When I was about 12, I was sent to my Careers Teacher where I had to talk to her about what I wanted to be when I left school. At that point in my life, I loved playing with photos of furniture and furnishings in magazines, cutting them out and using then to design homes. So I told the teacher I wanted to be an interior designer.
“Don’t be ridiculous”, she said, “there’s no call for them.”
In a rare act of defiance, I turned on my heel and walked out, saying, ‘Tell that to David Hicks”.
Looking back now, it probably wasn’t something that I was dreadfully passionate about as I didn’t follow through with it. Over the years though, I have developed a lot of the project management skills needed and if I hadn’t been a designer as such, I might have still had an enjoyable career within that industry. (And having a double-barrelled surname and dodgy dress sense, I could have been Laurence Llewelyn Bowen.) As it was, I left school disenchanted and went into the Civil Service for a year before running away to art school. There, I realised I didn't 'need' to be an artist, but it was where I continued to develop my creative thinking.
Fortunately, I have subsequently had a very enjoyable career, mainly because I have always been able to approach things with both logical and creative thinking. However, I know that there are many people who had their creative side stamped on at an early age. This could be because of a perception that jobs in the arts “aren’t for people like us”, whether that refers to people who feel they can’t get into university/art/drama/school, not from the ‘right’ background, etc. Or the perception that careers in the arts aren’t ‘proper’ jobs. Indeed, I see many of these people as clients, finally getting to try the thing they always wanted to do now they are in middle/later age, having completed their ‘sensible’ careers. But many of them have been unhappy and unfulfilled, even though they may have had career successful by other peoples’ standards.
The point of all this is that if someone has a creative dream or ambition, it is good to encourage it. After all, looking at it purely through an economic lens, the UK has a creative industry which is worth £76.9 billion per year to the UK economy. More importantly, this is an awful lot of people who are fulfilling their creative potential and are happy in their professional lives. Even those who for whatever reason decide not to follow an obviously creative profession will at least have accessed skills and ways of thinking which will enhance their careers and any businesses with which they are involved. Also perhaps they have a meaningful and important sideline giving them personal satisfaction.
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you in reengaging with your creativity, check out how we could work together and get in touch.