In all my years of blogging and teaching paper crafting – in speaking with and teaching thousands of card makers and mixed media artists around the world – the #1 thing that I hear, over and over again is this:
“I am not creative”, “I am not artistic”, “I can’t come up with my own ideas”, “I don’t know how to take an idea and make it my own”.
Different ways of saying it – but ultimately all saying the same thing. “I am not creative!”
I am here to tell you that this belief is absolutely, unequivocaly NOT TRUE!
There is a wide-spread misconception about creativity that is perpetuated almost everywhere we turn.
The first definition of creativity you see when you look at the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.”
Below that, it lists the “Full Definition of Creativity” as the quality of being creative, the ability to create. If you dig further and look at “create,” the dictionary states that to create is “to make or produce something, to cause something new to exist”
Most people mistakenly interpret “new” as “original”. They are NOT the same thing.
When something is “original” it is “the first of it’s kind”
Whereas when you make (i.e. create) something – you are making something new. “New” meaning – you brought it to life, so to speak. It was not in existence, in EXACTLY the same way before you made it.
Think about it for a minute. As far back as 180-450 BCE Solomon said “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
In the grand scheme of humanity and the billions of humans that populate the earth – there are relatively few things that are truly unique and original.
Let’s bring this a little closer to home. Let’s look at this in the context of crafting. Almost all of our “hottest trends” today – right now – are things that have been trendy in the past – either in exactly the same form, or in a slightly different form. Sometimes from within the same industry, other times from another industry.
Look at Multi-layered stamping which is so hot right now (I talk about it in this FB post) – it used to be called 2-step stamping.
Or look at watercoloring or other mixed media techniques – they have taken the paper crafting world by storm in the last few years – but these products and techniques have been around forever in the art industry.
Remember paisley and plaid? First we saw them incorporated into fashions. Then they made their way into papers and stamps. Then they disappeared, now they’re emerging in clothing again.
None of these things are “original” or “unique”. Does that mean they are not creative? Or that they are not being used creatively?
What most people don’t understand about creativity is that YOU are your own creative barrier – your thoughts, your perceptions, your beliefs, what you tell yourself.
Creativity is not a talent. It’s not a gift. It is an element of every thing that you do.
It is a part of who you are.
Creativity is not something you learn.
Look at a child. Give them crayons, color pencils, markers, scissors, glue and paper, and they create with abandon.
Certainly you have to teach them how to hold a pencil and how to use a pair of scissors safely, you have to teach them to color on paper instead of a wall. You may even have to teach them a few techniques (how to draw a circle, a square a triangle).
What you do not have to teach them is how to express themselves creatively. They just do.
It’s when people come along and starting giving opinions, critiquing, maybe even criticizing – not necessarily maliciously – perhaps with total love and intent to help. But it’s when that begins to happen that they start doubting themselves and what they are creating.
Over time, that child becomes the adult, who no longer “feels” or believes they are creative.
You ARE creative. Believe it, wholeheartedly.
It is there – inside you – you just need to learn how to release your creativity.
That’s what I am here for.
I have been where you may be now. Believing that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body.
Look at where I am now – embracing my creativity, and continuing to grow and develop creatively.
How did I get to where I am now? Trial, error and experimentation, learning, trying, reflecting and then starting over as many times as necessary. Eventually I created a process for myself.
It’s not one step, or two steps, it can’t be accomplished in one day, a week or even a month. It’s ongoing and ever-evolving.
But it can be done, and I will be showing you how.
In the meantime though – this is the truth I want you to embrace – you are creative.
Tell yourself this: “I am Creative”
Every day. Write it out, type it out or stamp it out using some fun fonts and colors. Create multiple copies. Stick it up everywhere you spend time – stick it to your bathroom mirror, in the kitchen, place it on your night table, or frame it and hang it up above your bed.
As many times as it takes – until you stop telling yourself (or others) that you are not creative.
Now go and do it.
*If this post resonates with you, please leave me a comment and share it with your friends.
Last week, in this post, I promised you that when my Sunny Stampin’ FB page hit 250 “likes” I would share with you a profound truth about creativity that is key to breaking through your creative barriers – if, and ONLY if – you allow it to.
We’ve actually hit over 320 likes in less than 1 week – so thank you!
I was initially going to share this post on the Sunny Stampin’ FB page – but decided that this was too big and too important to limit to Facebook – especially because I know that there are many of you that are not on Facebook.
So I decided to share this truth here.