This is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.
Sometimes I wonder if I confuse myself as a creator, instead of a collector.
To give some context, let me define the terms as I’m using them.
In my mind, a creator is someone who creates — an artist, a musician, a YouTuber. A creator makes something that didn’t exist before, either for themselves or for others, or both.
A collector is someone who appreciates and finds joy in discovering things that creators make. They have folders full or artwork, or massive catalogs of music. They have honed their tastes, and they know exactly what they like.
Many creators are also collectors – it comes as part of the job. Creators are usually influenced by the things they collect. Collectors on the other hand, may not always be creators. And that’s perfectly ok.
But I’ve started to be concerned that I’m not much of a creator.
I’ve spent the majority of my life identifying as an artist in various forms, and yes, I’ve done my fair share of creating and collecting.
But creating is really hard. And I feel like it’s gotten even harder the more I’ve collected.
Maybe it’s a side effect of surrounding myself with other’s work that I love and feeling like I’ll never get to that level as a creator.
Maybe it’s because the dopamine hit of finding something I love and want to collect is so much less work than creating something I love.
Maybe I’m lazy.
Maybe I’ve misidentified myself as a creator.
Maybe I should just be a collector and stop disappointing myself.
Or maybe I should cut myself a little slack and realize it takes time to do good work.
PS – Sometimes I wonder if surrounding myself with the wonderful work of other creators is a double-edged sword.