This is Not Creative (But It Is)

Like nearly everyone else on the interwebs, I recently lost myself in Liz Gilbert’s latest book, Big Magic. In it, Liz does a beautiful job of arguing for creating for the sake of creation, without worry or expectation what the world will thing. The creative life isn’t about creating art, it’s about living in a way that’s in alignment with what moves you, what sparks, what excites you.

Frankly, I’m sometimes jealous of the designers I partner with. They have an incredibly creative job, helping clients re-envision their brands and businesses.

I feel left out. So I started digging deeper.

Does website development truly lack creativity? Does running a business? No and no.

Maybe the creativity I used in web development doesn’t feel like the same type of creativity an artist uses when sculpting or a composer employs when writing a song. But it is creativity.

And I’m familiar with this strange brand, from science and mathematics, fields often thought of as calculating and cold, but really bursting with creativity. Problem solving is creative thinking. Physicists dream up new possibilities for what’s out there in space, for how the world works, for what things look like at their most fundamental level.

Creativity is the ability to hold space for a big picture and bring that thing into being, whether it’s through a physical medium like clay or through sound or through equations or code.

I get to play the creative on every project, holding space for my clients to dream big with their brands and business, to attract new opportunities with their websites and marketing. I strategize next steps, possibilities…and yes, at the end, it’s a very practical, beautiful website that may not look creative beyond the design, but had so much soul poured into it, it couldn’t be anything but it’s own little work of art.

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Michelle Viljoen

(website design) is a graphic designer and brand consultant who specializes in creating and developing brands. Her core focuses are logo development, website design and brand direction.

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.