Whether you’re a photographer, an artist, a journalist or a dancer, there is a common thread running through your creative work – storytelling.

Some of us are better than others at a particular medium and choose to tell our stories in one specific format, e.g. music, words or film.

Others, those with multiple interests, who have been described as ‘Renaissance Souls’, choose the medium depending on what best suits the story they want to tell.

If we are to be clear-minded creatives, we need to be aware that everything we put out into the world is telling a story about us and what we stand for. Especially now that so much of our lives appear online (and in many cases is recorded there permanently).

If we put out confused messages about who we are, then we can expect only confusion back from those we come into contact with (I’m working on this, myself).

Each creative work we produce will tell its own, compact story, but will also be a chapter in the story that is our overall body of work.

If we can consistently create meaningful work, we will leave a legacy behind and it will have its own tale to tell.

What story do you want to share with the world?

Related reading: The deeper root by Pam Slim

This is an extract from the forthcoming manifesto: Refresh Your Mindset, by Milo McLaughlin. To be notified of when it will be available, sign up to the newsletter.

4 Comments

  1. Gilliom Werner Claessens

    This appears to be something a lot of people are struggling with. “If we put out confused messages about who we are, then we can expect only confusion back”, you say. Well, that does sound true, but I have the impression many creative types are just not that good at being “clear-minded” as far as this concerns. The thing is: we are not a product, we are people. Today we like to draw cartoons, tomorrow we would like to paint a landscape. Today I want to listen to weird ass free-jazz, tomorrow I want a funky beat.
    I hear people say that as a “professional” you ought to send out one clear message to the world. But if so many creatives seem to struggle with exactly that, because they are not at the end of the road, overlooking the journey, but smack-dab in the middle of what they are doing, then I start wondering if there isn’t something wrong with that theory? And if there isn’t some other solution…?

    • True Gilliom, what we do as creative people usually evolves over time, so I guess another solution would be to acknowledge that whatever the ultimate story we are telling is, it is fluid and ever-changing.

      Perhaps we need to be open to that and not pigeon-hole ourselves into one specific genre or job description. But to allow others to understand and engage with our work I think we need to be clear on why we are doing what we do and what the current ‘chapter’ is about.. What do you think?

      • Gilliom Werner Claessens

        Well, I don’t know what to think. This is a problem I see popping up time and time again, with me as well as with others… Whenever I start something I immediately have two opposing tendencies: to indeed define it and present it as clearly to the outside world as possible and on the other hand to leave things open to develop or expand. So at the same time I am saying “I do A” and “but maybe I’ll also be doing B and, who knows, C”. I guess this is something typical for so called “creatives”, the need to keep options open, to experiment beyond what is strictly necessary.

        • It depends what you’re trying to do. Ideally we would all have time to experiment creatively, but if someone is trying to get the word out about a completed work (or trying to find paid work) then they might need to be a bit more focused.

          I think you do a good job of showing your work and like the way you have a “blogfolio” and “portfolio” on your site. It looks like your art is in demand, so I don’t think you need to worry ;)