Creativity is ageless

     When you think of yourself, does the word “creative” come to mind, or do you reserve that word to describe people who “make art”?   Creativity is actually what we do with our abilities.  You probably take your creativity for granted, but if you have planned a party, decorated a room, or organized a business event, you have been creative.  Even picking out the clothes you are wearing today was a creative action. 

     You can expand your creativity, and that includes your ability to make art.  First, remember that what you believe is what you become.  If you think you have no talent, then you won’t have talent.  Author Richard Bach says, “Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.”  People who want to be creative are more likely to make themselves creative, and stay that way.

     Once you’ve decided you want to be more creative, don’t expect a fairy godmother to appear and bop you with her wand — “Presto!  You’re creative!”  Creativity doesn’t just happen; you have to make it happen.  To be creative, you need courage, positive thinking, flexibility and the desire to change. 

     Begin with small steps.  You could start by changing your daily routine.  Do something different, even if it’s as simple as trying a new ingredient in an old recipe.  Is there an attraction in your town that you’ve never visited?  Go visit it.  Have you ever eaten dinner by candlelight?  Try it, even if you live alone.  Do you want to learn to draw or paint?  Take a class, visit a museum or gallery, go to a craft fair or hobby show, read a book from the library.  Expand your senses:  smell flowers, try new foods, listen to new music.

     Above all, give yourself permission to be creative and have fun with it.  Sometimes adults think creative behavior isn’t acceptable or dignified.  Maybe there’s a little voice in your head saying “act your age.”  Age has nothing to do with creativity.   George Bernard Shaw, the great playwright, said “We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” 

     Here’s a suggestion to recover some of the creative energy you had when you were a child:  Make an autobiographical collage.  Cut pictures from magazines of things you enjoy.  Photocopy old pictures of yourself as a child, as you are now, and cut out more pictures to represent your hopes for the future.  Include things you hate, and things you like.  Paste all these things to a piece of poster board with white glue (Elmer’s or School Glue, or use a glue stick). There is no right or wrong way to arrange the pieces.  Now grab some crayons, ink, colored pencils, watercolor — whatever you want — and add color, drawings, and decorations.  Throw on some stickers, yarn, glitter, etc.,  if you feel like it.  Above all, have fun.

     When you finish one collage — start another.  You can make a collage of your hopes and dreams, places you enjoy, or things you’d like to do sometime.  Make a new collage every week, or every month, or every day.  Save your collages because you can use them for creative imagery later.

     Try to make creative thinking a part of your everyday life.  Do unexpected things; change your usual routine; ask questions.  Change makes you more observant and gets your creative ideas flowing.   If you discover that you enjoy something specific, do more of it and see where it takes you.  You’ll find that being creative is full of rewards you never dreamed of.




Published by on December 2011. Filed under Archives, Paint Box Section, Tips&Techniques PB dept. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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