What does creativity look like for you?
Obviously, I have creativity on my mind these days and I've put a lot of thought into what I think it means to be creative. I believe we all have idealized notions about this topic that include grand artists like Leonardo DaVinci or maybe someone incredibly talented that we follow on social media like Heidi Swapp. I decided it would be a fun little exercise to take a visual tour of the types of creativity that inspire me the most. Consider this a little field trip feast for the eyes!
One of my earliest thoughts about being creative definitely involves painting. I remember being quite amazed that people could dip a paintbrush into some colors and just dab away at a blank canvas and make a masterpiece! I actually took an oil painting class when I was about 10 or 11 and I remember being disappointed in how rigid my lake and mountains looked. I was pretty pleased with it at first, until I started looking around at others. Why do we let that happen? I wonder what I would have done if I had just started painting as a very young child without any awareness for what it all "should" look like? Very few get that chance. I admire paintings like this one because it's obvious that the artist did not worry about what everyone else's tree looked like. Wonderful!
Creative holiday decor was something that I was exposed to from a very young age. My Mom had a natural talent for this and our home always looked lovely for Christmas. She didn't decorate for other holidays much until I left home but she later found a real love for Halloween displays as well. She made many of our decorations by sewing, crafting, or painting different items. Her hand painted wooden Santa collection is still one of my very favorite collections. Very creative!
From the time I was a junior high girl playing around with bubble lettering, I've always wished I could doodle. This is one of my favorite art styles and I'm finally taking the plunge and trying to learn how to digitally doodle with my Apple Pencil, iPad Pro, and the Good Notes App. I've got a long way to go, but everyone has to start somewhere. In the meantime, I can drool over creations like this one!
I have an aunt who was a quilter for many years. She made us a giant quilt out of scraps with a flannel background. It wasn't anything "pinterest -worthy" but we all wanted to cuddle in that quilt. I loved laying under it or building a tent out of it to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I guess I've had an obsession with patchwork quilts ever since. I'm not really a fan of super intricate quilt patterns, just give me simple squares any day!
I also have a soft spot for needlework. Perhaps this comes from my Mom's love of needlework? I finished several cross-stitch patterns in my teenage years and I really enjoyed doing them. I have dabbled a bit in cross-stitch over the years and I would love to get back into it. There are some really amazing patterns on Etsy.
It's pretty easy to see that I have always equated creativity with making stuff. For me, that's what I thought it meant. It was only later on that I realized creativity was everywhere. I especially love unique food presentations and I really appreciate the talent that goes into them. Food is so much more appetizing when it's beautiful!
One of my great creative passions is photography. This is something that I started to fully appreciate once I became a mother. I loved pictures of my children but I didn't take a lot of great ones. I didn't have the equipment, patience, or the knowledge back then. After years of studying and practicing, I'm still in awe when I see an amazing photograph. So much creativity goes into spotting the right subject, understanding how to compose it, editing, and sharing the final image.
And of course, one of my favorite forms of creativity is combining photos + words to document our life. I love scrapbooks, photo books, smash books, blog posts, instagram posts, and all forms of memory keeping! I prefer using apps like Project Life and digital scrapbooking techniques, but I really love it all!
What other types of creativity do I love? Reading, organizing, writing, planning, parenting, celebrating, listening to music, collecting, playing, and more. Yep, all of those are forms of being creative and I will definitely explore them in future blog posts.
Think about what creativity looks like for you. Browse through Pinterest, Instagram, and other idea websites. Look through your own home and your photos. Look for evidence of other's creativity as well as your own. It's a very useful exercise to help you get more in touch with your own talents and desires. Remember that everyone is creative - even you!