As an artist, I have heard the phrase "I wish I was creative too", too many times to keep count. I always have the same reaction to this: I am filled with a deep sense of sadness.
Like the boisterously charming French chef in Ratatouille, I am a firm believer that anyone has the ability to be creative. I'm not suggesting that we can all become Picasso... but with practice, nurturing and heart, anyone can learn the art of being creative.
Unfortunately, when it comes to our own creativity, we tend to label ourselves as either creative or not. Black or white. Too often, people who find fulfillment or joy in being creative judge their own work as wrong or bad (or is judged so by others). Why continue to practice and nurture something that isn't right or good? Very soon, we lose heart. At some point in our lives, each and every one of us loved to scribble with crayons on a piece of scrap paper; draw in the sand; build a hide-out from branches and boxes; make newspaper party hats... We loved doing it. We loved being creative. But, somewhere along the line we convinced ourselves that our handiwork isn't good. Or that someone else's is better. We judged and compared and looked down on and tore our inner-creative and each other's apart. And we stopped seeing ourselves as being creative.
Right and wrong no longer exist when it comes to the expression of your own creativity; the lines between good and bad are totally blurred (I grant you express permission to roll your eyes at anyone who suggests otherwise!). As individualistic, uniquely different beings, how dare we impress our own beliefs of what is right and wrong, good and bad, on anyone who might not share our perspective. In essence, perspective is what it all comes down to in the end. Our perspective is formed by such a vast collection of influences. Add to that our inherent, built-in wiring that makes us who we are... And it becomes all too clear why one person might stand in front of a billion-dollar-work-of-art-by-a-world-renowned-master and think, "My far-sighted grandma can do better", while someone else else might look at the same artwork and swoon at its very existence. The same principle is at play when these two people look any piece of art - be it masterpiece or amateur doodle.
The process of being creative is far more important than the end result. Studies have proven that being creative is massively beneficial to your health: increased mood, decreased anxiety, heightened cognitive function, reduced risk of chronic illnesses and improved immune health. Take a moment to read this great article that shares more.
If being creative makes you happy - DO IT. And do it without judging and labelling the end result. Feel free to call yourself creative. Practice, nurture and protect your creativity. Do it with real heart. And encourage those around you to do the same.
In essence, that is what I would like to accomplish with the interactive Instagram hashtag, #MyHappyCrafts, and the super fun DIY craft tutorials that I will share in my monthly newsletter. I would love for adults to once again embrace, and for kids to never let go of their inner-creative.
Be part of #MyHappyCrafts:
Follow me on Instagram or sign up for my monthly newsletter to never miss a new tutorial. All ages and skillsets welcome and most projects will be kid-friendly (although sometimes you just gotta have some ME-time). I promise to always share a fun, easy-to-follow photo or video tutorial that includes downloadable templates and extras where needed.
Take some pics of your project (and the process!) and upload them to Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag, #MyHappyCrafts, to stand a chance to win some really cool prizes each month. But please -- don't let that drive you! See it as a gentle nudge from me to go off and practice and nurture your creative heart!
#MyHappyCrafts tutorials so far:
Click on the photo to go to the tutorial!