In late 2020 I was honored to be on a group call with Virgil Abloh where I had a chance to ask him some questions about his creative process. After this call a friend who had asked a similar question about how a creative can juggle many roles called me up: this led to a series of private talks on the matter. 

Picking a title 

Many creatives, most of whom are self-taught, feel forced to pick a title:  photographer, artist, writer, producer and so forth. They feel gifted in many areas, but struggle in listing out or telling people what they do. This is because, when asked, we usually base our creative titles on successful projects we have worked on and that we feel secure about.

This really gets overwhelming because at some points, a creative can feel like a fake, or unqualified version of a title. Creatives also like to choose or settle on titles because juggling many projects in our minds can get very overwhelming.

Observations 

I observed one-day whilst watching a documentary on Micheal Jackson that he was great at drawing portraits. One may ask, why then didn’t he become a portrait painter? 

Why do many know him as a singer and performer? The thing is, all gifts compliment each other, the gifts for detail in drawing can be channeled into stage design or costuming which all helps support a core gift. Let’s take performance for example. This gift to perform happens to be a collection of gifts (acting, singing, dancing etc) and other skill sets coming together. Hence one gifted to perform most likely has other gifts and talents that work well together. 

Such a person may feel confused at the beginning as they navigate through their gifts but at the right time and on the right stage it all makes sense. 

He gave gifts to all 

To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and then he went on his journey.

Matthew 25:15 AMP

God doesn’t just flood us with many gifts. He gives us gifts according to our own ability. What does this mean? This means that God gives us gifts, talents according to our level of faithfulness in using what we have already been given. 

A talent isn’t simply the ability to do what others can’t do. It’s a responsibility. Through the use of your talent many can escape poverty; your family, employees, resellers etc. Through the use of your talent many will be touched, transformed, blessed. Your talent inspires others to pursue their talents; your talent is your responsibility. 

Before we envy someone creative, we need to ask ourselves if we can handle the weight of faithfulness that comes with stewarding a talent: the training, consistency, trials, failure and more.

Praying for opportunities 

Many times we pray for opportunities and feel God isn’t blessing us but the truth is when we look back, we will realize how unfaithful we have been to past opportunities: the uncompleted jobs, the clients we insulted, the shabby jobs, the clients we didn’t call back, the jobs hidden somewhere in our studios, the unfinished song, the half written book and so forth.

We pray for new opportunities and forget that we didn’t take the previous answered prayers seriously.

If you live like this, you will show that you really are children of your Father above. God is kind to everyone. He causes the sun to shine on everyone, both good people and bad people. He also causes the rain to fall on everyone, people who obey him and people who do not obey him.

Matthew 5:45 EASY

Many times we forget that God gives the talent and the opportunities to all men and thus we truly are working for God. If so He expects us to be faithful in the little we have; only then can we increase in our talents and the opportunities that come with them. 

Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.

Colossians 3:23‭-‬24 AMP

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