I recently attended a series of talks (this and this) that provoked quite a bit of thought within me about the process of making. My interest also lead me to an article in Fast Company by Faisal Hoque about the 10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People reflecting on Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery & Invention
Like Hoque, I often wonder if I am an artist or an entrepreneur. Both are creative. Both require gumption. Both are risky. Mostly, though, I wonder if I am truly or solely either. I don’t know that it is a particularly important distinction; but it is a captivating one anyway.
I suspect that many of our R.W. Elephant users wonder this about themselves as well. It took great creativity and vision to start what they’ve started. They balked against the traditional business of selling what they have. Instead, they came up with a unique model of renting. They create, curate, acquire, and procure. They then release it to be used in a myriad of ways, some that they intended from the beginning and others beyond even their own wild imaginations.
While I haven’t had a chance to read Csikzentmihalyi’s book yet, I’ve skimmed a bit and I can’t get one thought out of my head. Creativity takes perseverance. This theme came to light for me through Trevor Hart’s talks (see above), Hoque’s insights and Csikszentmihalyi’s study. Even though there is certainly a compulsion for the creative person–a sense that they must create, do, or make–there is also commitment.
The question of “when is a piece of art finished” came up in the panel with Hart, Davidson, and Callis. Rental business owners face this inquiry from a unique position. They obtain or make and then the pieces continue to take on more patina, history, and life. In a way, these pieces are never finished because they are continually being added to. That requires a lot of perseverance on the part of the rental business owner. In addition to these pieces, the rental business owner also must continue to construct the business itself. Talk about creative dedication!
Hoque touches on this when he says “So, more than anything else, what it takes to be creative is resourcefulness and the courage not to give up.”
May you be inspired to create and keep creating.