Thoughts on Creativity

Yesterday I woke up with the urge to paint. I haven’t painted in over 10 years so I didn’t have paints or anything in the house. 

I hunted around for some coloured pencils that I have in the house and sat down to draw but it didn’t really satisfy the urge. I wanted to squeeze paint out of a tube and smoosh it around on a surface with a brush. So I wandered around my area and I found a craft store that sold paints, brushes and also a whole array of wooden objects to be painted.

I bought the primary colours, two brushes and a little wooden tray to paint. I headed home, full of excitement, put on some music and did some fairly basic painting on my wooden tray and a bit in my notebook.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity. When we were little we would draw and paint constantly, we also made up stories, wrote and made things. We were constantly being encouraged to use our imagination and to create. 

Yet something happens when we go through adolescence, we start to receive different messages, about focusing on what we are good at or what will lead to us having an income. Obviously that makes sense given one important difference between being a child and an adult is the need to have an income and support oneself. However as a fully functioning adult there is still so much space for creating and doing the things that we love.

I really enjoyed painting while growing up. One of my earliest memories is of finger painting at kindergarten. There we were given paints and a mirror and were able to smudge paint all over that mirror with our fingers. In school I loved art class more than any other class. Yet I stopped painting when I finished school, the reason being  is that I’m pretty crap at it.

While I loved art class, I knew what I was producing was not so great and this became clearer to me as I witnessed the lovely things my friends were producing. So I left it to the people around me that were so much better at it than I was. But as I get older I’ve started to question why should being good at something be the sole reason for doing it. And how can we ever expect to be good at something without putting consistent effort into it?

It would require years of practice, training and dedication for me to be less crappy at painting, however greatness in art is not my goal. What is my goal though is spending my time doing things that make me happy, that make me relax and inspire in me to be creative in other ways.

I am going to continue following my creative whims (one of which is this blog) be they fleeting or enduring. Not because I want to achieve greatness but because I want to get better and simply because it makes me happy.

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