Does Creative Equal Lazy?

Glass Fantasy 3 by Nellie Buir from

We’ve all heard them, the comments about creative folks: “I could throw paint on a canvas too.” “I could design clothes better than that.” “I would write a book too if I had the time.”

Funny how we never hear: “I could make computer games too.”  “I could be a rocket scientist if I only had the time.”

In today’s world, creative work like art, writing, design, or music tends to be looked down on as “easy” and the creatives who make it are looked at as “lazy.” For example, I recently read about a very successful author (sorry, don’t remember the name) who was asked by a relative, “When are you going to get a real job?”

I’m not well known and make very little money, but something similar happened to me. I had introduced myself as a novelist, but a few minutes later, the person asked me where I worked. 

It seems that if a job involves creating something from a person’s imagination, it isn’t really a job. Apparently, a lot of people think doing creative work is just playing, daydreaming, takes very little time. The idea is that some of us have conned our way into big paychecks (not me), but by and large, creatives are supposed to be “starving artists.”

So, does an artistic type who gets a paycheck (that doesn’t come from a “real job” in addition to their creative work) have to be poor? Struggling? At the mercy of other people who like our work well enough to buy it?

Well, yes we are at the mercy of buyers of our work, but we do a legitimate service to our fellow humans. What would the world be like without art, and beautiful buildings, and books that take you away to another time, place, future? 

So, do you think creative folks should struggle? Have you ever thought about how much art, music, books, etc. enriches your life? Do you appreciate that enrichment?

May your life be filled with color and music!


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