I was recently referred to as a “creative” and the person who said it was surprised when I asked not to be called that. Here’s why I hate that word used as a noun.
In other industries the training, talent, and roll of individuals is recognized. In finance, for example, there are bank tellers, stock brokers, analysts, hedge fund managers, etc. While we might say they all work in the financial industry, we don’t call them “financials” or “moneys”. We describe each person’s role using the name of their distinct profession. Kayla is a financial analyst, not a “money”.
Likewise, in medicine there are nurses, doctors, surgeons, EMTs, etc. We might collect all of their expertise when we refer to the medical or health care field, but we don’t call the individuals “medicals”. Again, we describe each person’s distinct role or profession. Alex is a registered nurse, not a “health”.
I work in a creative profession, but I’m a lighting designer not a “creative”. I’m not a poet, choreographer, photographer, or web site designer. I find it lazy and dismissive to lump all of us into one category and call us “creatives” as though we’re interchangeable, without regard to the education and skills of our very distinct professions. You don’t want a web site designer lighting your building, or a choreographer making your web site. To me, calling us all “creatives” disregards and degrades our unique abilities and contributions, essentially saying that what we do isn’t worth recognizing or naming.