25 May, 2010

Flex The Creative Muscle

Creating is part of my life.  The forms it takes vary in that they go through phases.

When I was younger, I had an active imagination.  The future was mine and I envisioned it with bright colors.  I built forts, played games, and did a lot of pretending. 

As I aged, my creativity took a more “written” form.  I drafted Tall Tales and tried my hand at poetry. 

For high school graduation – I actually composed a song with a friend with whom I had attended every grade since kindergarten (the words hang on my wall).  It was my one and only serious attempt at lyrics.  Now I create fun songs with my daughter about her, her dog, our pets, or whatever crosses our minds at the time.  We play with words and music as though they are a kind of game with everyone laughing throughout. 

In college I put pen to paper to create an animated bicycle for a friend who loved to ride.

While living abroad, creativity came out in teaching English and writing letters.

And then there was graduate school, my imagination found the computer and created a lovely story about two Phoenix… the likes of which has been eternally lost.  That as the last story I wrote – it is the one story that I would love to have for my daughter as it was written for her dad.  It is a loss I grieve (that neither he or I have a copy for her).  Beyond two short, poem stories for her, I have not written a story since.  That muse doesn’t strike often I have learned.  The stories I have written seem to write themselves – gifts from my heart for another.

When she was born I found the creativity in parenting.

Followed by a love for digital photography – which left me playing with pictures and lay-outs (which I need to return to at some point as last year was a wash on that front)

And now, I am writing again.

Nonfiction more than anything else.  A fanciful poem here and there.  I am writing and creating in so many ways – and it feels good.

And I accept writing challenges when I can find them … Like writing for The Sun Magazine!  (The current challenge is “Office.”  Please, what do I find to write about my office???)

Some create for their livelihood, others create with the desire to be famous.  I create as it is part of who I am, to not create in one way or another would be… impossible I believe.  Even if I found myself without tools or materials, I would be creating and imagining in my mind.  I write because I have no choice; writing and creating are aspects of the person that I am.  I create for the same reason – I am not sure that I could live a life that didn’t involve creativity.

My mom says that she isn’t a creative person – yet she works with her hands and fabrics and yarns. 

My dad claims creative is not in him – yet he builds and organizes and makes things. 

My daughter’s other grandmother claims she isn’t creative – yet she paints, creates with stained glass and cooks…

My daughter’s dad would have one believe that he is all law and numbers – undermining the artistic work that he does with foods, pencils, and pottery. 

Sometimes I think that we attempt to define creativity as painting, singing, theater, writing – the biggies in the “art” world.  We attempt to say that we aren’t “creative” as society might expect more from us or a greater level of talent than we can achieve or than we feel we possess. 

I have yet to meet a person that isn’t creative.  It is all a matter of unpeeling the onion, pushing the envelope, and opening the mind.  Creativity takes so many forms.  Each form is something to celebrate!  (My office is a celebration of creativity from the artwork of a loved child on my bulletin boards to a sketch from a student on my wall to paintings from a former teacher to a photograph I took in Moscow years ago… not to mention all the creativity I observe on my computer and create with the keyboard!)

Celebrate your creativity here and now – Share!!

And feel free to take a few minutes and write about your office in the comments or for the Sun link above 


chaniagirl said...

What you say is so true, TE: Many people I know just assume that you're only creative if you're an artist, singer, dancer, painter, blah blah. But that's SO not true. I know that for me, even though I do write and find my creativity there, I feel equally creative when I am baking. I love to bake, to create beautiful baked goods that also delight the tongue and tummy as they go down. It's totally about the process for me: I rarely bake because I actually want what I'm baking. I enjoy the very act of baking itself! (Needless to say, I also have a very happy hubby and very appreciative neighbors.) :D

The Exception said...

CG - Exactly - Baking is so creative in its own way. I can't tell you how many things I have baked and created throughout the years that end up in my office. When I lived abroad, I would dream new recipes to try... Creativity takes so many forms, to include the delicious variety!

Brian said...

Perhaps people downplay their own creativity because they are not out on the edge, pushing the envelope, making something new and never before conceived.

Such a limiting definition!

Perhaps people are afraid to think that they can and do operate outside the box. Must conform! Do not deviate! Toe the line!

So limiting!

Lets go have some fun & create something, anything!

The Exception said...

Brian - I am right there with you!! Creativity is a risk in its own right... and yet what a wonderful feeling to know that we can start right here- right where we are and... create!

Wilma Hamw said...

Wonderful observation TE, what else are we here for? Of course we create, in that way we express ourselves.
I create with plants when I decorate the house, I create with food, I create with wool, I create when I entertain and make that into an experience for other people.
I think we are creators first and foremost and people who deny that, do they know themselves?
Good on you to be self expressed again and what a treat for your daughter. xox Wilma

Evita said...

Yes, we do tend to play down our creativity a lot. I wonder why... first thing that comes to my mind is that we think we are not "good enough" and what will others think if we proclaim that we are creative...will they not judge us?

And there lies the fear.

Well, I think everyone is creative - it is as part of us as breathing and moving, we just need to flex that creative muscle as you say :)

From the time I was young I loved writing poems and painting. I never even came close to pursuing that in my education or professionally in any way. It is just a part of me, and I know that I am creative - just as we all are.

And it is perhaps one of the "funnest" aspects of being human :)

lesleyG said...

Good for you for using that muscle-- like all the others, it is meant to work! :)