61 - How labelling ourselves can limit our creativity


61 - How labelling ourselves can limit our creativity

61 - How labelling ourselves can limit our creativity

Hello and welcome to The Spark & The Art creativity podcast. The weekly podcast where we alternate between offering insight and inspiration and interviews with creatives from all career levels and creative disciplines. Giving you the info you need to make the most of your creative talents. This is episode 61 and I'm your host Tucker. 

 This week is insight and inspiration and we’re going to talk about titles, labels and how we define ourselves. 

 In last weeks's episode we chatted with Ben Rankel a visual designer and comic book artist. When you listen to Ben describe his design job it involves many things not directly related to design like project managment, priduction managment, social media etc. But his title at work is designer so, designer it is. 

When people ask me what I do I tell them "My job title is 'UX Designer' but that really means I work on websites and apps and stuff" although when it comes down too it I'm probably not really a UX Designer because my team has slowly lost our contact with the users we used to do testing with. So I'm more of an Interaction Designer. But that's just my day job. Outside of work I write songs, so to some people I'm a songwriter or kids book author or independent publisher or any of the other things I do. 

In the book The War Of Art the author, Steven Pressfield, says the difference between an amateur and a professional is the amateur identifies with a label they define themselves by. The pro just does the work. 

The amateur talks about being a writer. Has the how-to books. Reads all the blogs. Is a member of the local independent authours group in their town. They've been doing it for a few years now but is only half way through their novel's outline and havn't yet finished the two short stories they've been working on. 

The pro, on the other hand, does the work it takes to finish then shows it to the people who will publish it or buy it. Then they move on too the next thing in the mean time. 

Writer, novelist, blogger, musician, designer - these are all just labels. They are shorthand to give people quick context about things you do. They shouldn't be what defines you. You shouldn't get so wrapped up in what a label says you are that you don't do anything else. Don't ignore your desire to sculpt because you are "a painter". Just do the work that feels right. 

Here's where you get to do some thinking

  • What do you call yourself?
  • Is it what you do or what a job title says you do? 
  • Do you need to caveat that title with "but I really ..."
  • Have you been limiting yourself based on that label?
  • Is there a broader label you can use?
  • What would happen if when people asked what you do, instead of your title/label, you simply started with "I really enjoy..."?

If any of this rang true for you I'd love to hear what you thought. Get me on twitter @sh_tucker. 

If you know someone who seems to be limiting themselves because if a title or label or description they've assumed share this episode with them and maybe they'll get a little push to start working for what their creativity is telling them to do rather than what their label is telling them.

Thanks for listening and remember you won't get the art without the work and you won't do the work without the spark.