So very often when encouraging moms to craft with their kids or cultivate a hobby of their own, I hear reluctant words like: “But I’m not creative. I can barely draw a stick figure, and my five-year old paints better than I do!”
And the thing is, I get it. Because just a few years ago I was on that same team–making those same claims.
I started out creative—as most of us do—spending my early years sitting on my grandma’s kitchen counter stirring bread dough in her giant green Tupperware bowl, watercolor painting to the click-click sound of her old typewriter, watching my grandpa dissect and then reassemble old cuckoo clocks, building block castles, making playdough with my mom, and using my birthday money to choose a new box of crayons over other toys.
But by high school I sat back and watched friends take art classes, guitar lessons, and participate in drama club—and just wished for the courage to join them.
Creativity was for “talented people” I thought, and so I privately doodled and daydreamed while taking “practical” classes and working at an after-school waitressing job.
After college I started teaching elementary school and once surrounded by the fresh perspective of first graders, some of those deeply buried creative desires began to unroot. With six-year olds as my congregation, it was safe to let creative yearnings emerge and I continuously searched for ways to supplement the core curriculum with innovative teaching methods and artistic projects. They were my safest critics, and most enthusiastic fans!
When I left the classroom to become a full-time mom, I spent many of those early days taking my newborn to the craft store for an afternoon of reading creative magazines and picking out pretty scrapbooking papers. And then while nursing the little bundle I’d just co-created, I’d devour graphic design tutorials to learn Photoshop and fill my newly awakened desire to create.
Yet, it took many years to say I was “creative.”
It seems the default to feel if we’re not expertly trained, earning a full-time income from art, or “abundantly blessed” with that “creative gene,” that we can’t claim a creative title. And so we minimize ourselves and our abilities, cheating ourselves from owning that we (simply because we are living, breathing, human beings) are creative.
I’m saying this because I believe inside every one of us is a spark of creativity. And we all have that creative potential because we were made in the image of the ultimate Creator. We were made to be like Him.
So if you feel you’re not creative, I invite you to consider why you feel that way.
Is there an experience, or series of experiences that influenced these thoughts?
And maybe you really aren’t creative—right now. But do you want to be?
By divine design, if deep within each of us is the inherent ability to create, maybe your ability just needs more development.
My perspective and opinion about my own creativity has evolved over the years. It took learning to kick aside creative fear, recognizing the deep sense of fulfillment creation brings me, and learning to trust my creative instincts. But mostly, it developed through practice.
Because the more I engage in creative activities, the more creative I become. And the more creative I become, the more connected I feel to that divine quality implanted inside my soul.
If you were to spend an hour each day working on something creative, where do you think you could you be in three or five years? If you did something creative every day (even for just a few minutes!), it would be impossible not to get better.
So if creativity is something you crave, listen to and trust your creative sixth sense, and go practice. Now. You owe it to the world, your family, and yourself.