Just what is creativity? How would you describe it? Is it something we can develop, or are we stuck with the level of creativity we have access to today? From a little research I did online, as well as my own ideas, I have some thoughts I want to share with you.
Let's start with a definition. Two descriptions stand out for me:
- The ability to imagine something that does not yet exist and then bring it into existence
- The ability to "think outside the box," to find new ways of looking at a problem or challenge that lead to new solutions and strategies
There is no special gene that only some people get that makes them creative. We all have an inherent urge and ability to create. How we express that urge, and whether we nurture and develop it, is another matter. Do some people have an innate gift for a certain expression of creativity? Of course! A child prodigy musician is a good example. If you don't have that kind of innate talent in some field, does it mean you can't be creative? Absolutely not!
The people whose musical or artistic abilities you admire have learned to access that current of creativity that exists within them. We all have it. As young children we accessed and expressed it spontaneously, without worrying about whether we were good at drawing a house or playing chopsticks on the piano.
What happened to that fearlessness? It is all too easy to lead a child into self-doubt when their creations are unappreciated, or even worse, criticized. How quickly children learns to censor themselves, and how easily we train them to stop bringing forth their visions of the world.
How do we re-connect with and express the creative current within when we have lost that fearless spontaneity? First we have to believe that it is possible, then we have to re-train ourselves. Check back for Part 3 of Nurturing Creativity next week. Meanwhile, go practice fearless play in your craft room.
aka The Mad Stamper