As a Type 4: The Innovator...
As a Creative Enneagram Type 4, The Innovator, you are often thought of as the prototypical brooding, sensitive artist type. You are temperamental and withdrawn, punctuated by moments of extreme creativity.
At your best, you image our Creator’s jaw dropping, awe-inspiring creative brilliance, with a depth of feeling, emotion, and insight that is staggering.
At your worst, you are sullen and mercurial, even unstable, unpredictable, and unreliable. You have extreme polarity; people who work with you can have a difficult time wondering “which one of you” will show up for a particular project.
Though this flighty artistic temperament is truly a part of how you are wired, if you are honest with yourself, you also know that you take advantage of that stereotype sometimes, milking it to not give your best because “that’s just the way I am” or “that’s just how good art works”, and you may even enjoy having this reputation a little too, because it only enhances the mystique of your creative process.
However, you know, deep down inside, that if you buckled down, put your rear in your seat, and forced yourself to maintain good work habits that your creativity probably wouldn’t really suffer, but you’d just produce more and even better art.
Looking back over your history of creative pursuits, you also find that playing nice with others has played an outsized role in your successes, and if you could just figure out a way to not sabotage your relationships then your creative impact on the world would take on a new trajectory.
The Creative Enneagram Type 4, The Innovator, has both healthy and unhealthy manifestations.
You feel most alive when you are creating something completely new to the world. You are highly attuned to the world around you and want to contribute in large scale ways. You image our Creator’s ex nihilo creative power.
You tend to live in your head and can struggle turning your ideas into real world things. You can lack follow through, especially when an idea has “already been done before”. You can be reclusive and lack the collaborative benefits of working with other creators in a shared vision for the future.
Famous Enneagram Type 4 – Andrew Peterson
Andrew Peterson is the award-winning singer-songwriter and author of dozens of creative projects, including works as varied as the young adult Wingfeather book series to the recent praise and worship masterpiece Is He Worthy?. He is also the founder and president of The Rabbit Room, a 501(c)(3) non-profit gathering place in Nashville, TN, named after the back room of the pub where the Oxford Inklings (including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others) shared their stories, and is designed to foster Christ-centered community and spiritual formation through music, story, and art.
“[My] calling, as I understand it, is to use whatever gifts I’ve been given to tell the truth as beautifully as I can. I’ve written a few hundred songs, played a few thousand concerts, written a handful of books, and executive produced an animated short film based on those books. Somewhere along the way I realized the writing life (and life in general) works best in the confines of a community.” 
The depth and richness of his creative output does not come without a price. He shares a confession about the 20-year musical celebration concert tour Behold the Lamb of God: “I would go dark every single year on the Christmas tour, and I didn’t know why… I would be on the road surrounded by the people dearest to me, and I would inevitably just find myself crying on the floor of a closet, or in the back of a tour bus, without knowing why. And it took a long time—a lot of counseling—to get to the bottom of why, but part of it was that ache to belong, coupled with that feeling that I never will, that everyone else on the tour is awesome, and has so much to offer, and I am just the weird one, and I will always be the weird one… It took a few years of counseling before I was really able to look forward to being on that bus again. And I do now.” 
Sometimes the best art comes from the darkest places, and that is never truer than for those with this Creative Type. Andrew has struggled with loneliness and feelings of inadequacy his entire life, but a turning point came after meeting Rich Mullins and reading The Ragamuffin Gospel. “I wouldn’t change anything about the way my life has led me to this moment. When I was 19 years old, I had a real encounter with God. I asked him, ‘Will you let me sing about you and write about you and tell your story as best as I can?’ That’s the question I still ask, and I think that’s what he’s called me to do.” 
His most recent book, Adorning the Dark, comes from his personal journal when working on songs for a record. “Those journal entries, when I wrote them, were just for me, my darkest and deepest thoughts, just to make myself write something down. But I went back to it and thought, would this vulnerable look into the creative process be helpful for others? This book is me letting people look under the hood of my creative process, at how I work out my own insecurities and fears in order to create.” 
If we believe that God uses the quiet place, the lonely place, to teach us the lessons impossible to learn otherwise, then how much more to create great art? Andrew continues to create for change and looks to his Creator for strength through this crucible. “All you really have is your willingness to fail, coupled with the mountain of evidence that the Maker has never left or forsaken you.” 
 Andrew Peterson Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making B&H Books, October 2019 p.1
Nest Steps: Where to go from here...
Did one of the Creative Types immediately resonate with you? While no one is “just one thing”, many people recognize both the healthy and unhealthy characteristics of their Creative Type quickly. Remember though, your personality type, or your Creative Type, is just one part of the amazingly intricate and uniquely created image bearer that you are. Your spiritual giftings, your life circumstances, your habits, your family, and countless other factors all play a part in shaping you into who you are and who you might someday become.
For all you personality test deniers, don’t overlook the patterns woven into you by your Creator. For all you personality test believers—yes, we see you posting your Type on social media—don’t let your type dictate to you who you are or what you are capable of, because God is changing and maturing each of us to be more like Him. So, let Him!
Just be forewarned, change is a process. Sometimes it’s a long and arduous path to understanding your creative calling, and learning your Creative Type is just the first step.
In the Created for Change community, we embark together on the adventure that is The Creator’s Journey.
Are you ready?