Thursday, April 11, 2013

Are you creative?

April morning

I find that I’m most happy when I’m creating (or eating chocolateJ) or when I’m in the company of creative types.  “Most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the result of creativity. What makes us different from apes—our language, values, artistic expression, scientific understanding, and technology—is the result of individual ingenuity that was recognized, rewarded, and transmitted through learning”. (The Creative Personality, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, published on July 01, 1996 - last reviewed on June 13, 2011, Psychology Today).

Creativity combines a healthy dose of playfulness and perseverance:  for me there’s an element of freedom plus a desire to finish the painting (I’ve always been very goal-oriented). A lot of people will tell me that they’re not creative. I don’t believe it! I think it’s a part of all of us, and the thing that keeps you from not being creative is a decision to keep it bottled up. In short:  let go of the fear of making a mistake, and your creativity will likely begin to flow.

So how do you get those creative juices flowing?

According to Robert Genn, there are specific times “when stuff happens” like when we step away and take a break, when we’re satisfied, when we’re drinking (moderately), doing chores, daydreaming, or during transitions (waking up, showering, going to the bathroom, etc). This could explain why many of my ideas are recorded on the edges of grocery lists, receipts, candy wrappers, and a million yellow sticky notes. He also notes that the color green enhances creativity – green walls, a walk in the park – suggests rebirth and renewal.

My husband and I drive long distances travelling to art shows.  It’s the weirdest thing. Once we’re on the road, ideas start popping into my brain. After the trip, this fuels the fire for returning to the studio.