Why Wednesdays? – Why Creativity Counts: Series Recap

A Note about This Feature:  Why Wednesdays is a Move Eat Create weekly feature determined to turn the mid-week doldrums upside down and celebrate things I love to do and blog about.  Currently, the focus is on creating and creativity.

 

In my opinion, creativity so often gets a bad rap.  It’s too often thought of as something that a select group of people have. And while it may be considered fun, it is not necessarily considered ‘important’ by the standards of society at large.  It is not uncommon for creativity to be relegated to the ranks of crafters, kooky ‘artsy’ types and children.   There are two main things I would like to say about this.

photo credit: gfpeck via photopin cc

photo credit: gfpeck via photopin cc

First, this attitude is problematic because crafters, kooky ‘artsy’ types, and children contribute wonderful things to our world which should not be undervalued.

Second, and probably the most consistent theme that I hope has come through in this series, is that creativity is so much bigger than that.  It is not the sole domain of specific, select groups of people.  We all have at least a little bit of it in us and it shows up in a wonderful hodgepodge of ways.

Plus, where the heck would we be without it?  Museums would be empty.  Restaurants would serve unseasoned rice and noodles.  Everyone would wear black.  Movies would tell the same stories over and over again (okay, sometimes it feels like this last one is already happening).

Science would be stunted.  There wouldn’t be an iPad.  Forget about giving your kids an Etch-A-Sketch or occupying their time with crayons.  There would be no building forts out of cushions and boxes.  There would be no Martha Stewart.  No Warhol or Da Vinci (and subsequently, no wonderful Doctor Who episode about Da Vinci).  No jazz.  No Broadway.  No Eiffel Tower or Golden Gate Bridge.  No Sesame Street.  No Choose Your Own Adventure books.  No yarn bombing.  No fancy cupcakes.  No Bob Ross and his happy little trees.

No progress.

No innovation.

No fun.

Am I being melodramatic?  Maybe.  It wouldn’t be the first time.  But, maybe not.

Our world moves forward with little steps (a new yarn shop on the corner!) and big ones (a new space mission being launched!) because of individuals who have creative thoughts and aren’t afraid to let them out.  Every clever new idea, every visionary plan of the future, every inventive contraption adds a little something to our world that we didn’t have before.  Some creative output fails and some prospers, but it all matters.  It all teaches us and inspires us and keeps things churning.

It is all valuable and we all have creative instincts in some regard.

So what are you waiting for?

Where’s your creative energy at today?

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Previous Entries in This Series:

Why Creativity Counts #5:  It Connects Us

Why Creativity Counts #4:  It’s Handy When You’re Cheap and Broke Frugal

Why Creativity Counts #3:  Self-Sufficiency

Why Creativity Counts #2:  It Makes You Smarter

Why Creativity Counts #1:  Because It’s So Much More Than You May Think

Coming Up:  Why I Eat . . .

Why Wednesdays? – Why Creativity Counts #5: It Connects Us

A Note about This Feature: Why Wednesdays is a Move Eat Create weekly feature determined to turn the mid-week doldrums upside down and celebrate things I love to do and blog about. Currently, the focus is on creating and creativity.

I’m an introvert, that’s for sure. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like feeling connected to others. I generally seek connections that are meaningful and serve a purpose – connections that provide opportunities for fun, joy, laughter, learning, growing, and so on.

photo credit: VinothChandar via photopin cc

I make connections in a variety of ways, but I often find that one method of connection that frequently makes itself apparent is through creativity. Something that I find truly exciting about these particular connections is that they cross over so many dimensions. I connect with people living and deceased (I’ll explain more – I’m not talking about séances, here!), people near and far, people young and old, people that I never would have imagined having anything in common with, and I owe it all to a shared sense of creative spirit.

I have connected through creativity in some of the obvious, physical ways – meeting people through a knitting class, a cooking demonstration, or the like – but through more subtle means, as well. The blogosphere is one fantastic means of this, as I’m sure many of you know. The practice of sharing one’s words and images on a blog is most definitely a creative act, and a rewarding one at that. Though I haven’t laid eyes on the writers of the blogs I follow and the readers of my own, I have made connections through shared stories, recipes, and pictures. Though I haven’t shaken your hand or shared a cup of coffee with you, regular readers of this blog likely know me better than those who share an office space with me for 40 hours a week.

photo credit: Julie70 via photopin cc

I’ve been pleasantly surprised when I read another’s writing, feel touched by it, and then read more about the person to discover they are of a different generation, nationality, political affiliation, gender, and so on. It reminds me that (regardless of differences and perceived barriers) a mutual interest, an inspired spirit, and willingness to share them both can connect even the most opposite of individuals.

