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To think people who are really creative don't go around telling you so

(64 Posts)
jusfloatingby Fri 23-Nov-12 11:51:46

There's a woman at work who's always talking about how 'creative' she is and how she's such a 'creative thinker' and not 'a typical office type'. But at the same time there's no actual evidence of this creativity. I mean, she doesn't paint in her free time, or write novels, or wear really unusual clothes or live in an old converted house or somesuch. Even in work she doesn't come up with particularly original ideas etc. I've noticed this on The Apprentice as well. They're all falling over each other to tell everyone how creative they are while displaying no supporting evidence of this.
Has it just become fashionable to be a creative type nowadays?
I do have a couple of friends who are genuinely artistic but they just get on with it; they don't feel the need to go around telling everyone.
I'm not ranting or anything; she doesn't really put in or out on me. But I'm just curious as to why creative has become such a buzz word lately.

redskyatnight Fri 23-Nov-12 11:55:06

YANBU. On Kirsty's Vintage homes last night the couple were described as "creative". I loudly commented to DH that creative people don't need to go on telly programmes to make their house look nice, they just get on and do it.

cheekybaubles Fri 23-Nov-12 11:55:21

It's because they are 'creative' in their imagination about themselves. grin

picturesinthefirelight Fri 23-Nov-12 11:56:33

Dh and I "creative" but we are not artistic in a fine art/design way. In face I'm appalng at visualising things.

We're music/drama types.

givemeaclue Fri 23-Nov-12 12:01:05

Well if you colleague doesn't create anything be it art, music, drama, knitting, poetry, cake decorating or whatever then I can't see how she is creative. Next time she harps on about it can you say "lovely! What is it that you create? I would love to. See it, do you have any pictures?"

JamesAndTheGiantBanana Fri 23-Nov-12 12:02:20

YANBU, I'm artistic, portraits etc, I have utterly no time to paint or anything any more but it's there. I don't see any point in telling people as they want to see your work or they ask you to do something for them like do a painting of their kids/dog for Christmas for a tenner. hmm So I keep it to myself, it only comes up in playgroup occasionally when I help dd draw and the other mums get all "omg, wow, who drew this?" (it's always inevitably a really bad drawing of a horse or something which I can't actually draw for shit lol) it's all a bit cringy.

Your friend may well be creative, maybe she's feeling frustrated as she currently has no outlet for it? So by telling you all she's actually trying to convince herself that she's still "got it?" Or maybe she just likes blowing her own (handpainted) trumpet?

Lottapianos Fri 23-Nov-12 12:03:48

'Next time she harps on about it can you say "lovely! What is it that you create? I would love to. See it, do you have any pictures?" '

grin at this. Would love to have the nerve to try it.

My gosh she sounds boring OP. Agree with other posters, if she really were creative she would just get on with it. It's like people who brag about what a great love life they have - if it was so great you would just get on with it and not need other people's approval to make you feel better!

cornflowers Fri 23-Nov-12 12:04:26

I've noticed this, too. It reminds me of something Simone de Beauvoir wrote in the Second Sex about the determination of some women to set themselves apart as 'different.' They use phrases like, "I'm funny like that," and so on. Although I'd disagree that it's a feminine characteristic.

showtunesgirl Fri 23-Nov-12 12:05:24

YANBU, it's like the people who say they are "crazy" or "mad" and they are really quite dull!

orangeandlemons Fri 23-Nov-12 12:07:07

I'm not sure either. I am creative, can tackle most creative projects, but not sure I think creatively at all. I am good with my hands and have a degree in a creative subject, do a creative job, but creative thinking eludes me completely hmm. I prefer linear straightforward thinking, but I am good at solving problems. Is this creative thinking.

orangeandlemons Fri 23-Nov-12 12:07:32

Forgot question mark. ?

Thisisaeuphemism Fri 23-Nov-12 12:10:11

Agree Cheekybaubles and Showtunes,
If anyone describes themselves as creative or worse, 'a creative' you just know they are superior and smug. I mean, really, do they think the rest of us have no free thought/imagination at all?!
I think perhaps they do think that.

HoleyGhost Fri 23-Nov-12 12:10:32

I find it is usually used to mean they see themselves as anti-science and/or rubbish at maths.

Some of the most genuinely creative people I know are scientists

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Fri 23-Nov-12 12:10:53

"how she's such a 'creative thinker' and not 'a typical office type'."

