Sunday, September 18, 2011

Creativity- A State of Mind

                                                   My take on a "patriotic Christmas wreath"

When I took a job in a privately ran scrapbook store in 2006 I thought it was just another retail job. However, it turned into a passion. Before I knew it I was a pro! I never thought I would be an “artsy” or “crafty” person. You see I can’t draw. I can’t even draw a stick figure. My best drawings are of dogs… which consist of a bunch of circles and dots in a row that my (at the time) five year old sister came home and taught me. Oh, I can glue a bunch of stuff to a paper plate and call it “art” with the best toddlers around, or color in a page in a coloring book (and stay in the lines!) but art was never my thing.

When I thought of creativity I thought of people who could paint, draw, and sculpt. In high school I was accepted into the Illinois Summer School of the Arts program. The program was at the time highly competitive. I was accepted as one of the five into the creative writing division. There were several sections: physical art, dance, music, writing, and more. Part of the summer was being isolated from the outside world and really working on your craft. We also had break out sessions into the other crafts and at the end of the summer provided a showcase of what we had learned and developed. I was told by one of my instructors that I was one of the best writers they had ever accepted into the program. I was amazed. There had been several hundred students that had submitted packets for the five spots. I had never thought I would be accepted let alone “among the best.” I still think she was crazy!

I have completely lost my focus on this blog. As I have grown older and have settled into a routine I lost site of “creativity.” Although I still scrapbook, I forgot what it was like to be creative and artistic, or so I thought. I found myself thinking, “I wish I was that creative!” While looking at a friends furniture project today.

Then, I looked around my life earlier tonight and I realized I have maintained quite a level of art and creativity in my life. Every time I blog, I exercise creativity. While I would hardly call it a “work of art” I can call it creative. Writing is just one form of creativity that I exercise in my life. I love taking photographs. Not because I think I have an eye for it, or am trying to make money, or for any other reason than the fact that I want to capture life’s memories and my perspective on film. I love taking pictures because it cerements my experiences into history and I believe no two people see the world in the same way.

Creativity exists all over my life. Every time I alter or make a new recipe I am being creative. Every time I buy a new picture frame, decoration, or hang a wreath on my door I am being creative. Last Christmas I made quite a centerpiece and beautiful wreath for my door. That was creativity shining through, and a bit of art to boot.

Did you add a pinch of cinnamon to that recipe; drop some peppermint extract into your hot chocolate? Did you rearrange your living room furniture and add some color to a bland wall? Did you write a love letter to your spouse? Did you run outside and capture the amazing sun set on film?

To create something where there was nothing is creativity in my mind. So, the next time you hear someone say they are not artistic or they are boring take a good look at their life. Because, I firmly believe we all have a form of art or a form of creativity in our lives.

I currently have my take on a new recipe in the oven, plans for dinner festering, working on my recipe binder and a hungry husband on the way home from hunting. Did I mention a loaf of homemade bread is rising on my kitchen counter? Perhaps today I will be creative. 

You don’t have to sew intricate blankets, paint a masterpiece, or sculpt the next great David to be artistic. Creativity is a mindset.

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