When Creativity is Sacrificed for a Living

What if I told you that as a creative, you don’t belong in the workplace? Like, at all. And if you’re truly an artist, then you already know this to be accurate. How many times have you began a new job or career path, only to feel like you’ve made the biggest mistake of your life after only six months? For me, these instances occur way too many times to count. To be completely honest, as much as I love the non-creative work that I do, I have to admit that it is stifling my creativity. Who I am as an individual is primarily rooted in my talents and creative abilities. When I am not able to express this, I become extremely overwhelmed, burned out, and, most times, depressed.

Nicki Minaj, a platinum-selling recording artist, worked as a waitress at Red Lobster before she made it as an artist/entertainer. I’m sure she’s had her fair share of “fuck this shit” moments during her employment. Before she was “Regina George,” Rachel McAdams had a job at Mickey D’s. Obviously, that didn’t last too long. But why?
For most of us, pulling the lever down on the ice cream machine to serve a $2.39 McFlurry is not rocket science. Mundane tasks like these prove no use of creativity, and eventually, the imaginative side of us is dead. The side that makes up exactly who we are as individuals.

One of the leading pet peeves for artists in the workplace is micro-managing. We hate that shit. We. Can’t. Stand. It. 

Quick scenario: You’re in line to buy a hot dog. You pay for your hot dog and get outta dodge, but before you sit down and enjoy this juicy ass hot dog, you gotta dress it up right first. You’re gonna need your ketchup, mustard, chopped onions, chili, whatever. So, you make your way to the condiments station. As you’re dressing the hot dog to perfection, you suddenly feel a motherfucker so close to your backside, that they’re breathing down your neck. Now, in your mind, the way your hot dog hits your taste buds is critical, so you attempt to ignore it and keep doing what you do. However, this person comes closer and closer until you’re finally fed up enough to turn around and tell him to back the fuck up. How is this kind of work environment going to be conducive to production? 

This point also corresponds to forcing everyone to work in the same way. We are unique individuals, and as a result of this, not everyone is going to work towards the common goal in the exact same manner. Some may choose to use the hatchet while others prefer the hammer. I, for one, prefer the stick. I’d be using every last one of my fingers if I were to count how many times I’ve been ridiculed by upper management. Simply because I chose to do things in a way that was more suitable for me. I just didn’t get why everyone had to do it that way instead of this way.

The more I grow in my journey as an artist, the more I realize that I have to find ways to separate my job from my passion. It is definitely not easy, but I also know that my heart will not allow me to stay away from the things that I love for too long. Most of the time I’m crying my eyes out because I feel that I don’t have time for the things that I actually love to do. However, falling is only a defeat if you do not get back up to try again. 

4 thoughts on “When Creativity is Sacrificed for a Living

  1. Great post! I relate to the very hard task of finding time for both work and creative expression. Vocalizing my perspective of the world through the art of writing has not been easy. However, continuing to try is the only way to conquer such a task on this journey.


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