is no less debilitating for those creating. In some cases, not developing an idea far enough leaves you with nasty comments or complete dismissal if you post it.

That means, even in those creative tasks that were used as escapism, we have to learn a lot to be "creative." Creativity is being expected from businesses and more and more avenues of expression and work.

Though it can be exhilarating having so much creativity to jump from and skills taught to explore a medium further, everything is moving faster. It is a large piece of why more and more artists and creative people are facing burnout and creative blocks at an accelerated rate.

On top of all that progress, with such disconnects as culture shifts faster than buildings, structures, and infrastructures can, it's leaving a lot of people with struggles with mental health. But, with such high demands of adapting to the blaze of progress, there is more pressure to just continue running forward, dragging our mental illnesses, worsening them.

As I say this, it might sound hopeless. It might feel as if we as a generation and people are destined to mental illness, breaking down, and less happiness. But I believe with change there is something brighter on the horizon.

In that same advancement, more people are aware of mental illness, resulting in more attention in how to aid it. And especially for those who need creativity to thrive, it is paramount.

If you find yourself completely burnt-out as a creative, I want you to think of these five suggestions (which I also write for myself):

  1. You are allowed to have times when you aren't creating or being creative.
  2. You are allowed to take time with no connection to learning or developing.
  3. It's perfectly fine if it has been done before.
  4. It doesn't have to be posting quality
  5. Your value is not defined by social media, work, or output.

I probably sound like a cheeseball, but I find sometimes I just need to remind myself of those five things. As everything changes so quickly, there is value in taking a moment to slow down and stop.

Dear reader, whether you are a creative, or anyone, I hope you can see and understand that there is a large shift in values and structure of our culture. In some places it does look dark, hopeless, and never ending. In other places, it's open fields allowing everyone to smell the flowers.

With so much negativity spiraling around newer generations, it can be easy to just want to lash out, give up, or straight up feel frustrated. And that's valid. But I hope moving forward, for myself and others, we can figure out how to create better systems for both mental health, creative output, and the workforce.

Keep creating. Keep evolving. Let yourself smell the flowers.

-Toto

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