Making it matter
Creative lives with social impact.
Do you have a creative hero? Mostly when we think of the word ‘hero’ strong political heroes, sports stars or people in capes with superpowers come to mind.
Rarely do people consider creatives as ‘heroes’. And yet, creative minds and the work they produce open doors to new ideas and in this way provoke social change.
I collect the profiles of creative people with the passion of a lepidopterist for her butterflies. A strange hobby, perhaps, but one that has given me insight into creativity as a fountainhead for emancipation; freedom from the ‘way it’s always been done’; liberation from constraining social structures; and, most of all, the rejection of confining visions of the world.
In this collection, I’ll be sharing with you some of my creative heroes.
Each make significant contributions to their fields of scholarship, art, business and science. But that’s not why I want to examine their lives.
More important than what they did, I want to look at how they did it.
What each of my creative heroes has in common is they challenge people’s expectations in surprising and at times confronting ways. In doing so, they ask you to examine your own life to see where it conforms, where it’s constrained and how you can free yourself of expectation and role-playing.
Models of the life lived creatively have additional worth and value. Creative people challenge the status quo. They disrupt and destabilise. Their creations make you uncomfortable. They show you the ugly and radiant underside of human existence.
Importantly, they capture for you what you feel and visualise daily but can’t express.
And what this ultimately results in is transformation. Of you, and society more broadly.
By reading this series, I think you’ll be compelled to change the way you think and act so that what you makes, makes an impact.
Using models of achievement
People in the creative industries often look to creative models for hints and tips on how to succeed.
For instance, I think I know the writing routines of most writers. I’ve read about where they write. And whether or not they have pictures above their desk. And whether they do their best writing sober or under the influence of alcohol/heroin/caffeine or sex.
This is all useful information because as a creative person, it’s helpful to test different work structures, daily routines and approaches to find ones that suit. Because there’s no prescription. After all, the lack of rules is why many of us choose the creative path.
Creativity is a means for change. And the creative has the power to disrupt the status quo, conjure the imagination and cause massive social shifts. Creative artefacts do this because often they harness emotion; erupt fits of giggles, rouse hysterical laughter, make us cry or so angry that we want to kick the crap out of the doors of parliament or the tombstones of dead leaders, so that every constraining and soul destroying power structure is turned to dust.
And through this elicitation of feeling, we are forced to consider and reconsider our positions.
Our minds are rocked.
And we are changed people.
If anything deserves celebrating, it’s this.
But hear this:
This series is the beginning point for you. Not the end. Each article is a call to action which says, “She did this, now what will you do?”
Each article asks you to think about the ways your work makes a social impact. And then dares you to do better.