June 26, 2022: Living A Creative Life
“The creative life is full of new possibilities, discoveries, exploration,
experimentation, self-expression, and invention. It’s a habit, a way of being, a style of existing.”Scott Barry Kaufman-Scientific American
Creativity has been a human characteristic since the beginning of history. One only has to observe the ancients’ cave drawings, stories and myths to see the origins of human creative expression. Ancient Greeks believed that creativity came from a spirits they called daemons. Romans called the spirit genius, with both cultures associating creativity as the domains of a talented few. But creating has been a driving force for mankind, whether through music, art, storytelling and innovation. All of the medical, scientific and technological advances would have never taken place without someone regarding a problem and coming up with a creative solution. When one takes off the blinders that creativity is only found in the artistic realm, doors are opened, inviting us to discover how we too can live a creative life.
“Why is creativity important in everyday life? It is because it makes life infinitely interesting and fulfilling. Creativity is a way of living life that embraces originality and makes unique connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Creativity is about living life as a journey into seeing and communicating the extra-ordinariness of the simplest, most every day acts.”https://tscpl.org/art/why-is-creativity-important-in-everyday-life
I often hear from others how they “lack creativity” and how fortunate I am to be “so creative”. I am often questioned “how do I do all that do” when regarding my endeavors in jewelry making, photography, watercolor painting and writing. These are all activities that I love, finding great joy in the creative process. Yet, it’s only been in the last two decades where I actually began exploring what it means to live a creative life as an artist. In fact, it took a long time, before I even verbally identified or regarded myself as an artist.
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”Pablo Picasso
Young children do not put the rigid parameters of perfection on their art. Motivated by curiosity, they dive into the process, delighting in the explorations of materials in their environment. It’s only when we begin to absorb the criticisms and definitions of others that our confidence in our creativity is diminished. Too often, we put pressure on ourselves, mistakenly believing that in order to be successful, our endeavors have to be “perfect”. We stop ourselves from trying new activities out of fear of not being “good enough”.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”Sylvia Plath
When I was a child, an Art teacher in my elementary school determined that the “talented kids” who got A’s were the ones who could draw like the artist Norman Rockwell. The C’s for Art on my report card gave the definitive message that I definitely was not an artist. It took me years before I was even willing to pick up a pencil and draw. I avoided any art classes or activities that required a product or paint on paper. It was a student in one of my classes, who saw through my self-doubt and encouraged me to become an “artist”.
My first graders continually asked me to paint with them during our integrated art classes. My reluctance must have shown through as I always had excuses why I couldn’t. A day came, when I was teaching them about Kandinsky, an abstract artist , with an activity that used craypas and tempera paints. I had Vivaldi playing in the background, and a visiting professor was observing the class. When they asked once again, I had my usual litany of excuses. But this time, they were ready. They informed me that since there was another adult in the room, I could join them. The next thing I knew, they had set up a place for me to paint with them. The music was soothing, the paints flowing, and being abstract, I didn’t have to be Norman Rockwell. I was thoroughly enjoying myself when I felt a pat on my shoulder. Jenna, looked at me with a sparkle in her eye, and said, “You see Mrs. O, you’re an artist too.”
That was twenty years ago, and since that time, I’ve redefined myself as an artist, determined to live creatively and with meaning. I’ve had to let go of unrealistic expectations, accepting and learning from the mistakes that naturally occur during a learning process. I’ve learned to listen to that inner voice which tells me when to pay attention to something that piques my curiosity and interest. Heading outdoors with my camera and the intention to seek beautiful and unusual things continues to bring me joy. I’ve also learned to be kind to my efforts and not continually compare and contrast my work with others. While I greatly admire friends who are talented: gourmet cooks, quilters, knitters, potters, and weavers, etc., those are not pursuits that capture my interest. I have fallen in love with jewelry design, nature photography, and watercolors. jAnd I’ve learned that in order to develop my own talents, the key is practice, perseverance and organizing time to fit in the things I love to do.
Being creative is a human trait, but is not a passive process. It requires attention, action, curiosity, decision making and reflection. Identifying potential creative pursuits is just the beginning. List a few ways that you are creative. What are the things that inspire you and/or bring you a sense of joy? Once identified, ask yourself “How can I bring my dreams into fruition? What resources and support do I need to begin my path as a creative being? What obstacles can I alleviate or eliminate? Where can I find and learn from others who share the same passions? Is there a way to help someone or something by putting your creativity to work?
As always, thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to read my blog. I’m gathered some inspirational quotes on creativity to encourage you on your own journey. Please feel free to comment below and share it with someone who might find it meaningful.
Best regards, Wendy Oellers-Fulmer
Inspirational Quotes on Creativity
“Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”Alan Alda
“To me creative living is any life that is guided more strongly by curiosity than fear.”Elizabeth Gilbert
“There’s room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person.
If you’re trying to be like somebody else, then there isn’t.”Tori Amos
“When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do, our work takes on the quality of play, and it is play that stimulates creativity.”Linda Naiman
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”Aristotle
“Art is the stored honey of the human soul.”Theodore Dreiser
“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Creativity takes courage.”Henri Matisse