Some of the most interesting connections to me are those to the past – to those I never had an opportunity to know or communicate with

Eve by Rodin

directly, but to whom I feel connected through the creative products they have left behind. A great example of this occurred recently. I had the opportunity to visit the Detroit Institute of the Arts. As I wandered through the museum, I was moved by various pieces of art. One piece in particular, ‘Eve’ by Rodin, really struck a cord with me. Standing still and quiet with that piece, I felt connected to the history of it, to the feeling that it conveyed which seemed still as relevant now as it was decades ago. That one piece, born out of a sense of creative energy by a single person has likely impacted thousands of others. How amazing is that?!

Creative acts may be fleeting or lasting, but either way, they are an incredible tool for connection. I’ll never forget the feeling that Rodin’s piece brought me. Or the memory of my grandmother patiently teaching me how to sew a stitch carefully. Or the childhood excitement I shared with others over stories that fostered my imagination. Or the sense of understanding I feel when I listen to certain music. The energy that goes into a creative process doesn’t stop when an end product is complete. It moves on, linking people and making connections that, so often, the creator never even thought possible. If that’s not important, I’m not quite sure what is.

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Previous Entries in This Series:

Why Creativity Counts #4: It’s Handy When You’re Cheap and Broke Frugal

Why Creativity Counts #3: Self-Sufficiency

Why Creativity Counts #2: It Makes You Smarter

Why Creativity Counts #1: Because It’s So Much More Than You May Think

Why Wednesdays? – Why Creativity Counts #3: Self-Sufficiency

A Note about This Feature:  Why Wednesdays is a Move Eat Create weekly feature determined to turn the mid-week doldrums upside down and celebrate things I love to do and blog about.  Currently, the focus is on creating and creativity.

I have no illusions about being a completely independent, self-sufficient person.  I know that I will always rely on the skills and talents of others to get through my life.  When my toilet breaks, I’m calling a plumber.  When I want to travel, I’m putting myself in the hands of a trained pilot.  When my computer breaks, I’m shouting for help from Mr. Move Eat Create.  You get the idea.

But as sure as I am in the necessity of calling upon others for their abilities, I’m just as sure that stretching my own talents is useful, practical, and enjoyable.  I want to be as self-sufficient as possible.  I want to know how to do things and to not be afraid to try, for better or worse.  Drawing upon my creative-self to become more self-sufficient just makes sense for a number of reasons.

Photo credit: Daniel*1977 via photopin cc

I’m a pretty independent woman, don’t you know?  When I don’t know how to do something that (in my mind) seems simple, it upsets me.

No.  Wait.

It pisses me off.  Yes.  That’s more accurate.

So the more creative I get with my abilities; the more handy I become; the more adventurous and clever in my talents; the more independent I am and the less pissed off I am.  It’s simple, really.

When I was getting ready to turn 30 I freaked out.  I had some very serious early-mid-life crisis action going on.  And then it happened.  The big day came and I was still a mess for a bit.  Now I am 32.  In those two years, a lot has happened to change my view about being a woman in my thirties and one of the biggest factors has been reflecting upon how much I know and how many things I can do that I couldn’t do just a few years ago.

And, I undoubtedly owe most of it to finding my creative side and letting it prosper.

Things I couldn’t do in my twenties:

  •             Cook. (Okay, I could make grilled cheese sandwiches and mashed potatoes.  Not exactly an extensive repertoire.)
  •             Knit.
  •             Sew on a button.
  •             Organize a useful pantry.
  •             Develop a fitness routine that kept me engaged.
  •             Make a tasty cocktail.
  •             See so much beauty in nature.
  •             Make a homemade greeting card.
  •             Make my own scented body scrub/bath salts.
  •             Put together an attractive outfit from thrift store finds.

Things I can do in my thirties:

  •             All of the above.
  •             More.
  •             Be damn proud of myself for it.

Photo credit: [ henning ] via photopin cc

I used to be envious of my obviously creative friends.  My friends who decorated their homes with their own artwork, wore clothes sewn in their dining rooms, threw beautiful gatherings on their cleverly lighted patios and painted their own furniture.  Now I just recognize that I needed more time to find my creative streak.  I was busy doing other things and that’s okay.  You know why?

I was just saving these particular adventures for this decade.  My thirties don’t look so bad anymore.

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Previous Entries in This Series:

Why Creativity Counts #2:  It Makes You Smarter

Why Creativity Counts #1:  Because It’s So Much More Than You May Think