I was introduced to Accidental Creative’s Manifesto at the 2009 Creative Freelancer Conference in San Diego this past August. Months later, I still find myself returning to it in moments of frustration and creative anguish.
1. We create. Everyday. Not because we have to, but because we can’t help it. We empty ourselves because that’s what artists do.
2. We are brilliant at what we do, but what we do does not define us.
3. We understand that our vocation is bigger than our occupation. We’re on this earth to do more than earn a paycheck.
4. We are committed to growth. We do not tolerate stagnancy, because it’s the first sign of death.
5. We are committed to healthy creating. We recognize that to be prolific for a long time involves intentionality, choice and discipline.
6. We know the value of what we make, and we refuse to prostitute ourselves to organizations. We make career decisions based upon who we are not what everyone else would do in our situation.
7. We are always looking for ideas. We are focused, curious and passionate about life, because life is art.
8. We refuse to play the victim. We are proactive and responsible for our own creative health.
9. We are generous because we are free. We know that the goal is to act on the best idea, whether or not it’s our own. We build other people up, even when they don’t reciprocate.
10. We are committed to relationships. We recognize that healthy creating will come out of vibrant relationships.
I absolutely love these principles. I am currently focused on (#4) growth and (#10) creating healthy relationships. As I started slipping into creative stagnancy, it seemed like all areas of my life felt like they were off-kilter. Since then, I’ve taken on a few new projects that are pushing me out of my comfortable skill set and I’m taking classes on lynda.com. It feels like my brain is finally flexing its muscles after spending a long time loafing on the couch.
In conclusion, the AC Manifesto says:
We are committed to bringing ourselves fully to our life, work and art. And as we do this, the world will change around us.
I don’t know about you, but I’d love to impact positive world change. Design is definitely about more than a paycheck (see #3).
What are your thoughts? Is the AC Manifesto a little too extremist, or right on? Which point is the most inspiring/thought provoking to you?