I have felt the call to create for as long as I can remember.
It’s hard to describe where it comes from or what it feels like, but I think that anyone who calls themselves creative will understand what I mean. The process of creation challenges and develops a person in ways that nothing else really can. You give of yourself, and an idea or artefact is born from nothing, which indelibly bears the signature of your mind and hand. The sense of utter self-realization granted by creating something subtly expressive, or which demonstrates some insightful perspective, or which acts as a monument to decades of honing a craft until through your tools, a small window to your soul is opened and the light is allowed to spill out… to me, this is the pinnacle of human endeavour.
I must confess that I have done a great deal less creating than I suspect is good for me. Creative initiative is an incredibly fragile beast, and I seem to be extremely good at putting off the creative urge in favour of busywork, or social dues, or gainful employment, and so on. I will even find myself with large pockets of free time doing nothing in particular or consuming low-effort media because it is what I am used to, and it is easy, and creation is, after all, difficult and lonely. Aspirations to long nights spent in creative labour are fairly frequent, but they mostly get filed away as pleasant daydreams.
The deck is, in many ways, stacked against the aspirant creative. Real life often asks that we put creation on hold to do things which pay the bills. Creative endeavour as leisure remains a niche pastime, and you are far more likely to find that your social circle is keen on seeing a movie or visiting a bar than writing a song or storyboarding an animation together. We are often forced to battle ourselves when dealing with the narcotic of low-effort entertainment. The reward of creation, while qualitatively immense, is generally less immediate than other options, and so choosing it is often a challenge.
Better seeks to change these parameters by creating the ideal environment for creative initiative to thrive in. A seat in a house full of like-minded people who are all actively creating. A wide range of expressive tools at your fingertips. Solace of the mind, and a relaxation of the frenetic demands of daily life. Ideas and engagement if that’s what fuels you, or a quiet corner if that’s your thing. Above all, a community which continuously validates your passion.
It’s not going to change the world overnight, but we think Better has the potential to make creative work in Jo’burg a lot more awesome.