In Defense of a Creative Life

Why do you create?

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I posed this question to my Facebook friends the other day, every now & then I get these silly ideas about attempting to have real conversations on there.

The best answer I got was this one, I will leave the writer anonymous, but I think she nailed it — “Some years ago, I learned that we are all creative and that we are always creating something. As a left-brained person, I didn’t consider myself ‘creative’. But when I was forced to look at some of the things I had created, I decided to refocus. Gradually I began to experience my creativity consciously. It’s not fully expressed in everything, and I am constantly learning. I love learning, and I find joy in expression.”

Creating consciously, I think that is a worthy goal. Do you?

It really comes down to priorities. All of us can say we don’t have time for that — and it’s true. We don’t have time to do many things, which is why we prioritize those things that we have decided have value.

Anyone who is considered a ‘master’, by modern definition has put at least 10,000 hours into the pursuit of doing that thing, whatever it may be.

Recently I came across an article talking about a class of pottery students. They were given an assignment. Half of the students were asked to spend a week doing the very best work they could, with no limits on how many pots they were to make.

The other half were told simply to make as many pots as they could, given the same allotted time. Which group do you think performed the best?

The group whose goal was to make the most pots.

Repetition creates experience, and experience creates mastery. (Or at least we slowly get better at something.)

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This one stops up most of us, in any endeavor. I argue that there is no wrong in Art, or writing for that matter.

When I had been knitting for a little while and working for my local yarn store, I quickly became enamored with creating my own designs, originally just for the shop. One of the other employees, an older woman with loads of experience, was telling me that the way I wanted to do something was ‘wrong’. I looked at her like she had two heads.

There are a million paths to the same final goal. The path you choose is up to you alone.

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Which really leads us to the bigger question here, which is of course ‘why bother‘? This question is one you can only answer for yourself, but I’m glad to give you my answer.

I create because it provides me with a more fulfilling life, by knowing that I am skilled, I can do things that no one else can (! — and how great is that?!?), I can make useful items with these two hands. I can make something Beautiful, simply because I had a vision and wanted to see it to fruition. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and each time I make something, I gain just a little more. I love seeing my conscious efforts made into a reality.

In my life I’ve met plenty of people who say ‘I’m not creative’. Pshaw on that! I wholeheartedly disagree. I ask you this — when have you seen a child who does not want to make art, or to be creative in some way? When have you met a child who does not want to sing and dance and express themselves musically?

What does it take to be an Artist? Why exactly are people so concerned with this label attachment? My belief is that anyone who creates something out of their own, original idea (notwithstanding that we all know most ideas are indeed sparked by something we have seen) — is an Artist. That is really all it takes.

Writers are Artists as well, using words as their medium.

I more so think that what happens as many people age is they stop seeing the beautiful colors of the world, they no longer hear that tune that makes them want to sway their hips, they stop believing in magic. Some call this growing up. I say they stop feeling.

In some ways, I feel as though I have never grown-up, because I still see the world through that lens. I see Wonder all around me.

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Art is more than the creation of a physical item, for me Art is the ultimate expression of who I am as a person, tiny bits of my soul made bare. To put it quite simply, I choose to live a creative life because it makes me happy. One’s truest expression of Self should be exalted and shouted from the mountaintops.

In today’s advancing technological age, I feel more than ever that we need to fight to keep Arts alive, not only in our schools, but also in our day-to-day lives.

Don’t let the colors fade. Make your own Rainbows.

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Originally published at on August 10, 2015.

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Holes and a series of rabbits — my debut poetry collection — now available!

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