Artwork featured by Oksana Stepova
What is creative living? It is eudaemonic that nobody has confined the art of creative living in words. Creative living is more like a transcendental concept that surpasses the barrier of both the spiritual and the practical world.
The truth of creative living lies in the path of curiosity. As long as you are curious about a field, you will find a sense of fulfillment by indulging in your endeavors. The inclusive beauty of creative living is that it does not define anything; it lets you experiment with the flow of the thoughts; it lets you include anything that serves the purpose of curiosity and innovations. You can attain self-fulfillment by doing something of creativity, either by writing a story, coding for a video game or simply adding flavors to your regular cooking style.
Creative living however does not confine a person in a box, but it requires one essential thing that is a vocation. Vocation is a holy, mystical calling that urges you to create, to leave your hand-print on this world. Vocation is the force that tells you to participate in this cycle of creation and create art that touches souls. Your vocation is the thing that inspires you to put something of your own in this creative nut.
I believe every one is blessed with a vocation or somehow manages to find the driving force that keeps them afloat in this materialistic world. The only difference is people struggle to strike a balance between the spirituality of creative living and the practicality of life.
If we talk about the practicality of creative living we can all agree that it is not synonymous with financial independence. Art promises to create, but it does not assure to pay bills. Let’s be honest, making money through art is difficult almost everywhere.
When you are in an early stage of finding your vocation and making a career out of it, the question of whether you’d be able to support yourself financially through your art or not plays a determining role in your decision making.
With all this imposed idealization of society about career and job and how your career should be of respect, your job must also be perfect where you love what you do and it should also pay you well, making the whole finding your place in a creative field worse and almost impossible. It pressurizes us to abandon our art and take a white-collar job that promises us financial security.
This is where we have to maintain the balance and leave the imposed idealism behind. Being an artist and what you do adds value to your creative living. You have to distinguish between your career and your job. Your career is an amalgamation of your vocation and your creativity that perfectly collides with the practical world. You are supposed to love your career because it gives you the freedom and platform to do what you strive to do. You work hard for your career and it gives you a sense of fulfillment.
Whereas your job as the author Elizabeth Gilbert defines the concept of a job in a video where she distinguishes between hobby, job, career, and vocation, she said: “it (your job) does not have to be awesome, it does not have to fulfill you, it does not have to be joyful, it just has to PAY.”
In a passion fetishistic society where we are given this redundant piece of advice, to follow your passion, make your passion your work, and how your job should be ideal when some of us don’t even recognize ourselves in that line, I find Elizabeth’s approach to a job very realistic. It gives you a way out. Your job does not have to be associated with your career.
Until and unless you are not in an abusive or manipulative environment, your job being okay is completely fine. If it provides you financial security then you don’t have to quit the job to pursue creative living. Because everyone comes from different backgrounds, everyone has had different struggles and many different privileges as well, so what might seem easy for a particular artist to do, can be impossible for other artists to follow.
Every beautiful and valuable thing created by people was not granted to them generically, they had to make it by thin and through of practicality. For example, T.S Eliot was working as a banker almost all his life, Herman Melville was working as a customs inspector even during his writing career.
You can find many examples of artists who do not lock themselves away in a garret of art and creativity to shepherd the creation into being. Some prefer to punch a clock or run a business, stealing away to jot down a few lines here or a few notes there. So yes, you can do a job and still be able to lead a life of creativity where you make art and find solace in it.
All you need to do is to know your vocation and have a grip on it. Because your job might change or your career might end, the creative industry you work with might not be relevant, one-day people might decide that they do not care about the art you create anymore. But nobody can take your vocation away, nobody can steal it from you. Your vocation is with you till your death.
That holly calling will constantly urge you to leave a handprint, to participate in this cycle of creation. Even in the worst-case scenario where you do not have a workplace to make what you love, you will still have your bedroom to make art like you use to do when nobody cared about it, when you simply used to do it because it used to come from within. So keep creating art because it comforts the disturbed and brings peace in this world of havoc.