Are You Leading or Being Led?

Finding your creativity is a journey. It also isn’t a linear journey. It is more cyclical where you get bursts of new content that are often followed by a time of searching.

Our lives are not a trajectory that continues to build on past experiences leading us up a large stairway.
Creativity is more about doing something new and different. Most ideation isn’t born in a vacuum. We draw from our environment, experiences, and others our new ideas.

While early in our career, we are inspired by others and will copy their work until we learn the skills necessary to reproduce that style. During that process, we slowly put our spin on that skill set. We try putting our spin on the other’s art and create something new.

No longer linear trajectory

While we grow in some form of a trajectory that shows progress, we often revisit the process of taking what exists around us and copying it, then modifying it to find our way of expressing something in our hearts, minds, and soul.

When you have those breakthrough moments and people notice, you are often copied by other creatives for the same reason you copied others to develop something new.

Actions to take

The key to the creative process is to ensure you add yeast to the ingredients. This is where you cause fermentation and leavening. Fermentation is the process of breaking down the components.

Let’s say you notice a photographer’s work and want to try and duplicate it. You take the time to study the work.

What lens did they use? How did they light it? What are they doing in the post process to get that look?


Leavening is when you are modifying or transforming it for something better.

That is how you become a leader or expert as a creative.

Now, if you are copying other artists’ work and never creating something new, you are just being led. You are not creative. You are a commodity.

Those needing a nice headshot will call you. As long as you are priced like most others in the marketplace, you will be getting work.

Others who recognize creativity and are looking for someone to help them take their brand to the next level will not look to you. You are the vanilla in the creative field.

While trying to always come up with something new is good to keep yourself interested in your work, remember that this helps you create your niche.

More Than A Product

What is just as important to realize is that creativity isn’t limited to your product [photos]. How you treat people is something that shows just as much creativity. The more you WOW people with your service you also separate yourself from the crowd.

Study brands that are known for their service. Copy them and then put your spin on them and do something that adds more to creating a unique experience for your clients.

Thinking you have arrived are being led by others in the industry. Recognizing clients are leaving them is essential. Copying other brands to keep clients is a short-term solution. Other creatives are not seeking them out or copying them. They are selling their product and pricing.

Leaders in the creative field are always looking for a way to improve or at least do something new and different.

Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water!

What I notice about the big brands is they have the signature products they continue to produce that keep their clients happy. Then they have new products. Often these are limited-time offers. These are the things that keep things fresh and exciting for your clients. They may try some of these, but they let your clients know you are constantly innovating.

Be a leader – Embrace change!