What kind of creative are you?

What kind of creative type are you?

Chances are, you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test to see which of the fun acronyms best describes your personality.

Are you a quiet, serious ISTJ? An outspoken, fast-paced ENTP? Or maybe an ambitious, idealist INFP? (That’s me!) Your personality type has a lot to do with your creativity—how it’s inspired, fostered, carried out and even suppressed. Some people think they’re not creative because they’re terrible drawers or don’t like writing, but each of the 16 personalities has qualities that are linked to creativity.

That said, I’m a writer, and to harness my creativity to be more productive, efficient and, ultimately, satisfied, it’s important to understand just what kind of a creative I am—what motivates, inspires and helps me to get the creative juices flowing.

Why? As an INFP, I tend to get a little… distracted. I occasionally suffer from what’s known as Shiny Object Syndrome (“S.O.S.” for short, appropriately), often getting excited about multiple ideas with the best of intentions and never seeing them through.

Maybe you have the same problem, or another problem that’s holding your creativity back. In any case, here are some questions to ask yourself to help narrow down what makes you tick and what gets you off track (and if you haven’t already taken the Myers-Briggs personality test, you can take it here):

  • What is the intention behind your creativity? Doing good in the world? Living an authentic and purposeful life? Expressing yourself in a way others will appreciate and relate to?
  • What motivates you? Money? Recognition and acknowledgement? Achievement (whether it involves money and recognition or not)?
  • What kind of environment inspires you? Do you prefer to be home surrounded by familiar and comfortable things? Or out exploring nature? Or surrounded by people in a social environment?

 

The answers to these questions might seem simple, but they’re key to setting the foundation for understanding your purpose and needs for being creative. Thinking about what energizes you and what you see in the big picture can help you get clear on how you best operate. (It often helps me to write these things down on paper—something I turn to when I’m losing creative steam on the computer.) And it’s not a crime if money is a motivating factor—creative types need to make money too, and working on a rewards system is one of many effective ways to get things done.

When you’ve answered these questions, look to your personality type for more clues about your strengths and weaknesses. If you’re anything like me, you might struggle with time management, being decisive and avoiding burnout. Or maybe you have a hard time being flexible, taking criticism or are over-analytical. Rather than beating yourself up for your downfalls, get into problem-solving mode and cater to your strengths. An app I recently discovered called Commit is great for keeping you accountable for goals you set. And as I begin my second semester of grad school, I’ve begun mapping out a routine and schedule for work and play (this blog falls somewhere in between!) to keep me on track.

So I’d like to know: What kind of creative are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses, and how do you embrace them?

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Comments

  1. I took this one and I am the : ISTJ | Examiner – very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are good citizens who can be depended upon to do the right thing for their families and communities. <- touche my friend. Quiet and reserved indeed. 🙂 I think best when I have peace and quiet and am inspired spontaneously, can't be forced. 🙂 Have a great one Cassie! -Iva

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Nice! I usually like working while it’s quiet too, although sometimes I like a little background music. 🙂

  2. You know I am in ALL kinds of love with this post. 🙂

    I actually am surprised to hear that you’re an INFP! I knew you were an I from your introversion project, but still, I guess I pegged you to be more “J.” Reading what you wrote about some of your habits was a surprise because I’d never guessed you struggled with those things… but I also read them and understood them all too well.

    I still claim that I am an ENFP, but I think I am ambiverted. Or a really introverted extrovert. I guess in the grand scheme, that part doesn’t matter as much as long as you get more insight into who you are, right? And know that it’s okay if people drain you or too much time alone drains you.

    ANYWAY, rambling aside, I wanted to say thank you for the mention about that app. I think it sounds perfect to go with my goal-setting for this year and I love being able to easily see and measure my progress. I love feeling like I am moving forward and having a visual reminder of that will be so helpful! 🙂

    • Cassie Paton says:

      So glad you liked it! You know, I could swear when I took the test a few years ago I got “J,” but that seems to have changed. I sometimes think I’m an ambivert, too. I do have my social and occasionally outgoing side, so I’m definitely not a total introvert.

      And yeah, since I have iTunes gift cards that need to be used, I’m getting that Commit app! Just what I need right now, and I love those visual reminders, too.

  3. We’re kindred INFP spirits, Cassie! It would be fun to know what our other family members’ profiles are…..

  4. Ah I love everything about this! Reflecting on creativity and asking these types of questions have made me so much more aware of my own. And tying in personality types = a big key to it.

    Also, really enjoyed that Shiny Object Syndrome article. My friend Marshall used to always say “Embrace the Suck” (he’s a seriously LEGIT runner) and he’s one of the more successful people I know. Great post!

    • Cassie Paton says:

      Hahah I really like “embrace the suck.” I kind of feel that way every time I’m about to go on a run, no matter how much I run. And then I’m so glad I embraced it. 🙂

  5. I’m 100% an introvert, but I’m super creative, especially as a freelancer. I constantly need to be looking for working and amping up the work I’m already doing. It’s a full time gig that gets overwhelming at times.

  6. I’m a fellow INFP too — high five! I too suffer from SOS; I struggle with putting more than hot air behind my ideas, and I often need that extra push to keep my goals in check. Good to know that there’s a fellow Idealist out there 🙂

  7. Guess it’s in the genes, Cass — I’m INFP too.

  8. Much to many people’s surprise, I’m actually an INTJ, which is considered rare and even rarer among American females. It’s hard to say what kind of creative I am in an artistic sense per se. On the other hand, my rebellious anti-authoritarian [which is ironic, considering my desire to join the military] tendencies gives me the agency to “get creative” and circumvent the system. Hope that answered your question. xD

  9. I am an INFJ, and believe it or not, it took me a while to look into what type of creative I am, based on my MBTI. I guess it’s because I am actually in the creative industry, and what I’ve done with my own habits in the years that I’ve been working is use them to my advantage, be it in the office or outside. But upon introspection, I realised that my working traits and my type are incredibly inter-related. First, I firmly believe in the concept of meaningful work, and I know that it can be found in the realm of design. (This is odd, because I am in advertising, but we all know that advertising creatives do not keep their core creative selves in the office; most of the time, the real artsy-fartsy lies outside the confines of their desks.) I am also one of those unicorns who keeps a neat desk, a neat place, and a neat desktop on her computer. When things are in disarray, I have to clean well before anything else. I have systems for everything, and while others seem to benefit from it too, I mostly do it for myself to organise what’s going on in my head. That’s all that I can think off the top of my head, but your post really got me thinking. Thanks for that!

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