I used to think ‘creative’ people were a special breed. You know the painters, photographers,fashion designers, sculptors, musicians, painters, fiction writers, cake artists etc. Those people who spend most of their time creating something out of nothing. The innovators of this world. The people who things start with as an abstract concept which eventually materialises into something that you can either see, hear or touch.
I even remember thinking & saying to myself ‘I have no special talents’. I used to have a deep admiration & awe (I still do) for those ‘special’ people who God has given these talents to. I am totally useless at drawing, cant sew to save my life, even putting my daughters hair into a braid is something that I can’t do very well. Due to all of the above reasons, I would laugh or balk at the idea that I could be described as a creative person.
One of the things I have learnt as I have grown both in age, knowledge and understanding is that creativity is not linear. In simpler terms, being creative is not limited to those who work in the arts or those who are traditionally termed ‘creatives’. You know the ‘arty farty’ types( very British expression LOL). I want to you to pause for a moment and think up of a picture of a ‘ creative’ in your minds eye. What came to mind? For most of us, it would be someone holding a paint brush in a paint splattered apron.
We tend to compartmentalise creativity as we get older. Children in early education are allowed to explore their creative side by spending most of their time painting, making sculptures with Play doh etc. As we grow older, we begin to take more ‘serious’ subjects, those things that enhance creativity are seen as ‘play’ or ‘less serious’ activities. You only need to draw so many dodgy stick men or trees while being able to memorise your times tables and you begin to assimilate ‘well I cant draw so all that creative stuff is not for me’.
This is such a limited way to deal with the idea of creativity. The reality is that creativity is an essential part of living and is not just limited to the arts. As you navigate through life we can ALL look for creative ways to add value, make better or improve the things that are all around us. Creativity can have an impact on every thing that we do. And I mean that in a literal sense. You can look for creative ways to incorporate exercise into your life if you are really time strapped. You can be creative in planning your meals and money if you are on a tight budget and still want to eat healthy. You can look for creative ways to make some mundane tasks at work slightly more enjoyable. Like the writer Jordan Raynor said, ‘ We were all called and created to create’.
I recently finished a book by Rod Judkins called ‘The Art of Creative Thinking’ and I will be sharing below some very interesting excerpts, quotes and thoughts from the book regarding creativity and how we can all be and are more creative than we think.
‘ A creative mindset can be applied to everything you do and enrich every aspect of your life. Creativity is not a switch that’s flicked on or off; its a way of seeing, engaging with and responding to the world around you. Try to develop an alternative way of thinking that can be applied to any challenge or project no matter how far out of your comfort zone’
‘ Talent is often confused with ‘innate ability’ but many people also confuse ‘talent’ with ‘skill’. A modern creative mind does not aim to display technical proficiency or mastery; it is more concerned with communicating ideas & concepts in whatever medium is available.’
‘ Not every person has the same kinds of talents, so you discover what’s yours and work with them’– Frank Gehry
These quotes confirmed what I have now learnt and refuted what I previously thought of myself, which is that I do have talents. And so do you. They are not the same as those that others have and could be less but we all have talents.It also tackles the idea of perfectionism which is one of the reasons I often hesitated to describe myself as creative.
‘You might not write well everyday, but you can always edit a bad page. You cant edit a blank page’– Jodi Picault
‘It is the job that is never started that takes the longest to finish’– JRR Tolkien
Simply put, you can never discover how good or bad you are at something that you have not started.
‘Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture,bridges,street signs, clouds,bodies of water,light and shadows’ – Jim Jarmusch
‘ The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all the world needs dreamers who DO.’- Sarah Ban Breathnach
‘ Whatever I know how to do, I’ve already done. Therefore I must always do what I do not know how to do’– Eduardo Chillida
Creating is in imagining and taking inspiration from what is all around us. The real value though is in actually setting out to DO the things that we dream about. It is also closely linked to having a mindset that is open to always learning and being willing to fail while we are it it.
‘As well as seeing the value in things that are generally not valued, creative thinkers also see the value in people who aren’t valued. They try to tease out the value in everyone because they know no one has a monopoly in creativity’
And this is the conclusion for me; Everyone can contribute and add some creativity to their own corner of the world. This will manifest in different ways. I am sure you have heard someone say something or someone somewhere was the motivation or inspiration for changing something.
I do hope that reading this blog has encouraged you in some way to think of yourself as being creative and in turn allow you to see how you can flex those creative muscles in some way this week.
Please do leave a comment and share with others.
Have a lovely week ahead
Quotes Picture credit- Pinterest app
Book picture credit -Good reads app