To My Fellow Creatives

“I am the least creative person. Anything I do creatively looks like it was done by a kindergartner.”

I was dumbfounded. I was sitting across the desk from my coworker and had just asked her, “What would you like your coworkers to know about you?” I was interviewing – we’ll call her “Sheri” – for our next company newsletter. First of all, here is Sheri’s chance to say something really great about herself and she chose to highlight something she viewed as negative. Secondly, the least creative person? What does that mean?

Today, I challenge the definition of Creativity. I am assuming Sheri meant that she does not have skills in drawing, painting, writing, dance, music or the like.

But are those really the only things that are considered Creative?

I’d like to pose that Creativity is wanting to purchase an expensive bicycle and doing everything you can to figure out how to get the money. Whether it is selling items you no longer use, doing extra chores for a friend or taking on a second job.

Creativity is driving on your way home from work, getting stuck in traffic and maneuvering your way to find a different route.

Creativity is having a certain gentleman catch your eye on your first day of class and going home and picking out the perfect outfit, perfect hair and perfect makeup that will be sure to grab his attention the next time he sees you.

Creativity is spotting a shy person in your dance class and finding topics that will get her to open up and engage in conversation.

For a long time, I have struggled with my own creativity and how good I am at being Creative. My father and sister are both incredibly talented artists and I have always fought the feeling that my creativity level does not – and would never – match theirs. When I attempted to paint or draw, those skeezy voices would kick in, “Wow. Nice try. Your sister’s drawings are much more realistic,” and “That took you how long? Your dad could have had that done in ten minutes.” Only recently, have I realized that Creativity shows its face in many ways. I possess a knack for engaging others in conversation and getting them to feel comfortable with not only me, but also with themselves.

Looking back, Sheri was an incredibly creative person. She had a mezmerizing way of sharing stories. I just wanted to sit and listen to her talk because I enjoyed her inflections, silly phrasing and gestures. I wish I would have told her that day because she no longer works with us.

Creativity is so much bigger than the word we seem to narrowly define.

Thanks Luke Simpson for your drawing! You can check out his mad skillz at: stickworldcomics.com.

"Creative" by Luke Simpson @ stickworldcomics.com.

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9 thoughts on “To My Fellow Creatives

  1. Good post Alana. For me a lot of times creativity is solving a problem. Could be at my job for a client or even at home while doing a DIY type of project that I have never done before. People are more creative than they give themselves credit for. It is interesting to me that in our society we put the word CREATIVE on a pedestal. Artists are artists and musicians are musicians, that what they do, but that does not mean that they are MORE creative than you.

    Let’s start giving ourselves some credit for being creative and stop beating ourselves up for something that is not even true!

    Holla!
    Josh

  2. Josh,
    I’m really glad you posted about how being Creative is solving problems. This is a unique perspective I did not have until I shared with you what I wanted to write in this post. Even in the past week, I have come across quite a few people who do not view themselves as Creative, but when we discussed how creativity is the ability to problem solve, one of my friends said, “Oh yeah! I’m great at solving problems!”

  3. Creativity is not about performance. Creativity is not about comparison. Comparison is all about competition and conformity.

    Blech.

    ‘I’m not very creative’ doesn’t work. Everyone is creative, you either use it, or you don’t.

    The only unique contribution we will ever make in this world is born out of our creativity.

    Creativity must be nurtured, protected and cultivated. You have to carve out time to pursue it, or it will never grow.

    Here is to the creative ‘misfit’ in all of us. 😉

    Blessings Alana – keep writing.

  4. Really cool and creative way of looking at creativity Alana.

    It seems God has put a universe of wonder between every person’s ears. Would that we would allow that to flow without fear in our lives!

    Joy and Peace to you.

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