Every child is an artist, the problem is staying
an artist when you grow up.
I know that the majority of you believe that you are not creative at all. Hog wash! Creativity is a skill that you have to nurture, care for, feed and practice. Most of us haven’t done a thing with our creativity since we were 7 or 8. About that age something happens in school, be it the teacher who comments that you colored the sky green instead of blue or the girl sitting next to you made her art look way better than yours – so you believe. It doesn’t take much to close down the budding seedling of creativity in our souls. After that point you believed that you had no talent or skill for art or anything creative.
Let’s say that in first grade the teacher sets an algebra text book in front of all the kids in your Class. It’s really just gobble gook to you. The letters mean nothing. The teacher says to the class, “if you have mathematical talent, you will understand this right away. The rest of you will obviously never be any good at math, so don’t try.”
Or, you sign up for first year French. The instructor walks in to the first class and tells the class that if you can’t read the book that is written all in French in front of you and understand her intuitively, then you have no skill for the language and should leave now.
WTF?! We don’t expect that when we sign up for a class or to learn something new. No one expects first graders to understand advanced algebra. (I am guessing that most of us wouldn’t get algebra today even with good instruction). Yes, there are those child prodigies that make anything look easy and are amazing, but they are very rare.
My point here is that society expects us to get or know art or be creative instantly with no instruction. Somewhere along the line it has become an assumption that either you have it or you don’t when it comes to creativity. Yet that is so far from the truth.
Creativity is a muscle that has to be worked, gotten into shape and kept there. Even I, who teaches creative activities all day long would be hard pressed to be instantly creative at knitting a sweater. I used to knit quite well, but I haven’t knitted in over 15 years now. I’d be slow, my stitches uneven. I hope to knit again someday, but know that when I do, I will have to work out for several weeks to get my hands and brain to work together again in that creative fashion.
Currently my creative muse speaks through sketching. Once I finally decided to start sketching, I have been practicing as much as I can. It’s not as much as I would like, but I am doing something every week. I am slowly improving; my sketch books are testament to that. Donna Nelson Gauntlett, who is in our Facebook community, is always sharing her work. Look at her early drawings and what she does now, night and day difference. She has been putting in the time to strengthen the muscle so she improves.
You have to put in the time, the practice and determination to improve and get better at something. Today’s challenge is to pick one creative skill that you want to do and ultimately be reasonably good at and start doing it. Baking bread? Go for it! Drawing? Head out to your local art supply store—independent if you have one in your town—and get what you need. Don’t go crazy, get just the basics until you are ready for the next stage. Get going. Take a class. Show up and make something.
As the Nike ads say ”JUST DO IT!” and you just might surprise yourself! Follow me at www.leekellogg.com for more on living a creative life.
The post Resurrect Your Inner Artist: How To Be Creative appeared first on MorningCoach.