We are all creative, but being “a creative” usually refers to someone for whom creativity is life’s goal: Illustrator, Architect, Advertising Art Director, Writer, Musician, Photographer, Designer, Etc. Scientists, Surgeons, Marketing Managers, CEO’s and other problem solving discovery professions are among our species most creative members, but typically don’t get the label. Neither do accountants, unless of course they depart from normal accounting practice. Creativity is everywhere, but only those who commit their life of – at times – considerable hardship to advance their creative brand, get labeled “a creative”. Here is one thing I’ve notice: once “a creative” always a creative – the unearthing is in your soul. If you’re not “doing” you’re remembering how great it felt to “do”.


There is a certain momentum – or lack of – that goes hand-in-hand with making creativity your vocation. For those familiar with inertia, it can – on frequent occasion – feel like acts of God are required to get creative juices flowing fast enough to sever butt from couch and go “do”. It’s often called, “getting fired up” and that fire comes from within but is typically stimulated from the outside. Or – maybe it takes a slowing of the current in which you’re swimming which allows you to “do”; when required inertia ebbs. Most often, life’s river runs so fast, getting out of the current is too daunting; a fearful act. Let’s call that fast moving current: “the main stream”.

A friend once related her philosophy to me: “If I’m not sure what to decide, and I’m not forced to, I make no decision.” If there is any statement that is anti-creative, it’s that one: It’s gutless, it’s ordinary, it’s mainstream. It’s how most of us live and it’s as comfortable as a soft couch.

There is this guy I know who recently jumped to shore out of the main stream. He’s been “a creative” all his life – which is significant because he’s well into the second half by any measure. Some must consider him restless and lacking focus, but I prefer to see him as an inquisitive life pupil. Climbing a-shore without traction only to fall back into the stream has dotted his life’s timeline. Not gutless by any stretch, but longing for comfort. Maybe it’s you?

Ok – it’s me. After nearly a two year hiatus as Director of Marketing for a small Internet Development Company, I was reminded by a close friend how to have fun with my native profession – Photography. It took an act of fate for my long time Pal to invite me to join his crew at exactly the right time. Trips to the North Carolina Smokey Mountains, South Carolina Low Country, Amsterdam, London, Paris and over ten thousand shutter clicks managed to get me excited about “doing” and again wrestling with the challenge of being “a creative” – imagine that?

Back home in North Carolina I sit restlessly on shore of the main stream – retooled and re-energized, determined not to fall back in; I’m not a good swimmer but envy those who are. The trick for me now is to make such a photographic hullabaloo on my little piece of real estate that those avid swimmers slow progress long enough to see what’s up and ask how I can help them swim faster. A tall order, but after all, I’m “a creative”. It’s time to accept it and move on.

How about you? Are you too comfortable, a bad swimmer, or both?

To see what Bruce DeBoer up to, visit: http://www.deboerworks.com.

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