Over the past 41 1/2 years I have become more and more in tune with what I feel isn't a gift only bestowed upon certain "special" people. The older I get, the more I believe creativity is something found within all of us. However, too many people are afraid to be creative.
Ask a 5 year old if they want to do something creative and they get excited. If a 15 year old is asked to be creative, about half of them shut down. Tell a 40 year old to do something creative and MOST find an excuse to leave the room.
It makes me scream out mentally, "WHAT!?!?"
I am a firm believer that creative isn't a type. I get so sick of hearing things like, "Michelle, I am not a creative type like you are."
It's something found within all of us at birth. Something goes wrong along the way. Our creative thoughts and desires are often destroyed or ignored. Maybe it's a kid sitting by you in 7th grade who tells you that you can't draw well, or maybe it's a teacher who says your sky should be blue when you really feel it should be pinky-orange.
The reality is we all have this drive to create and when we don't answer that drive...well, it makes for some misery.
I think we all have the potential to change the world one creative way at a time, especially if we go at it based on the 3 H's artist Shea Hembrey (http://www.sheahembrey.com) mentioned in a TED Talk he gave.
Heart: our creative art and/or outlet has emotion connected to it.
Hand: craftsmanship and fine quality.
Head: it has intellect - it makes us and people around us think.
I think creativity is everywhere, and I thank God for it.
Thank God Jessica is creative with fashion and words. You can follow her at "MostOrdinary" on facebook, or check out her blog: http://mostordinaryblog.blogspot.com She makes the world more beautiful not just by being in it, but by inspiring people. She's so awesome at helping them find the clothing that fits not only their bodies, but their personalities. She's just an overall interesting person. Her heart is fully into what she does.
I am thankful that Gabe with Camping Missouri (http://campingmissouri.org) is so creative. He's constantly trying to make the world a better place with his words and actions. He for sure puts his hand into his creative outlet. He gets muddy and messy to clean our natural places with Operation CleanStream. The end result is one of the finest quality. Who can argue with clean streams!? He's also creative in that through both his emotion and logic, he can get a lot of people to give a damn. We need more of that in today's world.
I view my parents as creative. My mom makes the coolest "upcycled" tote bags, and t-shirt quilts. She is amazing at taking things that are cast off and giving them a new purpose, instead of being filler for the dump.
She and my dad have recently teamed up to repurpose old frames, or cabinet doors. They distress them, add fun features, put in a chalk board and/or cork board. The end results are so fun to see.
All the creations my parents come up with have heart, hand, and head. They always make me think about the things we think are worth hitting the trashcan. All products are made with the finest craftsmanship. There's certainly heart there, too. The end results often make me smile.
Growing up, my parents always inspired me with gardening. That's another form of creativity. Will my thumb ever be as green as my mom's or dad's? I am not sure, but today it felt great adding more hosta starts, mulch, rocks, etc. for a back shade-loving flower bed. Nothing grows there, so this is indeed an improvement. Using my hands to create this made me feel good. It was like some question was being answered inside of me. When we don't take the time to create; be it a flowerbed or a cleaner stream - - we lose a piece of who we are.
I know I am blessed that where I teach, I am surrounded by people who believe in creativity and encouraging others to tap into their creative urges. My friend across the hall, Juli, is one example. Through her "day job" and her other side efforts like (http://oliveandashstudio.blogspot.com), Juli is someone that is the example of living a life where you answer those calls. She so often works with her hands, and her projects have emotion and intellect behind them. You can also follow her on facebook at Juli Schuster at Olive and Ash Studio.
I don't care if you're diggin in the dirt, stitching on fabric, using words to inspire, clicking photographs, or cleaning up someone else's mess... we ALL have this calling within us to be creative. We need to answer it. If we don't, it sure makes for some sad days.
Until next time,
M of MK Designs