The Creative Crisis

Does it influence your work? Should it?

(NOTE: this is my first post on Medium, I’ve written in the past on my own blogs in Dutch and English, TheNextWeb and ofcourse as an editor for the communications agency I currently work for. I don’t have all the answers, please add suggestions and comments on this piece, or talk to me on Twitter.)

Writers, journalists and other creative types have been hit hard by the crisis - just like a lot of other professional experts. The Public Relations and Communications industry - as it is called on LinkedIn and for lack of a better term I’ll refer it to it as that for now - is one where journalists and creative people often clash with the demands of the companies that hire them. I’m too young to have experienced it first-hand (I’ve been working full-time for four years now), but I’ve heard rumours of a time where this was quite possibly the only fight being, well, fought. Right now, there’s also the fight against budget cuts. You have to get creative to get to be creative, so to speak.

Now, thankfully, in my job everything’s relatively rosy. The projects I’m involved in are not oblivious to the crisis but I wouldn’t say I’m conciously making creative decisions based upon it. But if you’d ask me “are you choosing the path of the least resistance more often than before?” or “are you making decisions more rapidly to speed up the process?”… Well, then I wouldn’t be so sure. Even though, as opposed to many people I know who are less fortunate than me, I don’t really have to worry about my job right now, I’d say that the crisis is affecting me on some level, restricting my creative output.

And that might not even be a bad thing. After all, clients might appreciate it. But purely on a creative level it might be bad. At least it’s not the ideal image where you struck gold, write/paint/draw/capture it on any medium (ooh I wrote Medium!) possible and then move on to the next masterpiece. But our jobs were never like that anyway? Or were they?

So how do you, as a creative professional or someone who can relate to being one, cope with the crisis. Do you let it affect your work? Do you see that as a bad thing? Do you look for different, easier, methods to reach the same output? Do you reach for the sky, everyday, or are you sometimes going through the motions? And would that be different without the economic crisis? Are any of these questions relevant? I’m curious to hear what you people have to say.