Being creative is not just about making art.
Sure, creative people like us quite often are painters, writers, singers, dancers and actors, but just as often, we’re not.
I’ve got a lot of arty friends now (thanks to Meetup and Facebook). I’ve taken the time to meet the people I actually want to hang out with, instead of the people I feel obliged to hang with cause they’re the ones I work with. No offense, I loved some of my work and school buddies, but the only thing we had in common was the place we went to everyday. Once you stop going there, you soon find out if you have enough of a friendship to want to maintain it. And, having moved around a lot growing up, I learned early that you can always make new friends.
I got pretty good at it.
I’m still pretty good at it.
Here I want to say to all the friends I’ve ever made; I still consider you my friends, and should we meet again someday I would pick up that feeling of love and connection we shared without hesitation. Cause even when you grow apart, the memories you made as friends, the experiences you had never leave you.
Love you guys.
So now I’ve got a new group of friends who are consciously creative, and I realise after talking to a couple of non-arty people over the last week, that there is such a thing as being unaware that you are a creative soul.
What do I mean by that?
I mean, perhaps you are a tradie (sorry, trades person for those non-Aussies). You fix things, or lay concrete, or move bricks from one place to another day in and out. Does that mean you’re not creative?
What if all you do is clean houses or offices, or maybe you serve food and drink.
Does that make you un-creative?
I think the answer to that is no.
I believe everyone is creative in some way, shape or form.
You’re probably thinking, ‘that’s just crazy talk. What about engineers, or mathematicians, or physicists, you know people who operate from the rational part of their minds more often than their intuitive sides?’
Well I’d argue that they are just as creative as anyone who paints, or writes stories, its just how they use their creativity that’s different.
A painter (like me), uses her creative side to tells stories and communicate ideas in a visual way, right?
An actor expresses her creativity through her ability to imagine that she’s someone else, and then acts in such a way that makes you believe that.
On the other side, an engineer understands the physical laws of our universe to ‘design and build things to solve problems and achieve practical goals.’ (David Wood, https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-engineering-definition-types.html).
A scientist studies the natural world using measurable and quantifiable methods and looks for ways to increase their knowledge in order to build a more thorough understanding of the universe.
In order to achieve any of that, the most important step is to imagine. Imagining something is an act of creation in and of itself.
Because we use our imagination to form an idea of something that might not be real yet. Yes, you can use your imagination to visualise a real object or event, but I call everyone creative because we can also use our imagination to imagine things that aren’t real.
Some of us take that to the next step and bring that imagined event or object into being by taking action to make it real, but without that act of imagination, the rest couldn’t follow.
The biggest leaps in technology and science came because first someone imagined. The most magnificent artworks were made because first someone imagined them.
And that’s the creative part.
Let me put this another way.
Have you ever had a problem? And you think and think and can’t come up with a solution, and you go through scenario after scenario in your head. You imagine them – how it looks and feels and the outcome. But nothing seems right. And then suddenly you get a flash of inspiration, and you know that’s it! That’s the answer. So, you go and make that happen.
That’s being creative.
At its most simple level, that’s how we humans operate isn’t it?
Problem –>Inspiration –> Imagine the Solution –> Act to Create the Solution.
A friend of mine (he said to tell you he’s awesome, and indeed, he is), said something along the lines of ‘everyone’s creative in their own way’, and that’s what got me thinking about this.
Cause he’s right.
No matter what type of creativity you have, it’s all as valid as any another.
I call myself an artist.
I like to draw, and paint, and make pretty things, and write and make up stories with my friends while we play D&D, so I identify as a consciously creative soul. My Mum is creative too, but she says, ‘I can’t draw a stick figure’. But she knits and does cross stitch (she calls it grumpy stitch) and writes stories.
Some people are most creative in the kitchen, making delicious meals or pastries to share. Some people find their creativity comes most to the fore when they are laying concrete and must figure out the best place for every piece in the garden to make the end result most pleasing. Others have a sense of humour that can entertain the dourest of their relatives at family gatherings.
We are all creative in our own way.
About the Author
Toni is an artist and illustrator for people who believe in magic.
Through her vibrant and mystical paintings, inspiring blog posts and fun, intuitive art workshops, she’s here to help you create your own fantastical world to explore and share, making every step feel like the adventure of your dreams.
Some of her favourite adventures involve playing pretend with friends in tabletop and online role-playing games, reading books that make her cry and indulging in a lot of chocolate.
The artwork at the top of the page is called The Magic is In You and is part of her inspirational prints series The Blue Lady Speaks.