Creativity and Courage

Contrary to common belief, creativity is not exclusive. Artists have not monopolized it. To quote Elizabeth Gilbert’s definition of creative living:

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

In its broadest sense, creativity is a nurturing of passions and allowing your excitement to inform your life. This means being receptive to the random, sometimes bizarre, ideas that keep you up at night. This means setting aside any doubts and going for it.

I went for it.

When I saw Bullhorn was looking for a copywriter/social media intern, I knew I had to apply. I gathered the required materials – which, all together, was a showcase of my own geeky forms of creativity – but my finger hovered over the Send button. What if I failed? Was this good enough?

Creative expression is personal, so it makes you vulnerable. It wasn’t until I was lying awake in bed, suddenly remembering Big Magic, that I finally summoned the nerve to apply. And so there I sat, hunched over my laptop at midnight, and submitted my application.

Did Bullhorn embrace my creativity?

Hell yeah, they did. Leaving my interview a week after I applied, I texted my friend a string of praise-hand emojis. Bullhorn cared about more than my résumé. They cared about my passions. It sent a precedent for the work I do here – all of my ideas are valuable; I don’t need to censor my creativity.

That’s the thing about being an intern at Bullhorn.

We have an environment that is open, friendly, and receptive to creativity. We participate in office-wide brainstorms, bounce ideas off each other, and we listen. We understand that the creative spark can come from anywhere, anyone, at any time (even an intern!). And that shapes the work we do. It informs the way we collaborate with our clients.

I’m entering my fourth week here, and my creativity has been welcomed at every turn. By my third day, I was at a photoshoot making suggestions despite the fact that I have no background in photography or design. Curtis and I (the summer interns) are working with the Bullhorn team to helm a social media account. And here I am now, writing this blog post (*waves at you*). All of these assignments require creativity, but I can only be successful if I embrace and share my ideas.

We’re working on a new name for one of our clients now. The names I suggest during our brainstorm could be utter crap, but I’ve learned that I have to take that risk. I have to trust in myself. If I censor my creativity, how will I learn anything? The more I think about it, the same applies to life outside of work, too. If you don’t follow your fascinations, your compulsions, how will you ever find fulfillment?

Gaining confidence in creative expression is a process.

Going forward, I’m sure I’ll have moments where I’m hesitant to share my ideas. But just like that midnight two months ago, I’ll remember Big Magic. I’ll remember my post-interview praise-hand emojiis, and how Bullhorn always embraces the strange and wonderful ways creativity manifests in our lives.

And I’ll go for it.
There is no such thing as a eureka moment.
Why does all design look the same?