Human beings are creative by nature. Even when you reply to an email, tweak a dinner recipe, or arrange books on a shelf, you’re engaging your imagination to create something new out of something old.
But then there are those who’ve turned their innate creativity into a profession. Interior designers, sculptors, novelists and the like are the odd breed who decide to pursue a lifetime of trading creativity for money, and it’s not easy.
Nothing hammers home that reality more than the World’s Longest Invoice, a project spearheaded by the Freelancers Union. The World’s Longest Invoice shines a light on the absurdly large number of invoices that go unpaid every year by the ilk who depend on the creative professional to meet their needs.
As of noon on April 30, 2012, the World’s Longest Invoice included over $12.5 million
in uncollected fees. It’s enough to make anyone throw in the towel and go to work for the Globex Corporation.
But I’m here to tell you all is not lost. Sometimes you need a little inspiration and advice on how to keep walking the creative path. Maybe an infographic illustrating that you’re not alone will lift your spirits. Or the clever wisdom of a comedic stalwart who’s had his share of ups and downs will remind you how to create even during the deepest valleys.
Whether part-time or full-time, creative professionals provide value that often goes underappreciated. So here’s a few reminders of that value we deliver In The World of … the Creative Edition.
A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer
Online media has gone pretty infographic obsessed lately, but that hasn’t stopped me from admiring a great visual communicating the odd life of the creative professional. That’s exactly what we get with A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer. This gem has been circulating the net since last fall and has prompted many discussions on how part-time freelancers burn the candles at both ends.
Personally, the artist makes me grateful that I’m not a graphic designer. I’m also glad I don’t have to drive more than 25 minutes to work each day. However, I did get a flashback or two of my 10-11 hour days as a magazine editor. … We’re an odd lot indeed.
Conan O’Brien’s Guide to Creativity
Conan O’Brien’s Guide to Creativity hit Fast Company’s website last year, shortly after his return to late night TV. In it, he brushes aside the myth that creativity is just a bunch of slackers sitting around quoting Star Wars dialogue and tossing a Nerf ball back and forth.
He has an analytical, almost formulaic approach to how he creates his material. But when he’s under the gun and the 4:30pm daily taping of his talk show is looming, he admits that that’s when his mind produces the best ideas.
But that’s only works after he’s prepared beforehand. On second thought, maybe O’Brien isn’t giving the best advice. But if we learn anything from this piece, O’Brien may be one of the most well-adjusted creative professionals in the business. Go read what the lanky comic has to say about his creative process. You may just see a little of yourself in his style.
East Coast vs. West Coast Designers
Back to the design side side of freelancing. Mighty Deals presented a hilarious, but informative side-by-side of East Coast/West Coast design creativity. Highlighting everything from favorite pets and footwear to states/districts that pay the best, the graphic is a fascinating look at the world of freelance design.
As a resident of the MidWest, I see a little of myself in both coasts. This creative professional prefers her medium-size dogs and late morning work schedules, but she equally adores cats, art gallery openings and independent films. My design muse certainly has more in common with the East coast, but I’d welcome West coast weather all year-round.
Are you more East Coast or West Coast when it comes to freelancing?
Have you added your name to the World’s Longest Invoice?