There’s something I hear a lot of people (and surprisingly cakers) say that I gotta admit, bugs me a little. Wanna know what it is?
It’s the phrase “I wish I could be creative like you are”.
Wanna know why it irks me (and sometimes makes me a little sad)?. Cause the fact is, every single person on this planet IS creative. Yes, you heard me. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. (and that includes you).
Before you cry out in protest or exasperation, hear me out…
Right from the get-go, God made a whole heap of stuff (awesome stuff, like pretty plants, animals and fireflies…how awesome are fireflies?). The whole foundation of the universe stemmed from things being made and from the start, we were made and included in that creative process. And even if you don’t believe in God, all you have to do is observe natural human behaviour to know that everyone creates every single day. It don’t matter what ethnicity we stem from or which part of the planet we camp out in, us human beings are constantly creating, innovating & designing our way through life.
That lil’ doodle you squiggled whilst yakking on the phone? That’s you creating. That random Lego car you made to appease your son? Creating. You changing outfits a million times..? Yep that’s you utilising your creative/design grey matter. Get where I’m going with this?
We ALL have an innate creative nature. It don’t matter what ethnicity we originate from, or what part of the planet we camp out in… human beings can’t help but constantly create, design & innovate.
There are however, 2 very important points on creativity that we need to understand..
First, we can never emulate someone else’s creativity.
We are all creative, but our creative expression will never be like somebody else’s. This can be a slightly hard pill to swallow especially if we are particularly obsessed with someone else’s work or style. However, it is so important to accept this fact otherwise we would never ever step into our own original inventiveness. We can never fully realise our own potential if we spend our whole lives trying to be like someone else (side note: if comparison is something you struggle with, then I’d recommend this blog post I shared on the subject). Our experiences, life lessons, DNA, family upbringing, passions and a myriad of other factors all contribute to our unique person and our creativity is a reflection of that. This is something we should not only accept, but fully embrace. Cause it’s only then that we can truly pursue and explore our own creative potential.
Second, creativity must be developed and nurtured intentionally.
You might have already noticed, but some people seem to be MORE creative than others. They churn out mind-blowing cake designs on a seemingly endless basis and always seem to have ideas & artwork that make us go “darn, I wish I thought of that myself”. The question we fail to ask is,.. why is it that certain people seem recognisably more creative than others?
Whilst some of it can be attributed to straight-up-awesome genes, a majority of it comes down to the fact that their creative talent has been nurtured (either by themselves, a parent, teacher, circumstance or another individual) at some stage in life. Art classes, fairytale stories, cooking projects, team building activities…. All these recreations right from when we were tiny squirts, though to adulthood all shape & grow our creative expression.
So what if we didn’t have a particularly creative upbringing…? What if we didn’t have the dance classes or the extracurricular opportunities that others did? Have we missed the creative-boat along with our opportunity at flourishing in an artistic career?
The truthful answer is a loud, resounding NO. It is never ever too late and we can foster our creativity even if we are well advanced in our life stage. The key word here is “intentionality”. Our creativity doesn’t just grow spontaneously just like a three-tiered cake doesn’t just magically spring out from an oven (if only…). There has to be effort and action in order for creativity to develop.
So now that you’ve gone on the journey and realised that you (yes.. yooouuuu) have in fact been born with a certain degree of creative gifting that is special and unique to you; AND that this talent can (and indeed must be) intentionally nurtured in order to work its magic, it’s time to ask the big, head-scratching question… How does one grow and increase their creative capacity?
Well hang tight, I answer that question in next week’s Part 2 post – by sharing my personal do’s and don’ts to developing your own creative expression. Catcha then for the continuation!