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Navigating Realities: The Dual Worlds of a Creative Professional

Two planets, representing the dual worlds of a creative professional, orbiting each other

Navigating realities as a creative professional can often be challenging. As a creative professional, you constantly find yourself straddling two distinct worlds. On one hand, there's the rich, imaginative inner world where your creativity knows no bounds. It's a sanctuary where ideas flourish, and your artistic spirit roams free. On the other hand, there's the harsh reality of the outer world, filled with challenges, constraints, and the ever-present need to balance your passion with practicality.

 

"Most, if not all creative people find themselves wedged between two worlds; The first, is their own inner world... The second world. The real one” ~ Lukas de Beer from Artrepreneur: A Field Guide for Creative Professionals

 

In your inner world, you are the master of your domain. It's a place where you can lose yourself in the flow of creativity, conjuring up ideas and exploring the depths of your imagination. This is where you find your true purpose, your raison d'être. It's the source of your creative energy, the well from which you draw inspiration. In this world, time loses its meaning, and the boundaries between the possible and impossible blur.


The story of J.K. Rowling, the renowned author of the Harry Potter series, is a great example. Before her success, Rowling found solace in her inner world, creating the enchanting universe of Hogwarts and its magical inhabitants. Despite facing numerous rejections from publishers and the challenges of being a single mother, she never lost sight of the world she had created in her mind. It was this unwavering commitment to her inner vision that ultimately led to her remarkable success.


Picture of JK Rowling writing Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter. Image by https://wallpapercave.com/

 

However, as you step out of your inner sanctuary and into the outer world, reality hits you like a cold splash of water. Suddenly, you're confronted with a myriad of challenges that can feel overwhelming. Criticism and rejection become constant companions, testing your resilience and self-belief. The opinions of others, whether it's family, friends, or society at large, can be disheartening when they don't share the same enthusiasm for your creations.

 

Moreover, the outer world is governed by practical constraints such as time and money. As much as you'd like to lose yourself in your creative pursuits, there are bills to pay and responsibilities to attend to. The pressure to balance your artistic ambitions with financial stability can be immense, often leading to self-doubt and frustration. It's a delicate dance that requires careful navigation and a willingness to make compromises.

 

The tug-of-war between these two worlds is a reality every creative professional must face. It's a constant push and pull between the boundless possibilities of your imagination and the limitations imposed by the external world. At times, it can feel like you're being pulled in opposite directions, torn between your creative impulses and the demands of reality.

 

It's crucial to remember that these two worlds are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the key to thriving as a creative professional lies in finding a way to bridge the gap between them. It's about learning to harness the power of your inner world and channeling it into the outer world in a way that is both authentic and sustainable.

 

One way to achieve this balance is by cultivating a strong sense of self-awareness. By understanding your own creative process, you can develop strategies to protect your inner world while still navigating the challenges of the outer world. This might involve setting clear boundaries, carving out dedicated time for your creative pursuits, and learning to prioritise your own well-being.

 

A support system is a way to bridging the inner and outer worlds.
A support system is a way to bridging your inner and outer worlds.

Another essential aspect of bridging the two worlds is developing a support system. Surround yourself with individuals who understand and appreciate your creative journey.

This is super important. Seek out mentors, collaborators, and like-minded individuals who can offer guidance, encouragement, and a safe space to share your struggles and triumphs. By building a community of support, you can create a buffer between your inner world and the harsh realities of the outer world.

 

It's equally important to remember that the challenges you face in the outer world can actually fuel your creativity. Embrace the obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning. Each rejection, each setback, can be a chance to refine your craft, to adapt, and to evolve.

 

Let's look at the story of Vincent van Gogh, one of the most influential artists of all time, as an example. During his lifetime, van Gogh faced countless challenges, including poverty, mental illness, and a lack of recognition for his work. Despite these hardships, he never stopped creating. He used his struggles as a source of inspiration, pouring his emotions into his art. Today, his work is celebrated worldwide, a testament to the power of perseverance and the ability to transform adversity into beauty.

 

An AI depiction of two planets in the style of Van Gogh
An AI depiction of two planets in the style of Van Gogh

The dual worlds of a creative professional are a reflection of the human experience itself. We all navigate between our inner desires and the realities of the outer world. What sets creative professionals apart is their ability to bridge these two realms, to find a way to bring their inner visions to life, no matter the challenges they face.

 

As you continue on your creative journey, remember to embrace both worlds. Nurture your inner sanctuary, but don't be afraid to step out into the outer world and face its challenges head-on.

 

In doing so, you'll discover that the dual worlds of a creative professional are not a burden, but a gift. They are what make you unique, what drive you to create, and what ultimately define your artistic identity.


It is in the space between these two worlds that true creative magic happens.



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