Recently while looking over the trending worries and concerns of every day folks, I came across an article about creativity.
An idea exists that creativity is simply natural in some people while it completely avoids others and passes them by.
Is creativity something only some are born with? What separates those who are creative from those who are not?
Creative people are born that way but it is not just a lucky few.
Creativity is natural to all of us. If you feel you are not creative, something or someone along the way killed it dead.
How do you kill creativity?
The most sure way to kill it is to invalidate someone’s creation. By invalidate I mean, find fault with, criticize, or even ignore what they have created.
As a music instructor, I grit my teeth when I see shows like American Idol where artists are cut down by the likes of Simon Cowell or other “critics” who think its their job to “Bring someone down a notch”.
Those who do this use various justifying phrases and it is always “For your own good.”
“I’m going to puncture that big head of yours.”It is bad manners to show off!”. “You make others feel bad that they can’t do what you can do.”
When you embarrass someone in front of others, you kill creativity to some extent in them. How long will someone continue to create when they are ridiculed or crriticized harshly in front of others?
In my career I have had the cops called on me several times when I was hired to sing in front of a friend’s store. Four times the cops came until I finally accused them of harassment.
The complaints that brought the cops were coming from a dishonest merchant who I had previously refused to work with. This was his “revenge”.
Despite the fact that I was successful in getting the cops to back off, it made me tired and I stopped singing. I stopped for a very long time.
One can continue to create only so long until it becomes just too much trouble and too heartbreaking to try anymore.
Let’s face it, there are some people who simply cannot have you being really good at something.
Call it jealousy, envy, or just a desire to shut you up, these people cannot tolerate a high level of ability in anyone and MUST try and stop it.
As you progress in any skill, you will find these sick people coming out of the wood work.
Do not try and make sense of them other than to understand that they have a mental defect and it has nothing to do with you.
ALL GREAT ARTISTS AND CREATORS HAVE BEEN TARGETED BY ONE OR MORE OF THESE PEOPLE AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER.
If you have run into one, consider it an honor. It means you are on the right track.
I am sure you can think of several people you have come into contact with who have tried to squash your creative side.
Have you ever had a teacher mock or ridicule you in front of the class?
Have you ever had someone happily praise everyone else’s work and intentionally ignore yours?
Have you ever had someone try to “wipe that smug smile off your face”?
These are the ones who cannot have ability or are afraid you will be better than they are.
Creativity knows its value and it will not show itself in the company of people who refuse to acknowledge it.
Don’t cast your pearls before swine is a phrase that advises you not to give valuable attention or any of your creations to those who cannot appreciate them.
Creativity doesn’t only reveal itself in the arts.
We all know that artists are generally a pretty creative bunch but because you don’t call yourself an artist does not mean you do not create.
Solving problems is a creation.
Making someone smile is a wonderful creation.
Cooking or creating a beautiful house or simply making the lives of others around you better, more fun or more comfortable are creations.
The sciences also have their beauty and are certainly creative.
Where does creativity go when it dies?
The good news? It doesn’t.
You cannot drive a stake into its heart and kill creativity any more than you can kill the human spirit.
No matter how hard it is smashed down and for how long, there is always a spark left and when that spark perceives light and compassion, it will unroll its tender new leaves and blossom again.
So if you feel you have lost your creativity, my advice for you is this:
Sit down with paper and pen and write down the name of everyone you have come across that invalidated your creations.
Then look at their lives and how they treat people. You may find that they are generally angry or spiteful or just plain stressed out. Understand that this is something in them, not you.
Do not look for validation among those people. Find a group of like minded, creative people and create around them.
Next, look into the recent past and find some kind of creation you have done recently, even if it is mowing the lawn or changing the sheets on your bed. These are creations. You have created a nice lawn or a nice clean bed.
Then look at the larger creations you have been doing. Have you raised a family? Cooked good food? Finished a project at work?
Finally, look at a new direction you really want to create in. Maybe you want to paint or learn ceramics.
Then go do it and don’t look back.
Creation is the greatest joy in life. You deserve it.
Hope this helps.