Creativity is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I suppose I’ve always been a creative individual, although at times I’ve doubted it. I recall the “creativity tests” that were popular back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, and I never scored very well on those. Despite having evidence of my creative abilities all around me, I chose to believe the so-called “experts” and their standardized testing procedures. I wasn’t creative according to their measurements, and that was the end of that.
For a while, it nearly was the end of my creativity! Assuming I had no creative ability, I stopped trying to create anything. What would be the point? Why bother trying when I was destined to fail?
I envied other people who were creative. I wished I could have that same indefinable “creative spark” that set them apart from the rest of us.
Yet somehow my desire to create — in some form — never went away. Maybe I couldn’t see or feel that “spark”, but it was there inside of me. Even my doubts and discouragement couldn’t extinguish it completely.
I noticed so often when I was in groups — friends or strangers — and a creative decision was needed, all eyes automatically turned to me. What ideas did I have? What would I suggest? How odd, I thought. Why did people assume I was the creative thinker in the group?
“Oh, you’re so creative!”
I’ve heard those words a lot throughout my life, and gradually I came to accept them. Maybe those “creativity tests” weren’t all that accurate. Maybe I was just weird. Maybe… well, maybe I actually was creative!
Since that astounding revelation, I’ve learned to not only accept my creative spirit but also to celebrate it. I’ve had eight books published. I’ve performed musical recitals. I’ve danced. I’ve written poetry. I’ve cooked cuisine from different cultures. And, over the last two years, I’ve added drawing and painting to my creative repertoire.
I’ve learned a lot about creativity. I’ve found ways to “jumpstart” creative energies even when they seem to be lagging. I don’t have to sit around waiting for some mythical muse to appear. I know that a large part of creativity comes from simply beginning a project and letting ideas come.
Another way to increase creativity is through exposure to new ideas. I read, I question, I hound my “Google Assistant” in two different languages to appease my insatiable curiosity. I go places. I try new things. My approach always includes a “creative mindset”.
• What can I learn from this experience?
• How can I use what I learn?
Joining our area’s regional art association brought me into contact with other creative individuals. I love seeing their artwork, hearing their stories, and feeling that marvelous creative spirit that’s ever-present at our meetings.
I’m now beginning to share my art with the group, showing off paintings or drawings that I’m especially proud of. I am creative. It’s what I do; it’s who I am.
Here is one of my recent paintings that I’m happy to show off.
I think the best part of having a creative spirit is that it feeds upon itself. The more we create, the more we desire to create. The more we express ourselves, the more we want to say to the world.
Please, celebrate your creativity today — and every day!