WHAT KINDS OF CREATOR ARE YOU?
Sara Saltee's Creative Constellations Framework is an original set of coaching tools grounded in a fresh new way of thinking about the connections between creative identity (who you are as a creator) and creative impact (how effectively you work with the dynamics of the creating process to sustain your creative momentum and realize your creative visions).
The Creative Constellation system helps you identify the kinds of creator you are, so you can discover the unique contributions you are here to make and steer in the direction of greatest satisfaction and impact. The framework offers a visual map of the universal challenges and crises that are baked into the creating process, so you can see the landscape you will be traveling through as you realize the full potential of your combination of creative gifts.
Finding Your Creative Constellation has implications for
- Career transitions - what work will you find satisfying?
- Life choices - how will you design a life that supports the kind of creator you are?
- Personal branding - how will you make your creative identity visible to yourself and others?
- Creative excellence - where will you invest your focus, your energies, and your learning so that you have the impact you want to have?
What's The Big Idea?
The Creative Constellation Framework emerges from four bold assumptions about creativity, humanity, and taking responsibility for contributing your gifts to the world.
1. If you are a human being, you are a creator
Take a look at any given toddler in your life and you'll notice that they, of course, need food and clothes and shelter to survive, but they also have three other powerful drives which all of us carry through our lifetimes: to give and receive love and care; to learn and grow; and to create - to make things happen, to leave a mark, to shape the world, to solve problems, to stage conversations between ourselves and our environments by interacting with language, images, tools, ideas, and artifacts.
2. People are creative in many different ways
If creating is a shared human drive, like hunger or sex, then the question "are you creative?" isn't a particularly interesting or relevant question to ask one another, is it? Asking "are you creative?" is like asking "do you have hunger for food?" or "do you have desire for sex?"...the answer is simply "well, duh!" A better question is "what sorts of activities best satisfy your appetite for creating?" The answers to THAT question provide information you can actually use.
3. Many people are creative in multiple ways
For generations, the conventional wisdom has been to "do one thing and do it well." Our models for what a purpose-full life looks like have been specialists, and "find your passion" has been the prevailing wisdom about how to discover the specialty that will define your purpose and identity. Meanwhile, the multitudes of us who are multi-modal creators got the clear message that we are "too much," "too flaky," or "too complicated."
Those of us who are constitutionally wired to be creative in many different ways have been considered flaky at best and pathologized as commitment-phobes at worst.
But the truth is, many of us humans find that we get pleasure from an array of different kinds of creative play, and the thought of trying to shrink our lives down to focus on just one sounds like cutting off an arm, or eating nothing but oatmeal - sure, we'd survive, but it would be unthinkably painful.
4. The unique combination of ways you are creative is your creative constellation - your personal guidance system to a life of satisfaction and impact.
Looking around our world, it is clear that the rigid, homogeneous life-designs of the past (college-marriage-children-job-retire-die) has given way to a vastly expanded and flexible, DIY set of choices and possibilities. This marvelous, unprecendented freedom of choice, however, comes with a price...we have a LOT of choices to make.
Assuming responsibility for creating our own lives requires us to engage in complex processes of ongoing discernment - sensing what is emerging in our lives and our world, what is called for, and how we might creatively respond to what is needed now.
The freedom of self-sovereignty means that self-knowledge is no longer optional. We've got to understand who we are as creators, including both a more nuanced understanding of our own creative gifts and a clearer picture of the dynamic processes underlying the work of creation itself. These new self-understandings enable us to take our place as a creator among other creators - effectively and joyfully offering our unique combination of gifts to the needs and challenges of the world.
What Are the Elements of the Project?
The Creative Constellations Framework includes tools to help you discover the kind of creator you are, find your areas of strength in the creating process, and expand your effectiveness as a creator.
Who Is the Creative Constellation For?
For Multi-Passionate People - As a multi-passionate person (also called "multipotentialites" "scanners" or "multi-modal creatives"), you've probably already figured out that the stock advice to "find your passion" is not going to cut it for you. You've got more passions than you know what to do with, and chances are you've been wondering what's wrong with you that you can't seem to just "pick a lane" and commit to a single-focused path.
The Creative Constellation tools will help you own the fullness of your awesomeness and stop trying to be smaller or less than who you really are. As you begin to identify the unique combination of ways you are creative, you'll stop seeing your multiple creative drives as a source of overwhelm and chaos, and start exploring how they actually work together as a system. With permission to be all of who you are, you'll be able to own your complexity as your greatest strength, and learn how to employ your constellation as a guidance system to help you navigate the decisions and choices that lie ahead.
For Coaches, Consultants and Therapists - Disconnection from the experience of meaning and purpose that only come from creative work and play is a major source of depression, anxiety, confusion, and alienation. If you are helping clients come to understand themselves as creators in their lives, or recover their sense of identity, purpose and direction, the creative constellation toolkit is a vital resource. Working with the creative constellation materials can help your clients reclaim and recover lost parts of themselves, and pinpoint the areas where they want to enrich their relationships with their creativity. Restoring our full constellations allows us to find a sense of wholeness, expand our self-awareness, and experience life more fully and authentically.
For Job-Changers and Purpose-Seekers - If you are constantly thinking about leaving your job, it is probably because the meaning has drained out of what you are doing and you suspect that you might find greater happiness elsewhere. But the stakes are high when you are contemplating big changes, and the more you know about who you are, the more sure you can be that you are heading in a direction that you will find meaningful and satisfying. Your creative constellation contains key information you need to weigh each new job and project opportunity that comes your way.
Knowing your creative constellation gives you a systematic framework for guiding your inquiry into the possibilities and pitfalls of work opportunities and projects, allowing you to ask powerful questions like "what kinds of creating will this work require?" "Are there major parts of my creative constellation that will be left out of this work? If so, how will I design my life so that I don't lose my connection to that part of myself?" "Does this opportunity call for strengths in modes that are not in my constellation? If so, how long will it be before I start to feel like the best parts of me are invisible and underused?" "Am I thinking too small?" "How fast will I get bored with this work?"
For Leaders - As a leader in the 21st century creativity economy, you know that creativity is not just a buzzword, it is the critical success factor in the sustainability of enterprises of all sizes and shapes. You also know as a creative leader that self-knowledge is not optional: knowing who you are as a creator and how that impacts your leadership style is vital information to support your own development and effectiveness. Through the Creative Constellation project, you'll discover what kind of creator you are, explore seven core practices that will strengthen your ability to create, and gain a new framework for thinking about creating as a process, not a talent or a technique.
For Educators - As a teacher, you already know how our understanding of multiple intelllegences has, over the last decade, made a positive shift in the strategies available to teachers for engaging diverse kinds of learners. Just shifting the question from "how smart are you?" to "how are you smart?" has revolutionized how teachers connect to their students. The Creative Constellation project brings that same shift to your thinking about creativity, helping you re-frame the question "how creative are you?" to "how are you creative?" Building on what you know about what kind of learners your students are, now you'll have the tools to think about what kind of creators they are, and strengthen your ability to teach in ways that expand your students exposure to the full array of creating modes.
For Entrepreneurs - As an entrepreneur, you know that your success is driven from the inside-out, and self-awareness is an essential part of your skill-base. You also know that your ability to see a project through all phases of the creating process is the key to developing the thriving business you dream of. Finding your creative constellation will clarify the sweet spots where your passions and purposes can be integrated, and it will reveal the areas in the creating process where you are strongest, and where you are likely to get stuck or bog down. The Creative Constellation tools will help you pinpoint the creative modes you'll want to build strength in, and the specific helpers or collaborators you'll need to complete the creating cycle and see your projects and ideas to fruition.