Creativity is a muscle that has to be taught. Creativity is not something you are born with, something you either have or don’t have. Everyone is born creative. We just have to learn how to flex our creative muscles. Creativity can be learned.
Creativity is the ability to see things in a different perspective, to think out of the box, to find new solutions for problems. Being creative means you are adaptable to the world around you as it changes. Being so focused you can only see what is in front of you, like driving in traffic, is not being creative. When you are so focused, you miss the world around you, like when you are taking the same drive you always do but someone else is driving. What new things do you see? Creativity is not tunnel vision or following the path without being distracted by shiny side trips. To me, being creative is being open to others’ views and ideas, to seeing the world around us.
Being creative takes courage. There are people who will want to keep you in their limited view of who you are and what you can do as well as forcing you to conform to their way of thinking and acting. These people are the nay-sayers who tell you something cannot be done, the people who hold you back. It takes courage to stand up to these people and to stand on your own. Forging your own path and creating solutions that are different from currently accepted processes is scary. Giving free rein to make your own mistakes is kind of like taking away the safety net. If it goes wrong, there is no one else to blame, we have to be responsible for our choices. Creativity is messy sometimes. Mistakes happen when you are creative. Learn from them.
Limiting the skills we have to one application limits our creativity. We have skills, how else can they be used? I am a straw artist. I create with grain, not drinking straws. I also teach the techniques I have learned to other people so they can create their own art. Many, many times I am asked how long to cut something- string to tie the straw or to cut off the straws at the end of the project. My response, “You decide.” I give them the responsibility to decide what their project will look like. Some people cannot do this. They have to know the exact length to cut. They follow the directions precisely.These same people can only replicate what has been taught. They limit themselves and don’t apply the skills they have to anything else.
I’m not saying this is bad, but it is self-limiting. Also, just because a person is not artistically creative does not mean they are not a creative person. They have not learned how to flex their creative muscles in all areas of their lives. Creativity can be learned. Techniques can be taught, skilled learned, muscles trained. To be creative, change your perspective and flex your creative muscles.
Make mistakes. Take little steps, take giant leaps, go create. Make a mess and solve a problem, go create.