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Decoding Creativity: A New Series from Creative Market

Creativity can be a loaded topic, often charged with emotion and tied to a person’s sense of self-worth. It can feel like magic. In this series, we're digging into creativity, taking it apart, examining it, and putting it back together — uncovering the habits, thought patterns, and practices of successful creators.

Joshua Carroll March 31, 2021 · 4 min read
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This post is part of the Decoding Creativity series from Creative Market. Follow me on Medium or subscribe to the Creative Market blog, and join the discussion by commenting with your questions and thoughts.


Creative Market is an incredible place to work. I am not exaggerating when I say that this is my dream job. And here’s why: I get to spend my days being creative in a way that helps other creators chase their own creative dreams. I love it.
Not only do we help our shop owners by giving them a passive-income platform where they can sell their creations (fonts and Procreate brushes and other amazing design assets made by some of the most talented and trend-setting designers on the planet), we help our customers by giving them access to the things they need to create and level-up their own work.

Animation by @jackielay
Because that’s just the thing. Our customers aren’t simply consumers; they are creators. Like me. They are purchasing photos and icon sets and more so they can make new things.
This makes for a really exciting ecosystem. We (the Creative Market staff) do creative work to build better ways to connect the creative offerings from our shop owners with the creative endeavors of our customers.
Creativity, it turns out, is the one thing we all have in common.
But what is creativity? Beyond a simple dictionary definition, creativity is one of those words that has different meanings for different people. It carries connotations that change depending on context. It can be a loaded topic, often charged with emotion and tied to a person’s sense of self-worth. It can feel like magic. It can seem daunting or impossible or out of reach. And it might just be part of what makes us human.
I want to understand it. I want to dig into creativity, take it apart, examine it, and put it back together. I want to uncover the habits, thought patterns, and practices of successful creators.
You see, I have spent my entire life doing creative things with creative people. Both my dad and my granddad hold patents. I spent much of my formal education in a “gifted and talented” program that was designed specifically to foster creative, out-of-the-box, right-brained thinking. I have, at different times in my life, been a musician, a designer, a programmer, an author, a photographer, a podcaster, and a cook. I cannot remember a time that I was not immersed in creativity of one sort or another.

Fourth-grade me with my GT project: a Rube Goldberg-esque machine that starts with a mousetrap and ends with a popping balloon. Wasn’t I adorable?
Even so, I realized recently that I was unable to explain creativity in a meaningful and comprehensive way.
So for the past several months, I have been reading books and listening to podcasts about creativity. I have been talking to creative people about how they do what they do. I am still learning, of course, but I already have some ideas and observations, and I would like to share my journey of discovery with you through this blog.
So in this new series, I will share what I am learning and formulate some thoughts of my own. I will discuss books and other media on relevant topics, and I will introduce and share the stories of creators who are finding their own creative success.
I would love for you to join me. Follow me on Medium or subscribe to the Creative Market blog, and join the discussion by commenting with your questions and thoughts.

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About the Author
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Joshua Carroll

Senior Engineering Manager at Creative Market. Creativity addict. Author. Dad/foster dad.

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