I recently took an online test to find my brand archetypes. I don't have a brand, exactly, but I like creating stuff and putting it out there. I wanted to know what kind of personality the stuff I create gives off.
After taking a few different tests and some time to reflect, it became clear that the Visionary/Magician is my main brand archetype and the Sage is a close second.
I want to focus mainly on the Visionary/Magician archetype. Discovering what kind of role that identity has played in my life and in my creative work has made a permanent impact on me.
Really, being a sage didn't surprise me. I've always read a ton. I enjoy words and knowledge. I have an unending desire to learn. It was obvious. But finding out that I have the magician archetype was like discovering a secret ingredient within myself.
The magician is all about transformation. Going from disorganized to having it to together. From being unhealthy to being reasonably fit. The magician is about transforming into the best version of themselves and as they do so, they also transform the lives of others.
And often the transformation is accomplished in a way that others find--well, amazing and magical.
This makes me think about my childhood. My parents bought me a toy science kit, and I remember being obsessed with making things disappear. Of course it was realistically impossible, but I loved imagining that I could mix up some concoction that could bend the laws of physics and make stuff disappear.
The butterfly, one of the main symbols of transformation, is one of my favorite creatures. I have always loved things with butterflies on them.
Throughout my life, I've been driven to make impossible things happen and to be a better version of me. Please, don't tell me that I lack the ability to do something. Especially something that I really want to do. At hearing the words "You can't...blah, blah, blah" I'm already pulling out books and Googling shortcuts to make what I want to happen a reality.
Learning about the visionary/magician archetype has also helped me to find more ease within myself.
I am a person with over-excitabilities, which basically means that I have intense emotions, physical senses, and drive. I am calm on the surface, but overflowing within. More than once, I've seen it recommended that people with these traits should check out the biography of Elon Musk. For a long time, I just blew that off. I could care less about Tesla and his other companies.
But when I saw that Tesla is considered a visionary/magician brand, I got curious. So I read the biography, and discovered that identifying with the visionary archetype has some important implications as to how I present what I create to the world.
Here's a good example of that.
I enjoy reading Austin Kleon's books on the creative life. Show Your Work was one of my favorites. What I liked about it was that it made the process of sharing the behind the scenes work of creation simple. Anyways, that was the goal of the book.
Over and over again from different sources, I heard the advice, "As a creative in an online world, you need to show your work!" Seemed simple enough, but for some reason, that was something I kept struggling with. Even when the techniques for sharing works in progress were broken down into the most basic steps, I struggled with showing the everyday work of me being creative.
Once I learned my archetype, I understood why. The people who say, "Show every step in your creative process as you go," more than likely fall into the Creative Archetype. The Creative Archetype enjoys teaching others how to create. They are energized by inviting people along for every step of the process. Although I am creative, my power is in using the magician archetype.
When a magician performs a trick, does he or she say while performing the trick, "I am pulling the card off the top of the deck. However, I also have an extra card hidden up my sleeve. So that way when I shuffle everything..."
No way. What makes a magician a magician is that they are able to make things look like they come out of thin air with very little explanation of the work that went into it. It just appears.
And if they feel inclined, they may reveal a little bit of the process. But still they may keep some of it to themselves. Going back to the biography of Elon Musk, the way that both Tesla and SpaceX shrouds the details of the latest and greatest projects in secrecy, even from other employees made me see that this is the way I work as well. Elon Musk also has a reputation of hating the words, "I can't..." Sounds familiar for some reason...
Some authors like sharing their rough drafts online. Every time I've tried this, I have failed--failed as in, abandoning the project as soon as its roughness hits the light of day. That is because my power is in my privacy.
Working and creating in private is my fuel.
And when I let out what I've been toiling on in hiding for so long, people are like, "Where did that come from? How did you do it?"
I reveal a little bit, but I also conceal. This is so different from the concept of "Showing Your Work," but this is what comes naturally to me. It's natural for me to send projects out into the world with no warning, and then explain what's going on after the fact. Even when I was working on my webcomic, I didn't share many sketches and works in progress because I thrive working behind the veil.
So if you are a creator who doesn't do well with showing their work, be assured that it's okay. Just put what you make out there, and explain it after the fact. In this world of oversharing, there is so much value in a little bit of mystery.
And if you're struggling with sharing your creative work, try taking a few brand archetype tests. You may learn something new about yourself.