Opening The Door to Your Creativity
Earlier in my life there were people close to me who would tell me that 'Creatives were hard to live with.' I don't know, maybe to some I am hard to live with. Not sure exactly why, possibly because my mind is constantly processing, conjuring up new ideas and concepts. I'm not one to embrace limitations. I prefer to grow and expand whenever possible. Often if one notices me gazing off into the distance and asks what I am thinking about I return with about a half hour of random scenarios and scenes. 'Well, I was thinking about this, and this led me to think about that.' and so on. It is just a part of me. It's who I am.
Years have gone by, now. My home 'scenery' has changed and I have found myself living in a household of creatives. My wife, all of my children, and I are all highly creative individuals. Recently, I found myself again pondering a host of random thoughts. This time, though, I was admiring the level of creativity that illuminates our home on a daily basis. It was the weekend. I had just completed a new design and decided to take a break. As I wandered around the house I discovered Carrie-Anne working on a CD recording in our oldest son's room. He's a musician and has a recording studio in his bedroom. I found my oldest writing a new song and playing it on his guitar in the courtyard and I later happened upon one of my other sons sitting at the kitchen table drawing pictures. I find such appreciation for the fact that my home is filled with such creative people.
What does it mean to be creative? Why do some find themselves naturally creative and others not? What can you do to open the door to your creativity? These are questions I feel beg answers.
What does it mean to be creative?
First of all, every one of us is creative. There is not a soul here in this reality today that isn't a creative. We all create each and every day. In fact, we cannot awaken each morning without being creative. Every moment and every step forward requires creativity. So, the first and most important concept I wish to express is that each and every one of us IS a 'Creative'. But, what does that mean?
What it comes down to is focus. If, in each and every single moment of our existence here we are all constantly creating, it becomes a matter of what we create in the moment. We are ALL artists and designers of our own lives.
I fully understand the possible fear some may experience when putting a paintbrush or pencil to a blank canvas. Many are afraid they will fail - that their work of art will be a train wreck. The reality is, 'a train wreck is, when the creator believes it to be'. Remember, many artists become famous only after they have been put six feet under. Take Picasso or Andy Warhol for instance. Neither of these artists produced work in my personal opinion that was ground breaking or masterful, but that is simply my own opinion. Look how their work shaped many individuals perspectives and inspired others to create.
I can't confirm, but I would gather that it wasn't about popularity for Picasso when he created his first work. He simply put paintbrush to paper and in his own mind called it art. Funny thing about Warhol is that he probably could have literally painted a 'train wreck' and sold it. In his mind, what he was creating was a work of art. So, it is about your own personal beliefs. Do you fear a blank canvas? Do you believe wholeheartedly that you lack a single creative bone in your body? I am sorry to have to tell you this, but it just isn't true. You too, are as masterful at this creativity thing as Michelangelo. You may just have it in your head that 'the creatives are over there... and I am over here.'
Being creative is simply a thought process that puts you at the turning wheel. It is a conscious decision to care not what others may think of the clay pot you shape with your bare hands. Society need not be your limitation when working on a work of art. You ARE society and I assure you, ‘being society', the only limitation is you.
Why do some find themselves naturally creative and others not?
Regardless of the various excuses or confirmations each of us conjure up.... ('Oh, he's a Libra... it says here he is a creative!'), one is no more creative than the next. When you were born may have some effects on the ease of the thought process, but as I mentioned, we are ALL creative. The only difference is that some may have an easier time translating a thought about an image into brain commands, thus instructing our hand to put it on paper. Coordination between the brain and the hand may be the only hurdle, but it certainly doesn't mean ART wasn't created. Heck, with brain and hand coordination you would think most men would be naturals!
But art isn't all about painting and drawing. It is music, sculpture, culinary, dance, writing, gardening, hedge trimming, poetry, public speaking, whispering in your partner's ear, dog grooming, making Mickey Mouse pancakes in the frying pan, how you put your ketchup and mustard on your hot dog, the order you keep your desk, smiling for photographs, how your write, the experiences you create in your day to day life, and the list goes on into infinity. We are all creative in our own way. In fact, diversity is creativity. Again though, it all comes down to one's frame of mind. Don't cast away creatives. Don't classify creative individuals apart from any other so called group. No matter how analytical you may consider your thinking brain to be, you are just as creative as anyone else. Embrace it! No matter if you feel you have creative block find a way to overcome it. Focus on it. Just start.
What can you do to open the door to your creativity?
Try this. Put your brain on autopilot. Close your eyes. Allow your mind to wander. Put an idea in your head and follow it around a bit. See where it goes. Venture down any path that the wandering mind may venture down. Give it about 10 minutes. Then open your eyes and write down everything you can recall from the experience. Don't be concerned about what it was you were thinking. The random concepts, translated into words on paper, are your first example of how your own creative process works. It's that simple.
My son plays instruments very well. He has no formal training. He writes music, lyrics, and then records his work. People say he has a 'gift'. But what I see is focus. Here is a young man who has made it a priority to play music well. He practices every day. Nobody tells him to. He just does it because he loves it. He loves creating something new. Creativity is addicting. Once you start to believe you can create, the more you make a conscious choice to do it.
I love my creative family. It inspires me to walk around my home and see people creating. I think it brings me back to my college days. I remember walking the campus at school and feeling the energy. People were there to learn... on purpose! Inquiring minds wanted to know and we were all there for the same reason. It didn't matter the subjects or the departments. It was a place of new ideas where people were on an upward path to where they wanted to head in life. That is how I feel in my home when I walk around and see these individuals practicing their music, recording a CD, drawing the next creative scene, or listening to them try to make even the faintest squeak from a school band clarinet like my 9-year old has been making attempts to do. It is ALL music to me.
Every aspect of nature and the natural process of life is creativity in the making. It is all a harmony of music and in my home the music plays loud and clear. The melody plays out in the smell of homemade bread that my boys spend time making... even when the kitchen is a disaster afterward. Harmony plays in the beautiful water feature my wife built for the wildlife to drink from this past weekend... even when I had to get out there and help her in 112 degree heat. It is now something to marvel at and enjoy the Quail who will congregate around it.
It was her willingness to set aside the limitations and get out there and do it. It was her desire to translate the thought in her mind into the commands to the hands to carry out the task to create - to express herself through her creative work. Now, because of her efforts, this new instrument is added to the harmonious music. The animals will enjoy the water resource, we will enjoy the animals, and in the end that enjoyment will spark new ideas and the creativity will continue to flow.
It is a process we are all masters of but often fail to realize. We are instruments of creativity. Creation is an ongoing process for which we are each an integral part of. We can choose what we create. What will you create to add to the divine music that plays in each and every moment? What will you shape and mold with the energy of this world? It is there, waiting to be shaped. The possibilities are limitless. You just need to walk over and sit down at the turning wheel and put your hands on that lump of clay. Feel its smooth texture. Sink your hands into its cool depths... or walk up to the microphone, type ‘til your heart's content, or express in some way only you know will satisfy your creativity. Be who you were put here to be... a creator in deed!