Being creative is a fundamental part of being human - something we need to nurture and allow to happen. That doesn’t necessarily mean you must be an artist - creativity can take on endless forms. Music, writing, knitting, gardening, cooking or baking, daydreaming, making or designing pretty much anything uses our creative muscles. Being creative helps us process and work through other challenges we are facing. Taking the time to work on something, especially if we find it relaxing, can be meditative: while our senses are concentrating on the task our brains are working through the problems.
I have found the best part of being a creative in’t the final outcome, it’s what happens along the way. Setting aside some time for our creative endeavours is so important. When I am with a group of students, we talk, we laugh, and we share stories - plus we do something else - we collaborate. That time together is just as important as what you are making. I believe we, as humans, need to be with each other sometimes, to make those personal connections and combat technology’s continual ways of pushing us apart.
Most importantly: it is necessary to just be accepting of how our creativity comes out. The outcome of what we create isn’t always going to be “perfect.” The ideal perfection that we feel the need to accomplish is an unnecessary imposition that we put upon ourselves. I have seen numerous people be very hard on themselves when painting and doing art. I have seen young teenagers freeze up because they are so afraid of doing something wrong. Creative development is about growing and learning from the things we choose to create. It is an unreasonable expectation to think things are going to be instantly perfect. Making mistakes is part of the learning process. It is the mistakes that help us to improve in the long run. If you’ve ever taken a class with me, you’ll know one of my favourite sayings is “there’s always gesso.” I can honestly say I have repainted and destroyed many, many pictures - sometimes canvases have 2 other paintings buried in the layers underneath. But it’s the surface underneath that gives the work its depth - its soul. I take solace in knowing those layers were part of the process that got me to the final outcome.
I hear all the time "I'm not creative” or “I’m not artistic” - but I guess what I’m trying to say is creativity is so much more that just art, and it’s a fundamental part of being human.