I have never considered myself a creative person. My evidence: doodling. I have been drawing the same things for forever. Daisies (or string of daisies). Sun. Swarm of bees/gnats. Weirdo man with eyes that are too big and a nose that looks like he’s been in a terrible accident. That’s it. That’s my repertoire.
When I started selling pottery, people would refer to my work as art and me as an artist. I laughed at these foolish people. They were so easily snowed by what is obviously a craft not an art.
My first pottery instructor, who has a Masters in Fine Arts degree, who has been featured in magazines and museums, and who does workshops in Italy for crying out loud, would not be laughing with me. She is an artist.
By comparison, I am not.
Some people just seem to have so much more natural talent. My husband can draw all kinds of things like cars and dinosaurs. My daughter can draw birds and angst ridden girls. I have a cousin who sprawled on the living room floor with my kids during a family function one evening, and while sharing a coffee can of markers, drew an alligator.
What I’m saying is: I can’t draw alligators. I therefore have logically deduced: I’m not a creative person.
I’m wondering how many other people are as boneheaded as I am. Nobody would look at a child and say, “boy, you better stick with math because you are not creative at all.” Well, I might say that to be funny, but then I would regret it because four-year-olds suck at grasping sarcasm.
The point is, we are born creative. It is part of being human. The market isn’t cornered by people who can draw things besides daisies. Unless there is a neurological impairment, we can all imagine something then make it exist. It’s our superpower in the animal kingdom.
My mother retired a couple of years ago. As a former government employee who is a CPA with a Master of Science in Taxation degree, artist isn't the first thing that would come to anyone's mind while reading her resumé. Well, we can’t all be summed up in one or two pages, can we? She knits and does watercolor paintings and pastels now. Because she's old. Kidding! Because she has the time.
That’s right, folks, creativity takes time. There it is. The rub. The catch. And I can already hear all the, ”Heather, I just can't because: lots of important sounding excuses.” I get it. Tapping into creativity sometimes means learning a skill that takes years to develop. Yup. Years.
When life is so crammed with obligations that we can barely breathe, being creative becomes something we just don’t have time for... like exercise, or eating healthy, or spending time with people we care about...
I don’t know a crazy amount of people, but, amidst those I do know, there are people who sew, photographers, painters, guitarists, knitters, cooks/bakers, scrapbookers, singers, gardeners, and graphic designers.
I’m willing to bet hard cash that NONE of these people consider the time they’ve spent learning their craft/tapping into their creativity was wasted.
On the contrary, most people I know light up when showing off their work and it is a source of their greatest pride. They make the time because it’s worth it.
Sure, it’s great to have a good job and pay the bills, but, when you dig deep inside, unless you are Hugh MacLeod, the core of who you are will not fit on a business card. It would be a real shame for all the creativity that’s locked inside your brains to stay there because you didn’t take the time to wrestle it out with hours of practice and determination.
Think of how dreadfully boring the world would be if no one made time for artistic expression.
My name is Heather Shuker, and I can't draw worth a damn, but I am creative. So are you. Do us all a favor. Show us.
I like to throw things.