Tolkien, artist

Thoughts on Creativity

I get asked periodically about creativity. "Where does your creativity come from?" Or, "You're so creative, I could never do what you do." It's a possibility that the person(s) speaking may not be able to do what I do - not in terms of creativity but simple knowledge of the stitches, procedures, and techniques that I use. But I do believe that each person has some creativity.

I get people in my store quite often who are accompanying their friends while they pick some items up for their latest project. Of, if they are very lucky, they are picking beads together because their friend is going to make something for them. When I talk with them, they say thay are not creative people. But then we start exploring the areas in which they ARE creative - because they invariably are, just not in beading or jewelry crafting.

The person who can't/won't bead or make jewelry may be an amazing cook. S/he may have the garden that all of the neighborhood visits. S/he may be the family historian and geneologist. S/he may knit or crochet sweaters and socks. S/he may write...oh...she may write. The creativity of mankind spreads its wings throughout everyone, but in different ways. Explore your personal creavitity today and feed it.
Yep, there are different ways to be creative, but there are people who aren't creative. Whether it is lack of talent(s), or laziness - well, that's another story. But I know people who, sadly, aren't involved in any creative activity. :(
Anyway, being creative in artistic way (I mean, music, painting and similar) surely requires talent. Some things can be learned, but you got to have talent, too.
I truly think that everyone has something that they do well. And when you do something well, creativity underlies it, even for activities as unusual or disreputable as brewing illegal alcohol, or robbing banks. Of course, I usually prefer creativity to be channeled into more socially acceptable ways, but even if it is something so innocuous as raising children, creativity exists. I think it is a genetic inheritance, perhaps coming from DNA directly. Who knows? Perhaps some day we'll discover a creativity gene.

Being creative in an artistic way doesn't require talent, but it does require desire. Not everyone will be a Picasso or Renoir, but millions of people pick up a brush, pen or pencil every day to draw a quick picture or quick diagram. However, you are absolutely correct in that to achieve success within a creative lifestyle...there you absolutely have to have some talent.

I think the definition is that of what constitutes creativity. Books have been written on this, and I certainly am not going to be up for that. But, I do think that I have a broad definition of creativity, I see it as an umbrella that covers all of mankind. I do understand you when you talk about people who aren't involved in any creative activity. I do think that even in those people, there is creativity within them even if they are not actually practicing anything we would consider recognizable.

I loved the opportunity to discuss this with you, ellynn. You broadened my own creativity this morning by your thoughtful response. Thank you!

- Erulisse (one L)
I wonder if some people are afraid to fail or are afraid that their efforts will be somehow "not good enough"? So they never let themselves try and are convinced that they could never do that.
I have met many people over the years who have lost the bravery they had when they were children. When you are a child, you try everything. When you grow older, artificial definitions of expectations or levels of achievement were placed on the experimentation and many people pulled into shells of their own devising. With the withdrawal of experimentation, also often came a withdrawal of joy and innocence. It's a shame that this happens so often, and often within the educational system that we rely upon to assist us in raising our children.

- Erulisse (one L)
Most people are creative, but it's a kind of creativity that may not necessarily be acknowledged as such. When "we" think of creativity, most of us think along artistic lines - writing, composing music, painting, beading, sculpting. But there is creativity in being able to plan an itinerary, manage a number of people working together, and so on.

Also, while creative talent is certainly a plus, it takes diligence and a willingness to practice often to hone that into ability. My violin teacher used to talk about her "Idiot Joe" hours of doing exercises that would hone the precision of her playing so that when she did tackle something, she had the skills with which to accomplish it. The Japanese way of teaching Sumi-e brush painting is to do the same figure over and over and over again until one can do it as well as the Master does. In this world of Instant Satisfaction, taking that amount of time to learn something properly is becoming the exception rather than the rule.

The question of Muses (when it comes to writing or painting or beading) is another kettle of fish entirely. :-D
Exactly, I think you've hit it on the head, Aearwen.

As for those elusive Muses....that kettle is certainly a completely different one (and somewhat elusive also).

- Erulisse (one L)
My husband just made us a new mailbox because our old one was falling apart, and yes, that kind of hands on practicality is also very creative - just not something most people would label as such.

That's awesome, and I'm sure a wonderfully unique box compared to the plastic junk that they sell now-a-days. Yes, that most certainly is creative.

- Erulise (one L)