Creator vs Designer
| Creator [kree-ey-ter] - [noun] a person or thing that creates.
| Designer [dih-zahy-ner] - [noun] a person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates forms, structures, and patterns, as for works of art or machines.
When asked about the role of a creative and the passion that you uphold so close to your heart, what do you identify yourself as? Are you what you would considered to be a designer? An artist? A musician or a maker? There are so many titles and roles that are linked to creativity; and among these, what would be one that is actually closely fitting to what we regard ourselves as?
Creating something just because someone said YOU CAN'T
In the new digital age where contents are generated at tremendous speed, content is king, but no longer regarded significant in the highest form. Everyone in a cafe writing a post on the numerous sharing sites consider themselves writer (what I am really actually doing now, so should I call myself one?) and everyone holding a camera calls themselves a photographer. With numerous mediums to generate the same genre of content, for eg. photos can be taken using film, mobile phone, DSLRs, and even a scanner (trust me), what makes your content so unique to your medium?
Being a designer has made me realise that the world is full of mundane design that only minorities will appreciate. Everything around us works in a way that was designed to be a properly modulated process, fine-tuned based on how users react to it. Roads are paved on places that people walk often, malls are built in areas with high traffic. However it may seem to be, these were works done by engineers, architects, designers that understand the process and generate the content to shape the world. Do this group of people all regard themselves as designers just because they designed something that changes the way people uses things? To me, this is more that a creation rather than a design.
The problem is, it is impossible to keep up with the sheer amount of work that are generated in the world wide web. Design is the process of improving something that has been created before, whereas creations are done to build something from scratch. Even with the outburst of data generated with new contents, how much of these can actually be considered as creations. It could be hard to create fresh contents when so many people out there have done it before; and one could argue that the best ideas comes from improvements of previous renditions, but how would catching on to the wave help you?.
Creators are at the core, problem solvers. The understanding of a basic problem leads to different solutions, which will then evolve into a further form consisting of aesthetics, functionalities and other aspects. Creators understand the full spectrum of the thought process and the solution to the problem is usually not limited to one medium. The drive of creators is mostly based on the idea of creating a raw but fresh concept, one that is not just about the way it looks.
However, this all boils down to a simple question, what was your motivation when you first started on this journey and where is it now? The joy of creating something brings a greater sense of achievement than anything compared, and perhaps this was the drive that kept the creatives going all this time. When it comes to creativity, there are numerous roles to fulfil that drive; but perhaps its time to think of ourselves as lesser of a designer, and pride ourselves more as a creator.