It is fairly obvious that I love crafts and that I love using my creativity to make things. I mean, all the craft tutorials should be a big clue! But it is not the only way that I live a creative life. In fact, I find it hard not to make little creative decisions and choices throughout my everyday life. A lot of people might say they are just not creative, but I would say that in fact everybody is, and that we are just misunderstanding what creativity truly is.
But I’m just not creative!
Look up the definition of creativity in the dictionary and it’s says “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something”. Ask most people what they consider creativity to be and the responses are generally much more specific; activities like painting, knitting or writing for example. But what if creativity is something more, and is part of our everyday living?
I hear a lot of people, both in real life at workshops and virtually here on my blog, tell me that they are just not creative. Or say “I wish I was creative like you”. Which I used to find very confusing- why would people who didn’t think they were creative be at a craft workshop or reading a craft blog? Well I gradually realised that people seem to like the idea of being creative, but have little faith in their ability to actually be creative.
This lack of confidence can come from so many different places; negative comments from teachers at school, a bad experience trying to make something in the past or an idea that creative people are just born that way. But I think there is also a commonly held belief that the terms creative and artistic mean the same thing, when they don’t!
How are being creative and being artistic different?
To be artistic is to “have or reveal natural creative skill”. This kind of says that creativity is part of being artistic, not the other way around. Artistic ability is a particular way of using creativity to create fine works of art, whether that be a painting, sculpture or writing.
To be creative is “relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something”- a much wider description! It is how we solve problems, improves existing ideas, make the world around us more pleasant and add our own uniqueness to the world. And this is something we all have the ability to do. In fact, we are creative in our everyday lives without even realising it. We make decisions on what clothes to wear based on if we like the way they look together. We combine whatever food we have in the fridge and cupboards to make ourselves dinner. We choose particular combinations of plants for our gardens.
Where does creativity come from anyway?
Creativity also isn’t about having one original idea that just comes out of thin air. I don’t really hold with the notion that creative ideas are like “fairy dust” floating around trying to find a host (sorry Elizabeth Gilbert). It’s about combining existing ideas to create something else; an evolution if you like. There will always be a starting point, a place of origin that all new creative ideas come from.
But here is the thing. There are so many choices and variables in the world and we all have such different life experiences, that that the chances of any two people doing the same thing, in the same way, for the same reasons at the same time is actually remarkably slim. Yes, someone might come up with the same solution to a problem or the same design idea as you, but they will never do it they way YOU will do it. Being creative comes from our own experiences and being true to our likes and dislikes.
This means that in order to be more creative we need to experience more, to explore more of not only what we like, but what we dislike. To see new things and have new ideas to combine with our own experiences.
These things might seem small and inconsequential, but thats the point. By making more conscious creative choices and decisions in the little things you do everyday, you will realise that you are creative and have been all along.
I would love it if you shared this post on How to Be More Creative Everyday so that even more people can discover their own creativity! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or come find me on Instagram !
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