Updated: Jul 5
One of the biggest challenges for writers and artists are restraints when it comes to what they are allowed to create. Producers and publishers have guidelines which may interfere with a creators ability to produce work from their hearts. In today's article celebrating the Fourth of July, let us talk about freedom in the form of creativity.
What is perhaps the biggest obstacles that prevent people from creating their best work?
The profit motive!
The profit motive is often at the top of the list of priorities. Not because it's always the right issue to focus on, but more so on the fear of taking on risk.
Ratings, reviews, and trends are often indicators of what kind of story your publishers want to create. Naturally, publishers want to do what is best for their company, which usually means the bottom line. Finances and profits will always be a key consideration, and it's reasonable as to why they need to rely on these ratings, reviews and market trends to find out what would sell. You as a writer or an artist may also follow this path as to help you put food on the table. f you're afraid of treading new ground, it may cause creative stagnation and prevent new trends and ideas from flourishing. Creators like Stan Lee or George Lucas took a risk on creating something fresh and new, which turned out to be a huge success. Every single successful, original idea had an origin, and required a level of risk to bring to the world, even if it won't attract every audience.
For instance, when you go into a store and see something you want to buy, you may have an assumption other people have used it and loved it. However, are you supposed to always buy something just because the someone else gives it praise? What may work for someone else may not suit your needs, and, when a large group of people seems to love this item, you still may not have a use for it. As a man you don't have use for tampons. Sometimes you also have to go out of your way to find something that fits your specific needs or tastes. For example, there are a lot of indie comics on the market that you may not find in many comic stores (there are reviews on this site for some of them which you may read.) If every artist and writer tried to mimic the likes of DC and Marvel because they were once successful comic publishers, then the comic landscape would be saturated with the same material (likewise I do not think we need any more cookie-cutter Marvel movies!) This also brings to the issue about trends: not all trends are profitable. I'm sure you've heard the phrase "Get woke, go broke." Many companies tried to push political philosophies and diversity culture, yet look at where that brought Netflix, CNN, Disney, etc. All of these companies may have benefited at first, however after years of pushing this trend, they all have suffered a loss of sales and viewership. When they continued pushing for this "woke" trend, which isn't only not-profitable, but is a financially disastrously trend. Most of these failed trends, however, are ones where profitability and interest quickly wanes, and in some cases, becomes costly.
However, some trends can form even long after a product is created. Take one of the most popular video games of today, "Among Us." This game was created in 2018, but didn't attract anyone's attention until years later. Even the developers were massively caught off-guard by the sudden rise in popularity thanks to many popular YouTube creators.
Because a project like "Among Us" can take time to flourish, you should give your projects the chance they need to become successful too. Just like starting a business, you should not give up on your ideas because you haven't seen an immediate profit.
Then you have ideas which you may not have the right skills or experience to turn into a successful idea, but others do have that capability. There are dozens of examples of TV shows, movies, and video games which had direct inspiration from a failed product. So sometimes you just have to keep trying until you get something to work. Nintendo is a lead example when it comes to exploring innovative ideas. If it weren't for the Wii U, you wouldn't have the success of the Nintendo Switch. In fact, Nintendo develops some of their consoles specifically with the goal to innovate, as opposed to making profits from it.
Freedom of Creativity is absolutely essential to introducing fresh, new content to the world. Not every idea will become successful, but with each attempt at making something new, a revolution of ideas and creativity will follow. It is important to remember that your story is yours to tell, and don't be afraid to tell it! As the creator you are the ultimate authority when it comes to deciding what story you want to sell to the world. Sure, your ideas will always require refinement, but it's also crucial to allow your unique ideas to flourish.
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