10 Myths About Creative Professionals Dispelled

Everyone has an idea of what it means to be a "creative professional"—but with feedback from our community, we hope to dispel some of the myths.

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It wasn’t long enough ago that creative professionals were getting a bad rap for their career paths and lifestyle choices—it can be hard for some people to understand that “creative professional” isn’t synonymous with “starving artist”, and that working from home is an entirely acceptable practice.

We recently polled over 2000 creatives within our Format community—including designers, photographers, illustrators, and visual artists—to find out more about their everyday lives. What’s most surprising about the answers we received are how _un_like popularly-held beliefs they are.

Here’s a list of 10 misguided myths about creative professionals:

1. Creatives live unbalanced, wild lives. They smoke a lot, do a lot of drugs, and generally don’t take care of themselves.

Well, actually… We found out that 82% of creatives don’t smoke cigarettes, and only 5% cited drugs as their main vice. What’s more is that 72% eat 3 to 5 meals/day (including breakfast!), and 66% workout once a week or more.

2. Self-employed creatives tend to be night owls—wasting the day away sleeping in late while working all night long.

Not the case! The early bird gets the worm—67% of creatives wake-up between 6am and 8:59am, and 63% are most productive between 5:00am and 9:00am.

3. Creatives are isolated and self-centered, caring only about their craft.

60% of our respondents are in a relationship, engaged or married—but, only 15% responded that they would give a gift to someone important as the first thing they’d after winning the lottery.


4. Black is the color of serious artists.

Wrong! Creatives tend to see the world in shades of… any other color. 70% cited blue, green, red, purple, orange, pink or yellow as their favorite, over black, white and gray.

5. Creatives are covered in tattoos and piercings.

Unlike the canvases they work on, a lot of creatives go undecorated—66% don’t have a single tattoo.

6. A cup of coffee is always an arms’ length away from a working creative.

It was close, but 53% of respondents actually prefer tea or nothing at all (or like coffee and tea equally). The average coffee/tea drinker only consumes 2 cups per day.

7. Artists tend to listen to obscure indie music—stuff you’ve never heard of.

51% listen to Rock, Electronic, Hip Hop, Rap, Pop, Jazz, Classical, Blues or Country—all mainstream choices.


8. Creatives are erratic thinkers, and their messy workspace reflects this.

Time to take a look at your own desk, because 96% of creatives prefer working in a perfectly tidy space or within organized chaos.

9. There’s no money to be made in art.

Modern creatives know they have to be business-savvy to succeed. 88% have a website for self-promotion, and 99% use social media. Instagram goes a long way beyond food porn!

10. Creatives are big personalities with even bigger ideas—that they love nothing more to talk to you about.

You might have to make the first move! 64% of creatives are introverts, which means they like to recharge during some (much-needed) alone time.

11. Last but not least, creatives are stylish and cool.

We found out that 48% of creatives own a leather jacket—maybe that’s not a myth after all. 😎


Illustrations by Sam Island.

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