The Holidays Are a Time for More Than Sales and Shopping for Independent Creatives
by Stephen Zimmer

The Holiday season has just kicked in full force, and the maelstrom of sales and shopping, both online and in brick and mortar stores, has arrived.  For independent creatives, it is a prime time to market and sell their work, but it is also a time to take a step back and gain (or regain) some perspective on the big picture.

The Thanksgiving holiday in the United States centers around gratitude.  Often, this gets lost in the stress that many deal with over holidays and the focus on commercialization that swamps the attention of so many.  The Christmas holiday is celebrated by most with the giving of gifts, but even the act of giving comes to a point that it seems like an obligation, rather than something organic from within.

The concepts of giving and gratitude both are important to creative individuals, and reflect each other in several important ways during the course of developing a healthy outlook and perspective.

There are three groups that relate strongly to creatives when it comes to the idea of gratitude.  Interestingly, the idea of giving reflects these groups very strongly, in terms of giving creatives roles to strive for in the lives of others in their world.

First, creatives never should forget the ones who lit the flame of inspiration within them.  All creatives at some point in their development got sparks from somewhere, and were drawn to certain art, films, music, writers, and many other sources.  The ones who inspired a creative should always maintain a special place, as it creates a wonderful legacy down the ages that leads to new waves of creativity in each generation.

Second, creatives all have mentors at some point or another.  They could be teachers, a friend or colleague in an industry, a family member, or anyone who helps guide or teach a creative along their journey.  This includes the development of skills, sound advice on career steps, or other kinds of guidance.  A good mentor is invaluable to the journey of a creative and helps to advance further and faster, while avoiding many hurdles and pitfalls.

Third, all creatives have supporters.  These are the individuals who buy their work, attend their events, and directly support the creative along their pathway.  Without supporters, there is no way a creative can sustain themselves or make a living with their work.

Creatives should regularly pause to think about these three groups, all of which should be held in genuine gratitude within the mind and heart of the creative.  A creative should always strive to honor these three groups by giving their best effort and putting forth the best work they can.

These three groups also serve as good examples of the kind of person a creative should strive to be.  A creative should aspire to be the kind of individual who inspires others, is willing to mentor others, and who supports others, as all of those things reflect what others have been for the creative.  Combined with the view of the three groups in terms of gratitude, the view of the three groups in terms of good examples constitute a well-rounded perspective that goes a long way into developing healthier communities, stronger creative industries, and so much more.

Giving and gratitude are certainly at the center of the real spirit of the holiday season, and they are always at the heart of a creative’s world.   Creatives should always take the time to step back and see the bigger picture.  A healthy perspective among creatives leads to a win-win for everyone!



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