“The artist begins with a vision-a creative operation requires effort. Creativity takes courage”. Henri Matisse
At the beginning of each year we often assess what is most important to us, and what we want, more, or less of, in our lives. If you are reading this, you are probably interested in tapping into more of your creative abilities. Creativity is not a one size fits all thing. We are all born creative, but how it is nurtured affects how we respond to it. It not only encompasses all “the arts”: music, dance, acting, writing, and the visual arts, but crafting, architecture, cooking, sewing, building, decorating, gardening and most important, the way we solve problems.
We have talked a lot lately about individuals who are drawn to a specific type of art. All of us have preferences in art movements, styles, and techniques. But the more knowledge we have about something, the more we understand it, and the more tolerant we become of it. Maybe we will even learn to enjoy it!
We also have differences in what we enjoy doing, what we have a talent for doing, and how we bring those things into our lives. At the core of all of us, is a seed of creativity. To what degree it is developed has a lot to do with how we were raised, what we have experienced, and how motivated we are to develop that side of ourselves. Yes, some people are more creative than others, but that should not stop any of us from exploring and developing the creative side of our personality, no matter what our age. If one thing does not work for us, we need to try another. There are so many ways for us to embrace our “Creativity Spirit”.
Studies have shown there are 6 characteristics necessary to be “creative”, and these in the end, must interplay with each other.
- Intellectual Ability: This does not mean high IQ. It means the ability to see problems in a novel way. The ability to see various options for solving problems. And…to believe in the value of what we are doing.
- Knowledge: We should have basic knowledge about what we are doing, and have an openness to learn more about it.
- Thinking Style: We must be open to new ideas.
- Personality: We need to be: self-effacing, risk taking, tolerant, able to overcome challenges, and be comfortable with the unconventional.
- Motivation: Our motivation should be intrinsic rather than for external rewards for best results.
- Environment: We should be working in a supportive arena.
Every one of these can be learned behaviors. Granted if we are older and have never had the opportunity to develop our creative side, some of these are going to be difficult to change. But, just because we have always done something one way, does not mean we can’t ask ourselves: Could I do this another way? We need to explore our options, and be open to new experiences.
The digital world has answers for us, in all forms of “How To” videos. We might need to step out of our comfort zone to try something new. But, we might find it is the most rewarding thing we have ever done.
Sometimes it takes baby steps to change who we are. Remember, the world changes every day. We encounter changes on a regular basis. It may be hard at first to accept these changes, but we get used to: the new traffic pattern, our favorite store going out of business, our doctor retiring, with a conscience effort we adapt. So, with a little effort we can change how we think.
The motivation comes from really wanting to learn something new. We just need to start with the attitude that is going to be fun. Find joy in the doing. We shouldn’t start with the idea, that it is a means to an end. Find a group that will supports our efforts. There are a lot of people out there, learning new things and willing to give us a “leg up”. Think FUN, JOY, CAMARADERIE! If we want to try something new, we need to…DO IT! Creativity in any area of our lives will enhance it, and it usually spreads to other areas, because it becomes who we are. And we must remember…the worst enemy of any creative endeavor is, SELF DOUBT. Just Have Fun!