Don’t be a Creative, be a Craftsman

I don’t like the word ‘creative’.

To be more specific I don’t like the connotation of being a ‘creative’ and that’s probably because I can’t fully wrap my head around what ‘being creative’ truly means.

I love the idea of someone who ‘creates’ things and produces real tangible value for other people, but struggle to fully understand what being ‘creative’ in your work truly means.

To contradict myself even further I really enjoy when someone’s work is completely different to anything else we’ve seen before, but in my head that’s innovation, not creativity.

To me innovation is fuelled by purpose. You have a goal in mind, strip back all preconceived notions of how you should work to achieve it and produce something new and revolutionary, something that prompts the response ‘why didn’t we think of this before!’.

To me being ‘creative’, is something deciding to use a different colour just to change things up. It’s doing something differently just for the sake of being different.

One of my all time favourite quotes is…

“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”.

And from my personal experience the further you progress in to your career as a content creator the less you become focused on being ‘creative’ and more on being a ‘craftsman’.

What may have started as a passion is now your profession and thus your approach needs to change. You can’t expect your creativity alone to fuel your career success, you need to be prepared to put in the work to constantly hone your craft and get better at what you do.

We’re currently producing a documentary with an incredible athlete and in our most recent interview session he spoke of being fully content with his sport being his job and not his passion, because on days when the passion isn’t there he still needs to perform.

And in many ways I feel approaching your content production with the mindset of a ‘craftsman’ is far better suited than that of a creative.

A craftsman puts in the work to continually improve their craft so that someone can benefit from and enjoy the fruits of their labour.

A craftsman practices, refines and adapts their techniques to get better and better at what they do.

A craftsman is someone who wakes up everyday and gets to work, whether or not they are feeling creative.

So don’t be a creative, be a craftsman.

And I wish you every success.


About Me

You can contact me at

Along with close friend and business partner Ben Marlow we run the production company Sixty Second Film Co. where we focus on creating better video content faster and more efficiently.

Find more information here…

With an extensive background in the sports industry, we are currently building Southpaw Sport, a sports media company approaching things with a different stance.


You can follow Sixty Second Film School on YouTube where we share news, reviews and tutorials for digital filmmakers, all in sixty seconds…

YouTube —

My social media for behind the scenes look at what we’re up to

Instagram — @jackwrtompkins



I help people, brands and businesses communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.

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