On Being Creative...


Do you consider yourself 'creative'?

For a long time, to me being creative was synonymous with being 'artistic'. I thought that to be creative you had to be able to paint or draw or take photos or do one of the common artsy things like pottery. I don't know where this assumption came from, perhaps it's to do with the way our schooling curriculum is set up here in Australia, with the 'Creative Arts' title slapped on only those type of traditional streams. Anyway, because of this self imposed definition of creativity, I've never really thought of myself as such, despite the fact that I actually was a pretty creative child and teenager. I remember doing a lot of 'creative writing' at school and at home, I loved to do needlework like cross stitch, I loved to bake, I played the electronic organ and learned musicianship for years, I was always up for any crafty-type thing that was the current rage (remember friendship bracelets?) and I even chose woodwork as an elective in Year 10 - and loved it. But, somewhere along the way I became 'academic' rather than creative, and in the absence of any real ability to draw or paint, I left creative behind and ended up with a science degree and a science job which, while being stimulating, interesting and rewarding, I didn't think of as creative either.

2 or 3 years ago, I started to wonder about creativity. While pondering what career path I might choose to take at a crossroads in my working life, I was given the beautiful advice (by this wonderful woman) to look backwards at my childhood - what did I love to do? And when I did, I saw all the tactile creative past-times I had and saw that my current life was not really doing too much to nourish that part of me...and that the bits that were (growing a garden and making and baking in the home) were the things that brought me the most contentment. And so, through conversations with another gem of a woman, I got brave enough to start a little blog. I designed it myself, set it all up and had more creative fun before I'd even written a word than I had in a long time. I started picking up my camera and actually going out and playing around, forgetting about settings and technical stuff, just pushing buttons and trying things out. I started Instagram-ming and I started writing. It was scary, but it was fun. It was helping to soften my left-hand science brain and making me realise that actually, science and research was a highly creative job after all - all that problem solving requires the ability to think outside the square and get creative with solutions. I started playing with different combinations of clothes and colours and furniture in our home. I enrolled in a Permaculture Design Certificate and saw once again how creativity and science complement each other perfectly. I kept writing, and I kept taking photos and I kept growing a garden and making and baking...and here I am.

Still not artistic. But definitely creative. 


What about you? Do you consider yourself creative? Or are you like me, stuck in the thought that you have to be artistic to be creative?