Are You Creative?

Do you think you’re creative?

One of my deep irrational fears is not being creative enough. Sometimes I have good ideas. But there are large intervals of walking through a tunnel in the dark with no spark of creativity in sight. Because deep down I still stupidly believe that creativity is something one either possesses or doesn’t. And like a provision, it can run out.

Ridiculous I know, but isn’t is amazing how difficult it is to overcome habitual thoughts?

Tim Brown, CEO of Ideo, shows in his brilliant TED lecture, how important play is for creative thinking.  Did you know that the average Western first grader spends 50% of their time in construction play? Brown  calls it “Thinking with your hands”, something artists, craftsmen and makers share with the average first graders.

Oftentimes I think (with my head) so much about what I’m about to create that the making doesn’t happen. Some of my ideas actually do make it into the mental construction phase, but still never materialize in the real world. Once I’m satisfied with my imaginary creations, I place them into my imaginary museum. That museum has lots of rooms and everything I place there gets lost because I don’t keep records. In short, I think plenty with my head, but not enough with my hands. But now, being back to blogging, this will all change, of course.

Often, I forget  that creativity depends on play.

So I’ve decided to play a bit with wire, needle, thread and beads to see what happens. I’ll let you in on the process over the next few days. Below is one of the things I discovered: Metallic embroidery thread knotted with a half hitch knot and wire make an interesting combination and should be explored further.

Do you consider yourself a creative person?  And if not, do other people think you’re creative? Where do you express yourself creatively? Is it cooking, art, music, parenting or work?

Before leaving to play some more, I really wanted to thank you all for being here, your warm words and your encouragement.

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11 Responses to “Are You Creative?”

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  1. Dhara Mistry says:

    Yes! got a creative bone in my body :) Use it extensively on photography. I try to use it on cooking too but my husband asks me to spare him :P Well, glad to have you on Livefyre! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions if any. We’ll be happy to help :)

  2. crazyestonian says:

    I do think I am creative. Others often say I am talented. It bother’s me when they say it about something that is totally made form a pattern (a knitted cowl or dress, a piece of clothing sewn for my daughter). I don’t view that as talent or creativity, it is more craft to me. Creative means my own designs.

    One interesting thing I have noticed is that I can only be creative in one medium at a time (I like to sew, knit, crochet, work with unspun wool etc). And I have noticed that if I am reading a lot then I can not be creative in any other way. So reading is a creative process as well. When I say read a lot, I mean read about six book per week, 250-300 page range. This fills my mind with images and scenes and ideas. So I go through weeks when I only read and weeks when I sew or felt. Usually I need a couple days in between to make the mental switch. Of course I mix media as well but I still stick with one type of projects at a time.

  3. aliatveryberry says:

    I’ve been thinking about this all day… so much so that I blogged about it, so thanks so much for inspiring a blog post. I lack confidence in my ability to be creative, and I get hung up on the things that I think stop me from being creative – it’s so easy to get side tracked. Watching my kids play I see that they lose themselves in the game or the fun, and I think when I’m crafting, that’s when I do my best work… when I stop worrying about other things, relax, go with the flow. Easy to say though!

  4. specialscout says:

    I’m so glad you tuned me into that particular TED Talk. This post has been so inspiring! It’s getting me to think outside of my own little box, and asking me to think about how I ask my students to do the same thing. Love the new blog!

  5. Amanda says:

    I don’t consider myself a creative person (at least not artistically speaking). However, *every* time I try a craft or art project, I surprise myself. I think that’s the most important thing! It builds my confidence every time I try. I hope it works the same way for you, and that this blog gets you closer in touch with your creative self! I don’t know if I ever commented on your previous blog, but I’m glad you’re back, too. I enjoy your particular brand of creative sharing! Thank *you* for being here. =)

  6. Sue says:

    Hello…l’ve just stumbled across your blog and this post
    Your thinking, the new start and questioning creativity, if l could have expressed myself in words as well as you have, l would be saying almost the same thing word for word

    Reading your last couple of posts was like reading my own thoughts

    I hope the rethink (like my own) has turn a corner for you and you feel more inspired, more creative and happy with what you make
    Having questioned my own abilities and creativity in the last month and almost leaving blogland l made a few decisions, l’ve gone back to the beginning, back to the drawing board, rethought how l approach things
    I’ve since had new ideas and am feeling very creative again, it’s lovely to get positive feed back and have people say nice things about your creativity, but l think may be it is your self that needs to be happy with projects and when you are not it is right that you question yourself…from that comes a new understanding and the best ideas a creative person come from a questioning soul
    Good luck with the new start and Thanks for the great post x

  7. Krissy W says:

    Hi there,

    I just came across your blog through Pinterest. This particular post is something I definitely relate so as I have the very same issue with cataloging great ideas but never seem to put them all into play. I wish there were more hours in the day to explore them all! Thanks for the great post!

  8. theoni says:

    i think that you are not supposed to be creative ALL the time!! thats the nature! :)
    (the ted talk is great!)

  9. terihansen says:

    creativity is something I feel we all possess but seeing how we are creative is the challenge. Thanks for sharing your gift with us.

  10. John Rollow says:

    Great post. And wonderful presentation by Tim Brown. Teri Hansen’s blog sent me here, and diverted my whole morning to thinking about creativity. I probably jus needed the “play time.”

    As an architect, I have gone thru periods of intense creative activity. Other periods have just been heavily laden with project management and business development and preparing contracts. Now that I no longer need to do all that stuff, it is time to re-focus on the creative aspects of my life and to find new outlets for that expression.

    Nice to have stumbled onto these blogs on creativity this morning. Thanks.

  11. Bryndis says:

    Oh! yes :) This is so me!
    Thinking about every thing I can make, felting, sewing, knitting, chrocheting, embroiderying,dyeing………
    Only, I do make only few things :(
    All kind of creative thoughts go around and around in my head. :)
    Even when I go to sleep, my mind keeps me awake creating things and I get so exited that I ” then” could easyly start making somthing!!! But can’t because I must go to work the next day and must fall to sleep, sleep, sleep!!!!!……………

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