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The bearer of light; guide to the Creator archetype

The defining superpower of the Creator is to absorb the world and reproduce it new, resolved and made more interesting inside their mind. We have all the art, music, science, books, films and objects thanks to Creators who decided to remake a morsel of this world, in defiance of its mortality and inevitable end. It’s the first and foremost archetype of Public Works’ persona and many of our clients who embrace creativity as a core aspect of their business. To those with a dominant Creator archetype, the room to create and follow their muse is everything. Thinking outside the box, new ideas and perpetual freshness are natural to the Creator's mind. The Creator is associated with innovation, imagination, and the power to bring new ideas into existence. It’s an archetype that taps into the human capacity to transform thoughts into tangible creations, emphasizing the process of making something new and meaningful. Businesses embodying this archetype often exhibit a strong sense of originality, creativity, and a drive to manifest their visions, whether they are in the creative sector, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, technology, retail or scientific invention.


When you’re a Creator, you’re in constant rebellion against death and disorder; because creativity is the neverending persistence in making a case for life and harmony despite the fundamentality of decay and chaos. When you’re a Creator, your mind becomes the antidote to the darkness; because creativity is the spark that shines against emptiness. Creativity is the light and the Creator is its holder.


The Creator is one of the twelve archetypes of the universally recognized patterns of the human psyche as theorized by Carl Jung— the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology. We use them in our story design process. We created a more detailed guide to understand archetypes; it’s recommended as a supporting read to understand why Jungian archetypes provide a great framework to typify business personas in story design.

In this short guide focusing on the Creator archetype, we cover:

  • Businesses channelling the Creator

  • Creator stories

  • One of the rare archetypes whose dark side can be integrated into business stories


Businesses channeling the Creator

Businesses embodying the Jungian archetype of the Creator embrace innovation, originality, and a commitment to bringing fresh ideas to fruition. Whatever their sector or industry is, Creator businesses are usually pioneers in it, pushing boundaries to set new standards and bringing forth completely new ways of doing things. On the flip side, the obsessive side of the Creator archetype may make them prone to perfectionism, potentially hindering timely project completion. Striking a balance between creativity and practicality becomes crucial for these businesses, allowing them to harness their inventive spirit while managing the challenges associated with the relentless pursuit of perfection typical to the Creator.

Among our clients, businesses in design, technology, fashion, culinary arts and architecture naturally align with the Creator archetype, fostering innovation and originality, consistently pushing the boundaries of what's possible, whether it’s in products, devices, clothing, wearable tech, software, visuals, food, spaces, or structures. Story-based creative studios like us at Public Works, television production studios, authors, AI visual artists, gaming companies and filmmakers also naturally lean into the Creator, demonstrating this archetype’s ability to craft compelling and imaginative stories that transport audiences. Businesses in experiential design for virtual and augmented reality also channel the same aspect of the Creator archetype through more immersive experiences. We’ve also seen advertising, branding and marketing agencies embody the Creator's ability to capture attention through fresh perspectives; art galleries and artists’ studios are also prime examples of the Creator. Across all industries, the culture of startups and entrepreneurship embodies the Creator's spirit by introducing new solutions to existing problems and the tendency to ruthlessly experiment.


With ‘innovation’ being the business buzzword of the last two decades, many businesses like the idea of aligning their brand persona with the Creator. But, it’s a trait that has to be central to your core values to bring in the Creator archetype to your brand persona. We use a Brand Articulation Framework to identify a business persona, where archetypes are one of the major tools we use. In our own business, the Creator is the first and foremost archetype; see the Public Works brand articulation framework that unpacks how this archetype channels the way our business is centred on creating stories. True to the surprising nature of how the Creator archetype manifests, we’ve observed it in many businesses that you wouldn’t necessarily classify as ‘creative’ by their sector alone.


Unlikely or businesses lesser-known to channel the Creator archetype include sustainable and eco-friendly companies, where unusual solutions are needed to address environmental challenges. Renewable energy companies also demonstrate the Creator's commitment to innovative solutions for a sustainable future. They reflect the Creator's core desire to contribute to the world. Similarly, we’ve seen urban farming and agriculture companies combine creativity and technology to address food production challenges, channelling the Creator. We’ve also observed Educational Technology (EdTech) platforms that bring a creative approach to education, aligning with the Creator archetype. Another unlikely group of businesses channelling the Creator is in wellness and mindfulness industries; businesses from apps to retreats that employ novel approaches for mental and physical well-being embody the Creator in unexpected ways, aligning with the archetype's imaginative pursuits to infuse creativity into mindfulness practices and well-being. Psychedelic medicine is another subgroup in the healthcare sector that we’ve observed to align with the Creator archetype by exploring groundbreaking treatments.

