Today marks the beginning of Northside Innovation, a conference that’s part of Northside Festival, a celebration of art, music, entrepreneurship, design, and tech based in North Brooklyn. This will be my fourth year attending (at least, I think that’s right) and it had me thinking about terms that are tossed around a lot within the creative, tech, advertising, and entrepreneurship worlds: “creators”, “makers”, “creatives”, and “producers”. Some are actual roles required on projects and some are self descriptive terms that somewhat self-obsessed people may use to describe themselves.
I’ve been working in social and digital for my entire career, but my passions are always related to tactile “creation” and “making”. I come from a family of sewers, quilters, knitters, carvers, photographers, artists, etc. who love to share their skills within their chosen craft with family and friends. Whenever I find myself a bit overwhelmed and lost with work, family, life, whatever, I use painting or crochet to bring me back to the present. With so much of our lives happening through social or digital, it’s no surprise that people gravitate to hobbies that require working with physical materials (8/10 New Yorkers take a pottery class for fun, I swear).
“Maker culture” is something that has been discussed at Northside over the years due to the revolution of maker-based start-ups and entrepreneurs, with the prime example being Etsy. In the advertising and marketing world, content has become a bigger focus, which requires more creative work and client needs that turns strategists and community managers into art directors overnight. “Creative”, “Maker”, “Creator”, etc. have become buzzwords that are used throughout many LinkedIn profiles. Everyone working in marketing has worked with “that” Creative Director, who enjoys walking into the office, drops some creative ideas, then peaces out without figuring out how to make that idea into a reality.
There have been many genius ideas in the world, but those known for their genius are the ones that make it happen. Humor me, as I define what makes “creators”, “makers”, “creatives”, and “producers” and I’ll save you minutes of time updating your LinkedIn profile:
“Creative” – Loves ideas, love the creative process, hates the details and the execution of said ideas or creative process.
“Creator” – Has a vision and makes it happen. Has the ability to have an idea and execute creating something that is often representational of ideas other than what it actually is.
“Maker” – Someone who invented something that wasn’t in existence before, usually brick by brick, stitch by stitch, code by code. The object in question may have a utilitarian use.
“Producer” – Someone who literally ensure the works get produced (you should never use the actually work you are trying to define in the definition of the word, but oh well). Usually is the person managing the tea of creators and makers, which is kosher. You need a leader to steer the team in the right direction so they can focus on making, creating, etc.
“Doer” – They get sh*t done. Period. They stop talking about nice ideas and just get the job done. Everyone should try to be a doer.
Bottom line – don’t be the person known for coming up with ideas, be the person known for having ideas and making them happen.
Speaking of creativity…
Back in April, I embarked on a journey called #100HoursofPainting inspired byElle Luna’s and The Great Discontent’s #100DayProject. The plan was to paint for 100 hours by July 14th. It’s about 34 days out and I’ve hit…six hours. To make up for it, I would have to paint for about 2.8 hours per day, which isn’t terrible. The challenge is that I tend to paint very quickly (I’m just sooo talented), so at the end of two hours, the painting I’m working on is close to completion. I’ve also been using smaller canvases in order to extend the my personal collection, but now I am running out of wall space in my apartment.
What I need to do is get a HUGE canvas and paint something very detailed that will require more focus and hours of work. This painting is the first I completed for this project and it took me hours to do, despite it only being 8 x 14. Part of the reason is that it required very precise strokes and straight lines. If anyone has any ideas, please share in the comments below! I’m thinking of doing some sort of pattern, like plaid or something else equally obscene.