On being creative
For the first three decades of my life, I did not believe I was a creative person. I really mean that. I had an image in my mind of what creativity looked like and I did not think that I fit that mold. I grew up in a wonderful home with a talented mother who could cook, decorate, tole paint, and do a wide variety of crafts ranging from needlework to wreath making. My mother-in-law was great with crafts as well and also created beautiful watercolor art. My only sister-in-law at that time could make anything and still can. She is just one of those kinds of people. I often compared myself to those around me and felt like I fell short in the talent area. I was dead wrong! I hope by sharing my own story, that I will help my visitors avoid this same mistake because I now know I'm a creative person and I'm absolutely sure you are too!
The funny thing is that even when I participated in the same activities that I admired others for, I never felt creative. I made excuses and downplayed my accomplishments. I could sew, but I didn't particularly love it so I didn't think it was anything innovative. I could cross-stitch, but I told myself that was just making an X on a piece of fabric and that wasn't the same as needlework. I didn't do a lot with decorating because as a young newlywed, I didn't have a lot of space (or money) to work with. In reality, I was very creative with all of our apartments and homes, but more on that another time. I also started scrapbooking at the age of 14 and got even more involved in that while in my late twenties. Again, I told myself that I was just glueing down pictures and it wasn't anything very original.
I think I've established that I definitely had a problem with how I viewed creativity and giving myself credit. I compared myself too much to others. I had perfectionist tendencies. I didn't recognize myself as a creative being. I was so wrong! Now when I look back at my early years, student life, and time as a young wife and mother, I can see that was living a very creative life.
Another interesting factor was that many of the methods I use for creating now simply didn't exist at that time. I had limited experience with cameras. Computers were not part of my life until my mid-twenties and they were limited in their resources and abilities. I would have never been able to fathom digital art, apps, programs, and tools. There was no Instagram or Pinterest and I would have been blown away to think I could write on a blog and people all around the world would read it.
As I approached the age of 30 (really it all started to click for me at about age 28 or 29), I was at the cusp of a creative revolution and I didn't know it. Once I started teaching scrapbooking to others, I began to realize that it was something creative that I was doing. Once I started to share my thoughts online, I found out I had something to say. I was more willing to try new things and more tolerant of "failure" which doesn't actually exist in the creative world.
Now at the age of 48, I feel like I'm really starting to hit my creative stride. I have been bursting with ideas lately and I'm excited to see what is ahead. Maybe there is something about getting a little older that gives you perspective on this? I finally understand that I am a creative person and that the definition of creativity is very broad. This has become such a passion for me that I felt inspired to change the name of my brand. I still love scrapbooking and I will always be a "scrapbook lady" but I now know that there is a lot more that I have to share. It feels like I have finally realized what I should have known all along!
I have a quick little "assignment" for you to think about before my next few posts go up. I want you to think about what creativity means to you? Do you think it means that you make a physical item that others can see? Is it a way of thinking? Is creativity something you are born with or develop with time? Who do you think of as a creative person? Where do you fall on the creativity scale? There are many ways to answer these questions and they would also make for some excellent dinner conversation sometime if you want to delve a little deeper.
Feel free to leave me a comment about this topic if you want to or you can simply answer in your own mind or journal, planner, etc.
In the meantime, you might enjoy looking at some of the creative activities I've been up to lately by visiting my Instagram feed. As much as I hated having my computer gone last week, I have to admit that it freed me up to try some other fun activities. That said, it sure is great to be back in action.
Thanks for your patience while I was away!