Written by Michaela MacBlake Matthews
Creative people are easy to identify, because they always seem to be working on something from a fresh, constructive perspective. As a whole, we are a blur of textures and colors. We weave, sculpt, crochet, paint, write, and emboss our days away… Or at least, we would spend all of our days that way, if nothing else begged our attention.
Have you ever wondered, though, what makes some of us so different?
What causes some creatives to intertwine their constructive nature with their careers, while others prefer to station themselves in a craft-corner palace and turn their phones off? The nature of creativity in your life may follow along with your social preference. Are you an introvert, or an extrovert? And how does that affect your actual creations?
Introverts vs. Extroverts
The distinction between introverts and extroverts is simple: How do you recharge? Does a party with lots of people sound like a vacation, or a chore? After the family events of the holiday season, do you feel energized and refreshed… Or like you really need a holiday?
An introvert has a budget for social interaction, and when it’s spent, they need time alone to relax and decompress, often taking time to process the interactions fully. To an introvert, socializing and dealing with other people’s emotions is a delicate process. It’s something to be done consciously and requires much more focus than staying at home.
An extrovert is quite the opposite, they are ‘on’ when completing tasks, working, running errands, etc. And when they finally get a chance to just ‘hang out’, it soothes them. That’s why extroverted people try to make bank tellers smile! To them, the personal interaction is a relief from the chore of going to the bank to begin with.
As creative people, introverts love to dive deep into a complex project. They’re not too worried about how long it’ll take, because they enjoy spending that time alone. Introverted creatives are extremely likely to make something phenomenally beautiful, and may never show anyone, because that’s just… not why they did it. They create for the simple joy and experience of creating, and naturally build up skill with all of that practice over time, often without even realizing it.
Extroverted creatives, on the other hand, know a project is finished when they show the second, third, or tenth person how it’s coming together. They live for the joy of creation too, but for them, it’s all about the joy that creating brings to others. Extroverted creatives are more likely to make creativity a part of their careers in some way, but they are also more sensitive to criticism. If they aren’t careful, they can fall into long dry spells or rushed projects, and forget to enjoy the process for themselves.
The Introverted Extrovert
What if you enjoy both being creative and sharing it with others? You may well be an introverted extrovert, and reap the benefits of both types!
Introverted extroverts are rare and valuable people, often who’ve spent a good amount of time finding their balance. They are extroverts who have learned to be present in their projects, and introverts who have learned to present their projects to the world, all at once.
One of these creative hybrids may spend more time in classes to hone their creative skills with others, or spend years working on large projects, sharing their progress along the way. They are also most easy to spot as the “handmade-gifters” of the family, the ones who batch out moose munch for every friend and neighbor imaginable, or who start working on the wedding gift when the invitation arrives.
At the end of the day, neither personality type is better than the other. Helping others and caring for yourself are equally noble acts, because one person equals one person. Exactly who it is, is only a relative detail. What we can learn from introverted and extroverted creativity, though, is what motivates each, so that we can foster more joy all around!
Whichever type of creative you are, making the time to craft always helps oil the gears. It fuels us to move throughout our lives with ease, unity, and a sense of purpose. So go forth or turn inward! Today is another great day to get lost in the process.