What is a Catholic Creative?
A Catholic Creative is a working or aspiring creative professional with a fire in their gut and a passion for re-imagining the world through heaven’s eyes. Put another way, a Catholic Creative is a Catholic who makes it their job to ask the question: “What could be?” every time they are confronted with “What is.”
So… What is a Creative?
“Creative” doesn’t necessarily mean artist. And it doesn’t mean someone separate from business. It means a person who creates. This creation doesn’t have to be graphics or videos. The creation can be a business, or the design of a building, or dance program. We’re not going to limit the act of creation to just the arts or media.
Why do Catholic Creatives Create?
Because We Were Made To
We Create because it is part of who we are. We were made in the image of a Creative God. We create because we believe that what we make has agency in our lives. It is a part of our prayer and a part of our heart's waking.
Because It’s Our Mission
The Catholic Creative creates out of a sense of mission. The Catholic Creative lives to bring meaning to a directionless world, to bear Christ’s light into the dark places of humanity, and to solve the problems of the modern age through the power of the Catholic imagination.
How do Catholic Creatives Create?
Through Incarnating the Truth
A centerpiece of our community has always been a conviction of the preeminence of beauty as the language of God. We create with the understanding that beauty holds a special and high role in God’s plan to encounter humanity and draw us into a relationship with Him. We do not define beauty narrowly - it is not only pretty, nice, romantic (although it can be those things), but it can also be startling, dark, and uncomfortable. Beauty is the incarnation of truth, a sensual experience of abstract realities. We believe that beauty in this definition is God’s preeminent communication because the Word took on flesh. Christ in human form is the ultimate expression of God’s Divine Imagination.
Therefore, beauty will be integral to each and every discussion we have and everything we create, whether we're discussing solutions to the financial system, Facebook ad sets, building a brewery, or designing a logo. Whatever we do, we seek to incarnate depths of meaning through beauty.
Through Valuing Creativity
A Catholic Creative is someone who recognizes fair monetary value of work as an essential part of what will progress beauty in the world, enabling our creators to grow and raise the bar. While a Catholic Creative doesn't necessarily need to be a full-time professional, a CC needs to believe in the inherent monetary value in beauty and creativity.
Who isn’t a Catholic Creative?
As an organization, we’re focused on cultural impact both inside the Church and outside of it. This means that we are committed to excellence by all standards, not just Catholic ones. We believe that in order to make this kind of impact, we must dedicate real time and passion towards it. The Catholic Creative does not create simply as a hobby, but as a way of life.
The Catholic Creative, then, is called to be a witness in the world - working in the world while not being of it. This means that for the Catholic Creative creation is tied to the way we make our money and the way we spend it, whether you approach this as a creative a parent, a creative manager, a creative business owner, or a creative minister.
What Does this Mean for the Community?
1. A Wider Net
We've gone back and forth about whether this community was a community for artists, specifically for new media creators, and what role Ministers played in the group. Defining who this community is for as we've articulated in this blog means clearer communication, more focused conversations, and ultimately, more focus on our audience. We aren't just a professional organization of artists or designers or filmmakers. There's room for anyone with the DNA listed above and we truly believe that you can come from any background or any profession. Some lend themselves to what we are doing more than others, but that doesn't need to be a stumbling block as long as you aren't afraid of questioning a consensus and believe in leading with beauty.
2. New Guidelines to Facilitate Creative Conversations
We are re-committing ourselves to being the safest place for asking questions in which every option is put on the table and no sacred cows are left un-slain. Our guidelines for discourse will ultimately be laid out more clearly in order to facilitate this and will flow from our beliefs as listed above. We will be bringing on a wider assembly of podcast guests, and creating a richer experience at our live events as a wealth of more diverse perspectives join with even more fundamental core convictions.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Email Marcellino at firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback, ideas, or comments.
This statement is the work of community members Emma Moran, Conor Hennelly, Chris Duffel, Anthony D'Ambrosio and Marcellino D'Ambrosio.