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What’s Your Thing?

By Mia Osborne

Image credit: Kellie Tulloch

What’s your thing?

Painters, sculptors, writers, musicians, poets and a barrage of other creative practices. These are the kind of people I am surrounded by daily working in the creative industries. I work in event production so I have never considered myself a ‘creative’ or at least not in the traditional sense. This idea of not being ‘creative’ has been something that for the last year or so has followed me around and has been reinforced by this same question that keeps cropping up.

Often upon meeting new people in a creative setting, I am innocently plagued with the question;

“So, what’s your thing?”

I seem to tiptoe around the answer, often changing it up depending on the company. They range from “I work in event production” to “sometimes I do a bit of Burns but only ever in
January or when my mum forces me to at family gatherings.” But mostly my response is “I don’t really have a thing.”

This was the response I gave to artist Robbie Coleman when he asked me that question during a dreich derig of DLux Festival in early February. Robbie wouldn’t take this as an answer and I began to tell him that I enjoyed making things with wood, reading poems, cooking, writing, sewing and painting amongst other things. However, I don’t do these things well or often enough to consider them “my thing”. After this conversation, Robbie gave me an answer to that question that I had never considered an option. “That’s easy” he said;

“…Your thing is everything!”

I have spent a large portion of my professional life feeling like an impostor in the creative industries for not honing in on a singular practice but the thing is, we don’t need one practice. All the little things that we do in life that bring us joy are our things. We all have creativity inside us, whether that’s rinsing your favourite song on Spotify or sticking ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ stickers to our bedroom walls. Humans are constantly learning and adapting.
It would be naive to think that we are restricted to one particular job, activity or hobby to define us.

Next time you have got yourself in a tizzy because you don’t know what a G chord is (or if it even exists?) or because you colour outside the lines more than your 4 year old nephew, think about all the little things you do that make your heart sing. That’s what makes you creative. That’s your thing.