She is telling you what she wants to be, and how she wants to be perceived, as she feels inadequate an incompetent in work, and hopes this will excuse/explain her failings, while enamoring her to you.


Sad really.

At least, that is my take on it.

I will happily admit "I have no sense of style, I cant make my house as nice and cosy as you, I dont know where to begin, so make odd purchases and hope it will work" More hones than "I am so creative, which is why my home is a heap of mismatched woo"

wordfactory Fri 23-Nov-12 12:11:14

Wekk I woukld describe myself as creative my defence I am a novelist as so do actual real proper creating every day wink.

But I see the term as simply descriptive. Not loaded with any particular significance.

I think the problem is that some people use the word to lend themselves a certain image. An image that may not be true for real life creatives.

BlissfullyIgnorant Fri 23-Nov-12 12:11:52

Expand it into people with self proclaimed;
Wacky sense of humour
Individual style
Good taste
Excellent driving skills
Wonderful talent with interior design
Expertise in anything

Truly creative people tend to keep on going, striving for perfection and yet never believing they've reached it, which is what drives them.

SantaKissedBonkeyMollocks Fri 23-Nov-12 12:12:15

I have a creative streak but I don't shout about it - not until recently anyway, and thats only because I'm trying to sell it!

I think it goes for everything. Most people who shout about how good they are at something can't do it for shit!

quesadilla Fri 23-Nov-12 12:12:46

In my experience most people who are in a rush to tell everyone how "creative" they are fall into one of 2 categories: 1) trustafarians who have never had to work and 2) desperately dull types who think having their Tarots done occasionally and burning the odd joss stick makes them a free spirit. (With no disrespect intended to actual creative people who, as the OP says, tend not to bang on about it).

MarshaBrady Fri 23-Nov-12 12:13:25

I don't like the idea that creativity and maths are split, some can do both.

But when you have a career that is thought to be creative by others, then you probably stop telling people you are creative.

SantaKissedBonkeyMollocks Fri 23-Nov-12 12:13:37

For the record, I don't ever say I'm creative - I just shove jewellery under peoples noses wink

turkeyboots Fri 23-Nov-12 12:13:50

YANBU. Creative in an office setting tends to only mean they use annoying colours and fonts in emails. Or order pink pens. Or pointlessly argue about minor details of presentation rather than do the work.


akaemmafrost Fri 23-Nov-12 12:15:37

I am NOT creative, except for being able to write stingingly marvellous complaining letters grin. I am famous among my friends and family for it, so I suppose I CAN write but not fiction, so not sure if that's creative or not. Can't draw, paint, knit or sew etc, though quite a good cook.

I agree people who spout on about being creative probably WANT to be but aren't.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Fri 23-Nov-12 12:15:55

I visited one of Londons top independent secondary schools yesterday. They do LOTS of arts, music and drama, alongside science. They said nurturing creativity was really important. 25% of the curriculum was arts based.

I totally agree that creativity and science go hand in hand.

I had the pleasure of spending a long flight with a drummer. Her instrument is African Drums, mainly, and she has done lots of projects together with classical violinists. (Her girlfriend is a politician with a psychology degree so they are an interesting match)
She said there is so much mathematics in music and so many formulas and much wave theory in rhythm, that maths should be compulsory in music college (I dont know where you go to study music - In Norway it is called Music Conservatorium so I dare not make an adhoc translation grin), and music part of the maths curriculum.

RooneyMara Fri 23-Nov-12 12:16:27

Oh yes.

I think there's a huge dischordance with being someone who is artistic in some way, and selling that/speaking about it/saying it.

I can't do it. Only on here can I write something like, yes I paint, yes I sing/play music. But people I know, have generally no idea. I only do it alone and the few pictures I've got anywhere with are around my house and probably so weird that no one who visits likes to ask if I did them!

I had one on my phone for a while and showed a few people, when they asked what my boyfriend looked like at the time and I said here he is. And they were like Oh my God, did you paint this. But tbh it looked much better on a tiny phone screen than IRL.

Having to cross that divide and SELL my work would be anathema, it would ruin it, it would be seriously uncomfortable.

wordfactory Fri 23-Nov-12 12:22:29

I think when you are among professional creatives, the idea is much more free. Being creative and creating are a given.

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