Recently a friend was talking to me about her first experience in a store where you can paint your own pottery. She was excited and animated while talking about this experience, and explained how she wanted to be there everyday during lunch to paint. That she could just live in that store and paint all day. I understand that passion and loved seeing it in her.
Then she said something that I nearly fell off my chair. “I’ve never done anything like this before in my life, I’m one of those people who have no talent, or an artistic bone in my body.” I asked her if she really truly believed that, and she indicated that she did honestly feel that way.
I do not believe that about any person. I believe especially in people who haven’t found their “niche” yet, that there is a wealth of hidden, undiscovered talent, which just hasn’t been found yet. I love meeting people like this because to me, I sense a treasure hunt.
I have found in my life that the seasons where I’m not doing something creative, there was something vital missing. That I’m off balance somewhat. I’ve been that way since I was a child. I believe people are born with a need to express their creativity. The obstacles to blocked creativity are finding what that medium should be, and probably also defining some goals, and perhaps some defined reasons they are blocked.
Expand your thinking and definition of what creativity is. It isn’t only a person who can draw or paint or write. Most didn’t just take it up and were good at it at their first attempt. It was a natural talent, but it needed developed. They learned and practiced to become good at what they do. Just about anything and any medium can be created into art. Gardening can be an art form for instance. I’ve seen some gardens that truly were a work of art and almost breath taking. I’ve seen junk turned into art, there’s jewelry making, basket weaving, knitting, spinning your own yarn, photography, too much to list. Start thinking big.
Where does your interest lie? Take some time to really think about that. What are some areas you’ve told yourself, “someday I’d like to learn that.” What are some areas that you’ve seen others do that you find totally amazing and you seem to be the last one hanging around admiring all the small, finite details, wanting to know all about it? Look at those areas first.
Invest in yourself. Take a class, get a book or find a possible mentor. Put into action a commitment to learn. Each one who has mastered a skill goes through a learning process and starts at step one. Start. Put away the excuses and fears. It doesn’t have to be perfect; you don’t even need to show it to others if you don’t want to. Give yourself permission to fail, but give it enough time and dedication to see if it’s something that fits you or not. If it doesn’t, move on to try something else, but keep looking until you find that fit.
Don’t be terribly surprised if doing this however, brings up issues in your life. I’ve found in mine that to be true. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s working another part of your brain and taps into that creative side or what. But I’ve found that to push through those feelings, to talk to a good friend or safe person about those feelings. In the last few years I’ve taken up candlemaking, and I had made candles as a child as well, so it was a return for me to an art form I long ago loved doing.
I was very surprised at some major issues to come to the surface in my life, things far too personal to go into here, but they were so major that I nearly quit; despite that it was something I loved doing and had invested heavily in. I cried for 2 weeks. After grieving an ugly truth I had long ago pushed down and ignored in my spirit, I realized that ugly thing had robbed me too much in my life already, and it was time for it’s power over me to stop.
Through the pain, I chose to make it a business and it came forth with the name: Joyful Designs in Soy. I gained some real personal freedom through that process which I am deeply grateful for, and my business name is a declaration of a new truth in my life. I also carry a new joy that I didn’t have before, into the rest of my life.
Our creative side isn’t just about what we’re doing, it’s also about who we are, and that touches people near us. Just like tossing a stone into a pond, those ripples it creates, flow out and affects others.