No Place for Shame: Content Creation is Creative
This will be more of a rant, than an informative blog post today my friends, but I think it is necessary. Considering that the mission of Creating Confidently is to uphold the value of creativity in all its forms as an accessible part of everyday life in everyone's life, and not just this enlightened threshold of wonder reserved for tortured souls and artists, seeing creative communities bash certain creative pursuits is kind of a trigger for us here. Of course this is a nuanced discussion and I will compassionately understand where they are coming from, but this is something that has bothered me as a content creator, especially having really started on my creative journey by creating content. See - ranting already.
Let me start by saying I can understand where they’re coming from. I can. Truly. But don’t say “creatives need to not be ruled by social media, by creating things for the sake of posting about it.” Maybe they want to! And the act of creating a post, styling a shoot, making something to grab your attention in the first palace, creating a piece of consumable content is an incredible creative endeavour. Let’s instead get to the root of what you want to say and re-phrase; “artists need to not be consumed with pleasing social media, but need to create authentically to themselves and not worry about creating for the purpose of posting.” If art is the goal, then truly, this advice is sound and solid. Artistically being ruled by popular opinion is a death sentence to your creative vision as an artist, and you can come up against sameness syndrome if certain pieces are getting more attention than others, and you get stuck in a loop of creating the in thing even if you don’t want to because you feel beholden to your social media following. So, I understand.
However, to categorize all creatives as needing to create art first, content second, is ludicrous. There are entire businesses, whole creative communities dedicated to creating consumable content - blogging, marketing, advertising. This can include artistic disciplines at times, particularly in the music industry. Creating content is a creative activity, and it should not be dismissed as mainstream or lesser than artistic pursuits because it can have a broader appeal. There are plenty of content creators, streamers, bloggers, copy writers, etc… who still strive for authenticity in their content without being concerned about it being considered art.
Being a creator by nature is creative, and there should be no shame heaped on those creatives looking to connect through their content by others in the community. There is a fine line between assuaging and calibrating your own creative exploits in content and making those who thrive in that world feel shame for such ‘commercial’ or ‘mainstream’ connection. You can view yourself as an artist and feel the need to protect its integrity and your integrity as an artist without making content creators feel inferior or inauthentic for following their own creative integrity.
This isn’t an us vs them. This is a gaping wound in the creative community that we all need to take a look at and ask ourselves if we are going to perpetuate it, or band together and heal division. Let influencers make their content, let artists niche down and do what they love, let bloggers share their travels and stories, let streamers share their love of gaming and bookstagrammers share their bookish thoughts, let people create the content, the work, the art that they want to share with the world and support the creative appetite of the world at large. Art is not the be all and end all, and not all creatives are artists. Support and protect all forms of creative expression, including your content creators. Even artists employ their skillset from time, creating personal branding, marketing and developing advertising campaigns. If you make something that didn’t previously exist in the reality of the world you are a creative, you are valued and your work is worthy.
‘You make art, not content’ needs to fall to the wayside and instead we need to adopt ‘you are a creative, create what makes your heart happy.’