You say, “I need a creative person on my team.”

I say, “be careful what you ask for.” Creative people (also known as Creatives or creative types) are strange beings. I’m one of them. We find excitement in things the rest of the world cares a little less about, and we’re okay with it. In fact, we have our circle that’s just like us. And organizations love us because we keep things fresh. We think out of the box. In fact, many like to live vicariously through us. We have guts! Guts to live on the edge. And we love it.

Since Creatives have a hard time conforming, there are those who have a hard time with how we operate. It’s not that Creatives are bad. We just like to have fun. Those of us who learn how to balance the road between comforming and creativity do well. The others, well…have you ever heard of a consultant…or a beach bum…or someone simply chasing their dreams?

Now that we have that out of the way, the fun stuff – spotting your creative:

  1. They’re either a hipster or a geek. Their either socially awkward or they like to live on the edge – or they may be both. Allow this in the organization. It’s good for their creative minds.
  2. They get a little too excited about words, colors, typography, photography, and the arts. It’s okay you don’t get it. This is just part of their natural make up.
  3. They have (or used to have) random hair coloring, ink on their body, or some redunkulous (ridiculous) hair cut or hair style. Face it. Living with the same hair color style is B-O-R-I-N-G. I change my hair who knows how many times in a year. It’s all professional and presentable. If I had to stay the same…[insert scream]
  4. 9 time out of 10, they’re going to say something you don’t want to hear. Be okay with this. This is why you hired them. Creatives invent and take things to new levels. If you stunt their ability to be creative and push against the grain, you may stunt your organization’s success.
  5. They think of something that you didn’t. Be open to their ideas. They use a different side of the brain than others, and they help explore opportunities other people in the organization didn’t (and may not ever) think of.
  6. They’ll look like they’re slacking. They may not come in on time and they may seem to socialize a little too much. Clocks and boxes are not meant for Creatives. They have to be able to express themselves openly. When you box in a creative person, you also box in their creativity. Don’t do this. When you get the right one, they will work their butts off.
  7. They’re in tune with the latest technology. Creatives are early adopters of technology. Why? Because it’s different and cool. They don’t like to conform. Don’t expect their technology to conform either. They are the first with the latest devices. They know what creative programs to use. They know when it’s worth getting the upgrade and when it’s not.
  8. They’re surrounded by other Creatives. As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Where there’s one creative, you can be sure to find another, and guess what they’ll be talking about? Music, TV, typography, grammar, their blog, their website, their next personal project, their next professional project…you get the gist.
  9. Drama is part of their life. Yes. Creative people can get a bit dramatic. Expression – or should I say over-expression – is their thing. Frankly, they consider the dramatic expressions kinda fun. (Note: This type of drama is not to be confused with the petty “drama” that harms relationships.)
  10. Their cubicles are, well, different. From pictures to posters to trinkets to random personal or professional creations, you’ll see this at the desk of a creative. While everyone likes to make their cube “at home,” Creatives take it just a bit further. You will be wowed, inspired, or appalled by their unique expression. However, whether you’re wowed, inspired, or appalled, the one thing you won’t say is that it’s status quo.

Creatives are meant to create. Creating means inventing or modifying. This is just a natural extension of our DNA – and  it’s a huge pro for all organizations. Creativity is needed for growth. Accept it. You need us. We need you too.

Live, love, prosper.

1 thought on “10 Ways to Spot a Creative from a Mile Away

  1. Wrong, wrong, wrong on all counts.

    Renoir enjoyed the simple things and was reactionary in many ways. Picasso was a thoughtless womanizer who never tried to act different or feign interests in things. He cared mostly about getting with women most of the time and making enough paintings to support his lifestyle. You couldn’t distinguish between Matisse and a government worker and he enjoyed predictable walks and conversation about banal things.

    You are describing ‘early adopters’ and ‘rebel consumers’, who are MUCH different from genuinely creative people. Take the quiz below to find out:

    To the dominant culture emo-hipster-indie mass conformists out there, try out this quiz:
    http://spotthecreativeperson.tumblr.com/

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