Do I work to my strengths as a creative?
Recently a colleague suggested it would be interesting to try a personality test, particularly the Myers-Briggs, to see how my skill set and personality lead to strengths that would lead me to my current job (art teacher) and also my recent promotion for next school year (assistant principal). I believe I took something like the Myers-Briggs ages ago but thought it might be fun to look again and see what it says “about me.”
I found an abridged version online, which was free, called Humanmetrics. I did take it. I found it quite informative, reinforcing and it has begun to generate a lot of food for thought. Careers suggested for my personality type include: librarian, teacher, counselor, preacher, artist, etc. Apparently even politics could be on my horizon if I so chose (I don’t think anyone could ever pay me enough!). Listing jobs that might suit me was only mildly interesting to me. Suggestions as to how my personality type works under stress or values different facets of life was more interesting, and something I hope I can translate to make my creative process more effective (perfectionist is also on the list of traits).
For selfish reasons, I will dissect my results to see if I can analyze and determine any creative strategies to improve my creativity and art-making. Hopefully you can find use in it as well and apply the same notion to your creative work if you so choose.
According to the above test, I am an INFJ, which stands for Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Judging.
The big message I got out of this label was I NEED to give myself time to recharge and I seriously need to honor it if I want to enjoy my friends and family and be happy. I can be very chatty and social when I am out doing things, but honestly I’m happiest home with a good book, a movie and working on my art. My job involves people all day long and I LOVE it, but I do tire from it too. I’m going to work really hard to allow myself that recharge time. That is perfect time to relax and let my brain rest so I have energy for loved ones and my art.
I’ve always thought myself to be very observant and this test appears to confirm this. Little details in terms of body language and word choices often leave me making swift interpretations of a situation, mood, and I use that to handle certain dynamics. This has been extremely helpful in parent appointments. I think this also could be a strength in my art if I let it be! I’m not sure how good I am at harnessing this in my creative process and I need to figure out strategies to improve this.
I’ve been described by loved ones as emotional and other times more nicely as passionate. Both really fit the bill. I always have felt things strongly. I empathize, perhaps too much, with people around me and even with characters in books or movies. This is definitely a strength I could transfer to my art. My recent artwork, Home is in my Heart, which will be shown in Tashkeel for the month of April, is the one of the few where I have actively harnessed my emotions and allowed them to express on canvas. The other time I did that was with a work entitled Seeing Eye to Eye. That work won me an opportunity to showcase art at the Smithsonian and across the USA. I need to step up and utilize this more!
I quickly assess and determine my feelings about a situation, impressions of people, etc. I also like to work within systems, which apparently comes from this quality. If there is something I utilize well, I believe my judging nature may be useful for planning and goal-setting. I am a do-er. If I create a project I aim to complete it. I can get lost in details, or too many projects, so taking a step back to look at the big picture is important.
Next week, I hope to review these traits and see if I can derive specific creative strategies to reference and use when I’m making so I can work to my strengths and develop my weaknesses. Stay tuned and let’s see how I survive this self-reflection!
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Consider taking a personality test to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Can you come up with a specific strategy that may work to your strengths as a creative?