I feel like most people going through my reel or just generally bumping into this terminology on their social media spaces still have a bit of a confused moment trying to figure out who really falls under this category ‘creatives’ and by extension, if this applies to them.
Hi fam, how are you and how was your week? I hope it was truly rewarding. I’m grateful, mine was assuring but as a creative, this has been on my mind as well. Okay hold up, who or what exactly is a ‘creative’? Well, by one of Merriam-Webster’s definitions, a creative would be anyone who has the quality and tools to invent something rather than imitate and this is powered by their imagination. Basically, every human has the natural know-how to be considered a creative but you see, not every human is professionally a creative/creator.
Our Nigerian economy is clearly frustrating everyone and not just creatives however, being a part of the entertainment/film industry that wasn’t thought so much of in the past as worthy or even a sustainable career option, an industry which now is one to boast of, generating substantial revenue and feeding this same economy varying levels of peace of mind (lol), I can’t help but point out how easy it still is to feel stuck, stagnant, even with all that’s moving or going on within it and I wonder, who’s ever considered quitting? Please let’s see hands up lol. Is I t okay to actually call quits, knowing this is a path everyone of us are scheduled to encounter on the journey?
I’ve felt a lot of things, a lot! Nigeria barely or only very slowly rewards creatives their ‘journeys due’ but I’ve never felt to quit. I guess partly because I know how I got in here in the first place; not by chance, a wish, or even a plan but by leading. I also know that I can’t kill passion; the physical fuel that drives my creative deliveries and to be honest I’ve hardly met any creative that can. So it’s like no matter how hard it gets with us here in Nigeria, there are more ideas being born and the drive for the hustle just intensifies.
The level of suffering though in the economy is getting more unreal and it does begin to permit a final withdrawal to focus possibly on work that ‘pays the bills’. So is this the time to draw the curtains on that music ambition, art dream, acting career, hosting, chef vision…etc? I think the real question is – can we even?
A creative career is like a drug and this is why we sometimes abuse ourselves in it, we don’t bother about the instructions on the label to give us the best advantage of using it. The passion to create new somehow trumps the wickedness of the government and that’s why you’ll find out that even where the art is sluggish to deliver deserving earnings to the creator in this economy, the push is still evident (this must drive a number of Nigerian parents, families crazy lol).
This would be my response to the tough question to calling it quits. I honestly don’t think we can (personal opinion), except it was never birth from passion, never an innate drive. If it was an acquired skill, then yea maybe you could turn the switch off at will but then this article wouldn’t be for you though you know lol, my apologies. So I’ll say rather;
- Take a break; sometimes what looks like the end is just a comma or a semi-colon to add more flavor or revive your creative journey. Stop fighting to deliver on everything, be in every production, be present and to do everything to be seen. Sometimes, that silence really means rest, take up a different skill you’ve been curious about, engage in work that can sustain you in an economy that really doesn’t give two flying birds about you. You need first to be okay, go ahead and BE OKAY but don’t quit out of pressure to be, ‘blow’ or be acknowledged. Don’t end up living frustrated because you quit from frustration.
- Go back to the drawing board/your sketch pad; Look at your art differently, direct your passion deliberately. Read up, learn, research, add some spice, atarodo, sugar, whatever will value up your creation and yourself, you’ll see soon the economy will have nothing on you.
- Garner confidence; quitting says, “I don’t believe”. Economic graphs will always fluctuate and Nigeria’s downhill today by Gods grace will be a mountain climb tomorrow, this won’t do anything to how you see yourself as a creative or how you value what you create, your belief in what you create and yourself will. Be selfish with serving where the best you’re offered is to be taken advantage of. You see this – PLEASE STOP IT! Act like you know your worth, even if it’s still hard for you yourself to believe, like you know the value of your deliverable(s). Say it to yourself – “I am worthy” and darn right you are the ish! Because till you do, no one will take you like you are and you’ll keep feeling like there’s no point.
“It is the Lord who goes before you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 AMP
Don’t quit! Put worth and value on you and your creation.