What are "creatives"?

Marc Fleetwood of Preston-based Two Peculiar debates whether he's a creative or a scientist.

Last Wednesday I awoke at what I can assure you was a respectable time… in the morning. I checked my phone post haste for any messages and lo and behold I was in demand. Three missed calls and a voicemail. I immediately checked and was surprised to learn I had been invited to sit on a panel discussing how to be a successful creative freelancer.

This threw up a few issues, firstly, I do not usually consider what I do to be a creative thing. Obviously video production is a grey area, were I to be out making independent films that reflect my inner Aronofsky then yes, I would consider myself a creative.

My vision of these people is set. They are the free spirits of the world who are not bound by social convention. Why not paint using my hair? Why not photograph a toenail in the sunset? Can we add more glitter? – these are the thoughts I imagine they have a million times a day.

I, quite simply, do not. I love learning new tricks, finding new software and equipment and learning how to use it and get the best out of it. My mind works in a technical way, so much so I studied two years of engineering before I moved on to TV Production. My favourite part of my course was the Advanced Lighting Elective (thanks Rob) because at it’s heart was science. Science being used to evoke emotion in the audience but science all the same.

This did not stop me accepting the invite. I may be new to the business world but I felt I could offer up some reasonable advice to the freelancers of tomorrow from my time before Two Peculiar. And I thought if I listened to the others on the panel I might still learn a thing or two from them.

On the panel we had:

Kyle Webster – director, Chog Zoo Animation Layla Sailor – Freelance photographer/film-maker/lighting designer and more. Jenny Rutter – director, JCR Creative

I could quite easily write an essay on all that was said, some of the advice was top notch (bit Alan Partridge there), but the underlying message I came away with is that in the current climate we all have to make some compromises for what it is we want to achieve.

Perhaps doing more work than originally conceived or a lot of different types of work instead of specialisation. However each of the panellists was happy in what they were doing, and no matter what the job they were still trying to get some of their personality, style or wit into every thing they did. Knowing that each job could only enhance their reputations and give them the freedom to be more creative in future.

And this is exactly what I was doing. Have I released Cloud Atlas? Blatantly not. Do I use everything I have learnt to try and put my own style into the work I do though? Yes.

Does this make me “a creative”?

Well I like to think that perhaps it does.