Does Your Personality Type Affect Your Creativity?
When I first began my path attempting to become a ‘professional’ freelance illustrator, I figured part of the journey was to shmooze with other illustrators and go to networking events. Which I did.
It wasn’t easy for me though – I would literally have to drag myself along to these events – and usually after a drink or two – I’d make a stealthy exit.
I would feel so drained, all I wanted to do was to get home and sit in my PJs.
They call this the Irish goodbye. But in my case, it wasn’t the booze that was prompting my dash for the door: it was me being an INTROVERT that made me behave this way.
My Theory: Does Your Personality Type Affect Your Creativity?
Now I’ve never considered myself as shy – and I hated being called ‘quiet’ as a child. In my head, I was super loud. I wouldn’t shut up!
I didn’t let this stop me though, and after getting better at going to these networking events and talking to more fellow creatives, I started to notice we had a lot in common.
We loved to work alone, we had highly active imaginations, we express our ideas on paper better than in speech…
Most of us were introverts.
We chose our profession, not just because we love to draw or paint – but because we love to work alone. We have active imaginations and tend to over-analyse.
My highly scientific theory was: creative types are more likely to be introverts.
Ok – so, I’m sure enough of you are artists or writers or musicians – or know ones – who are extroverts and have worked out my theory is utter bullshit.
It turns out, I was just drawn to the introverts at these events.
We could relate to each others struggles, we wouldn’t talk each others heads off, and we knew when to end a conversation.
Regardless, this prompted my research into personality types, and I started digging into all 16 personality types identified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – which is basically a system of categorising our traits and preferences, inspired by the work of famous psychology man, Carl Jung.
Now I was getting somewhere.
I learnt that there is indeed a link between our personality type and our creative type.
Note: this doesn’t mean some personality types are more creative than others – we are, in fact all creative! at least we all have the potential to do creative work.
Where we differ is in what form our creative work takes, what environment we creatively thrive in, and the way we perceive and record our world.
Why it Helps Creatives to Know Their Personality Type
Creativity takes courage and self knowledge, and the best way to have this is by learning your creative type.
Knowing this will help you:
Understand the environment where you come up with your best ideas
Help you realise the unique way you see the world
It will give you insight into your decision making
Will help you understand your own creative process.
Once you know who you are and what your strengths are, you know what you’re working with. From there, you can stand up and show your most authentic, creative self.
That Myers-Briggs Stuff
You might have taken the Myer-Briggs type test before, and you might know what 4-letter type you are. You might hate the fact that it labels us. It puts us in a category and boxes us in.
Yes, we like to think of ourselves as unique snowflakes, we don’t want to be seen as predictable to others.
But, naturally we make sense of the world by categorising. It’s how we learn.
I’m right handed. That doesn’t make me better than my friend who’s left handed. It might have done in medieval times… but that’s besides the point.
It also doesn’t mean every ISTJ is the same as the next ISTJ. There are a multitude of differences within each type.
For example, Picasso and Charles Schulz share the same personality type. What do they have in common?
While the basic way they gathered information and made decisions was the same, the style they produced was vastly different.
Knowing our type allows us to communicate better and to grow as creatives and humans in general: it does NOT confine us.
Finding YOUR Unique Creative Path
Some people know the process that has worked for them and with the best intentions go about teaching their creative process to others.
The trouble comes when their singular path that they teach isn’t the right path for us.
It’s as if they are giving us directions to get home but their instructions lead us to their house, not to ours.
Directions that don’t match with our creative personality type are so frustrating that many of us lose confidence and give up altogether on our creative journey.
So… What Does This Mean For You?
Well for all the 16 personalities identified by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I’ve started to compile everything I’ve learned about the creative traits that go along with it.
Don’t know your personality type? Take the test here (it’s free, allow 5-10 minutes)
- Your unique creative strengths
- How you can make the most of your traits
- What tendencies to look out for
Click here to take the quiz and I’ll get your free report over to you!