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Creativity:

What it is and why we do it.

Creativity:

What it is and
why we do it.

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” — Albert Camus

I sat down at my desk about a week ago and tried to make a list of topics to write about for this month’s blog. After about fifteen minutes of staring blankly at the wall I thought to myself, “I’m not creative enough for this” so naturally, to avoid the crushing weight of my responsibilities, I read a bunch of blogs and articles on being creative. There is quite a bit more to it than I had thought. I always figured that we are either creative or we’re not. Turns out I was wrong about that, but what exactly is creativity?

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.”
— Albert Camus

I sat down at my desk about a week ago and tried to make a list of topics to write about for this month’s blog. After about fifteen minutes of staring blankly at the wall I thought to myself, “I’m not creative enough for this” so naturally, to avoid the crushing weight of my responsibilities, I read a bunch of blogs and articles on being creative. There is quite a bit more to it than I had thought. I always figured that we are either creative or we’re not. Turns out I was wrong about that, but what exactly is creativity?

This definition isn’t quite right. Being Creative is less about forming completely new ideas and more about rearranging old ideas into a different shape. It’s finding hidden paths that nobody else can see and clearing those paths to allow others to use them. There are no truly original thoughts, no single idea that does not find its roots from another. This blog itself is a conglomeration of different articles and essays and facts that I’ve discovered this past week. Every word I’ve typed has been influenced by something. My sentence structure, my word choice, even the way I’m sitting in my chair all come from somewhere else. Creativity is absorbing the things we are surrounded with and using them in a way that is unique to us. Creativity is, at its core, a study in being different.
This definition isn’t quite right. Being Creative is less about forming completely new ideas and more about rearranging old ideas into a different shape. It’s finding hidden paths that nobody else can see and clearing those paths to allow others to use them. There are no truly original thoughts, no single idea that does not find its roots from another. This blog itself is a conglomeration of different articles and essays and facts that I’ve discovered this past week. Every word I’ve typed has been influenced by something. My sentence structure, my word choice, even the way I’m sitting in my chair all come from somewhere else. Creativity is absorbing the things we are surrounded with and using them in a way that is unique to us. Creativity is, at its core, a study in being different.
We are never more creative than when we are children. While we are young, everything is open to us. Children don’t quite have a grasp on morals, impossibilities, or social rules. This means that many of the things that hold us back creatively as adults don’t yet exist for our children. They are less afraid of failure and more open to explore the impossible. Children are guided by their curiosity. They have a drive to learn combined with a drive to explore.

This is what drives creativity.

As we grow into adulthood, we forgot to observe. We believe that we have seen all of the world around us and we stagnate. We rely on routine. This is very, very bad. Think of creativity as a muscle, if you don’t use it – you lose it. The more we become settled into the world, the less we use our innate creativity. When we know what to expect we stop looking for ways we might be surprised. We are all born creative geniuses, but many of us simply grow out of it.

The key to redeveloping that innate creativity is by simply practicing. Here are a couple things that helped me exercise my creative muscles:
We are never more creative than when we are children. While we are young, everything is open to us. Children don’t quite have a grasp on morals, impossibilities, or social rules. This means that many of the things that hold us back creatively as adults don’t yet exist for our children. They are less afraid of failure and more open to explore the impossible. Children are guided by their curiosity. They have a drive to learn combined with a drive to explore.

This is what drives creativity.

As we grow into adulthood, we forgot to observe. We believe that we have seen all of the world around us and we stagnate. We rely on routine. This is very, very bad. Think of creativity as a muscle, if you don’t use it – you lose it. The more we become settled into the world, the less we use our innate creativity. When we know what to expect we stop looking for ways we might be surprised. We are all born creative geniuses, but many of us simply grow out of it.

The key to redeveloping that innate creativity is by simply practicing. Here are a couple things that helped me exercise my creative muscles:

Take longer looks at the world around you

Try to learn a few different things every day, especially concerning the sights you see on a daily. Many of us find that when we look at an old sight with a critical eye, we find details we’ve never noticed before. You might look a little longer at the old building on your street corner and discover it’s actually an antique pawn shop, and you’ve never even noticed! (personal experience, I still find it ridiculous that I’ve missed that for all these years) When we get into a routine, we stop really noticing the things around us. Practice looking. 

Take longer looks at the world around you

Try to learn a few different things every day, especially concerning the sights you see on a daily. Many of us find that when we look at an old sight with a critical eye, we find details we’ve never noticed before. You might look a little longer at the old building on your street corner and discover it’s actually an antique pawn shop, and you’ve never even noticed! (personal experience, I still find it ridiculous that I’ve missed that for all these years) When we get into a routine, we stop really noticing the things around us. Practice looking. 

Discover an artist whose work you’ve never seen

This is probably the best piece of advice in this entire blog. There is nothing more inspiring than discovering a new artist/art style. It’s beyond inspiring, it’s enlightening. Look at their work, what are they saying and how are they saying it? What part of their work resonates with you? How can you use that resonance, how can you convey and contextualize that feeling into your own art? This isn’t limited to any one art form; read a new author, listen to a new genre of music. Make sure not to limit yourself to one type of expression. Enjoy every piece and work of art you can get a hold of, in any form. Discovering a new artist is like finding a door in your hallway that you’ve never known was there.

Make art

The best way to grow and develop your creativity is to create. Write, sketch, paint, weld, whatever it is that you do, do it more. Don’t get held back on the quality of your work. It’s perfectly fine if it looks like trash, it’s not the end of the world. I started by setting aside ten minutes a day to practice sketching. I carried around a small sketchbook and when I got a few minutes of free time I drew whatever was right in front of me. I don’t churn out any award-winning sketches, but it helps me develop a critical eye and I learn a little bit every time I do it.

Keep to a schedule

When you try to learn any new skill it’s important to be consistent. Practicing guitar five minutes a day is much more beneficial than if you practiced two hours every other month. Start small, break down your larger goal into tiny, bite-sized chunks. Instead of trying to practice thirty minutes every day for a month or a year, try five minutes a day for a week.

Self-care

Another important part of creativity is making sure to take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating the right foods for your brain, getting enough sleep, and doing a little bit of exercise. To use your brain, you need to take care of your body.

 

Creativity is a process, it’s never a simple as an apple falling from a tree or a split-second of divine inspiration. It’s series of events and it takes dedication and commitment. At the end of the day anyone can have an idea, but what really matters is what they do their idea.

“Inspiration only reveals itself after Perspiration.”
— James Clear

Camie Deuel

Camie Deuel

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Creativity is a process, it’s never a simple as an apple falling from a tree or a split-second of divine inspiration. It’s series of events and it takes dedication and commitment. At the end of the day anyone can have an idea, but what really matters is what they do their idea.

“Inspiration only reveals itself after Perspiration.”
— James Clear

Camie Deuel

Camie Deuel

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

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