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Voetsy is an online marketplace and creative community that brings together talented sellers and buyers looking for something unique

Do you consider yourself a creative person?

I recently shared a funny post in our Creative Community group on Facebook about drawing tutorials gone wrong. It seems people can resonate quite strongly with this notion of not being “artistic” and “creative”. This got me thinking… what makes a person creative? How do we define such an abstract concept, and who decides what creative actually is?

An article by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Psychology Today, defines creative people as “remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an “individual,” each of them is a “multitude.””

Now I don’t know about you, but I think that pretty much defines alot of people if not everyone on the planet. From the moment we are born, we learn to adapt to and learn from our surroundings in order to achieve our goals… there were oh so important things we needed, like our favourite toy across a room, and we learned to get upright, get moving and get what we want. Doesn’t seem very creative, until you realise that every person got there differently, and used what they had, whether it was the couch or the family pet. It took some ingenuity to figure it out, and I think ingenuity and creativity are synonymous.

There seems to be two schools of thought: one is that everyone is born creative and either develops it or loses it; the second states that creativity is some kind of unicorn magic that only special people can possess and wield.

According to Gordon Torr, a former Creative Director and author of the recent book Managing Creative People:

The truth is that creative people are different from other people – special, for better or worse, in a way that we’re only beginning to understand. And everything we know about them suggests that they’re creative because they’re different, not that they’re different because they’re creative. It’s a vital distinction.

 

A TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson asks the question “Do schools kill creativity?”.

Personally, I agree that every child is born creative. I also think that the second children learn what judgement is, their inner artist shrinks a bit. The minute they learn comparison, their creativity crumbles. The longer they fear making mistakes they lose that magic unicorn dust that allowed them to create on a whim and not care if it looks “right” or the same as someone else’s.

It honestly makes me sad to think that people have stopped believing themselves capable enough to wield the title of “creative” or “artistic”. In your everyday life I’m willing to bet you have to draw on at least some modicum of creativity in order to get through your day, decorate your house, open a jar, put together a presentation… you get the idea… you have ideas.

Don’t give up on that inner child who scribbled away with as many colours as they could and with free abandon… do what you can to care for your inner creator, this article from Verywellmind.com will give you a few tips on how to do that. If you’re ready to develop your inner artist, then Christine Nishiyama’s essays are just the thing you need. One of my favourites (and there are lots, thank you Christine!) is this one on “How to develop your unique artistic style). She also has a fabulously cute guide that you can download… I’ve got it and will be completing my influence map soon. Give it a shot and let me know in the comments what you thought.

Keep Creating!
Nicole@Voetsy

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