This early 20th-century devotional illustration from India depicts Saraswatī vision of the c. 700 BCE Indian Vedic sage Yājñavalkya. Saraswatī is a Hindu devotional personification of creative knowledge. See this print story we created using this illustration, in celebration of creativity.


Creator stories

The Creator archetype calls for distinct story arcs that highlight the drive, inspiration, achievements and even the struggles of an active imagination. Having so many clients with a dominant Creator archetype and our own business being led with a Creator archetype, these are some of the stories we’ve observed, designed and published in celebration of the creative act. Eureka stories, that catch that Aha moment when sudden realization or insight strikes, are great for the Creator archetype. These stories propel the Creator forward and connect audiences to the breakthroughs that set off their journey.


Stories where a Creator sets out to find their muse or surrounds themselves with what inspires them are natural fits. For example, see this story we made for our monthly story subscription about a Creator rediscovering his muse in a new country, and another story designed for a client business to reveal the inspiration behind the new restaurant menu to their audience. We curated this series of visual stories to celebrate what inspires two Creator clients in restaurant and café businesses; their mutual inspirations—from mythology, local culture, plant life, and natural landscapes in Sri Lanka—were brought into their shared space as framed postcards also purchasable at the venue.


Stories about collaboration also make great Creator content because they open room to speak about combining different talents and specialities, production methods and perspectives to enhance the overall creative output. As a Creator business, we often collaborate with other businesses to design stories. This is a logo we created to visually represent the ignition of new possibilities when we work with another business; we use it with our collaborator's business name whenever we release a story as a joint venture. We also recommend stories about getting guidance from a mentor figure who helps shape a creative vision and get through the challenges of the creative process; it’s a great way to link stories to creative authorities and leading professionals in the business; this tribute story about one of our greatest creative mentors is an example.

One of the story types we particularly encourage clients with Creator archetypes to share are those connecting to contribution and impact. The core desire of the Creator archetype is to contribute to the world around them; ideas like conscious creativity and responsible creation all connect to this core desire and channeling it with integrity and a sense of responsibility. After all, creativity is an incredible power to hold, and the consequences of not wielding it responsibly are obvious in all the terrible ideas and inventions big and small, from single-use plastics to the atomic bomb.


When a business uses its creative power to do good—support communities, contribute meaning, harmony, ease, enjoyment, sustainability, beauty or well-being to the world—through its products and services, it’s worth celebrating with stories. For clients with a dominant Creator archetype, we encourage stories like this, that demonstrate the impact of their work and those showing the thoughtful creation or sourcing patterns.


Creativity is a lifelong practice, a way of seeing the world and choosing to surround yourself with inspiration. This is why most Creator businesses wear their creative capacity like a badge of honour. For one of our long-term clients with a dominant Creator archetype with several sub-brands in education, we used this aspect of taking pride in creativity into consideration. See how we brought this out in visual stories for their space and a logo for a new extension of their creativity-driven academic institution. For businesses positioning their creativity and innovative capacity as a key USP, it’s important to also share their work, explain their creative visions, and signify these aspects in their identity and stories. For a talented young artist who is looking to elevate his commercial work to the next stage, we created this business story that accurately describes his art practice to potential buyers, museums, and curators.

One of the rare archetypes whose dark side can be integrated into business stories

Like all other archetypes, the Creator has a dark side; but unlike most archetypes, the Creator’s shadow aspect had been easily accepted, popularized, and even celebrated. The shadow of the Creator is obsessive, struggles with self-criticism and questions their abilities. Refusing to accept creative blocks, failure, and stagnation as temporary setbacks are also traits of the shadow Creator. But, through pop culture, depictions of artists struggling with criticism, visionaries with obsessive perfectionism and the start-up reverence for failure as the ultimate springboard to success, the portrayal of the shadow Creator has been normalized and even romanticized.


In appropriate situations, we’ve recommended to Creator archetype clients to use this to their advantage and encouraged revealing genuine aspects of their shadow personas in stories. Why? Because shadow aspects of a persona add more dimension and depth; it makes a business or brand more relatable, approachable and deeply human to speak honestly about their doubts, failures and lessons learnt. See how we encouraged an artist to bring the Creator’s shadow into strength with stories about the struggle to balance their work between the rational, commercial side with its artistic, emotive aspect, and reconciling with doubts and uncertainty in her artistic process. This fictional story created by us was released to our subscribers; it captures the dark side of obsession and self-criticism, confronting the negative aspects of obsessive perfectionism, and shows how it can hinder personal well-being.


To find out how we can tell your Creator brand stories, get in touch.


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