I’m a Harsh Judge of Creativity, or I Was

The UU Lent word for today is creativity. It didn’t require much creativity for them to think of that word, did it? I hope I can make my thoughts on this not only creative, but interesting, since only eleven people looked at yesterday’s masterpiece on sanctuary. I enjoyed writing it, anyway.

This is the Instagram post for creativity, with comment.

First, yes, I think creativity is important, and I have no doubt that I am a creative person. That’s probably why I like brainstorming so much. The ideas just keep coming.

This thing I knitted was actually done completely by a set of instructions. Even the yarn is the type called for in the pattern, though I chose the colors and the beads.I have been told many, many times how creative it was.

However, most of my life I’ve always viewed creativity through a narrow lens. My personal definition of creativity seemed to be to think of something new and different and bring it to fruition. Originality has been important to me. In other words, it’s sorta like how some people define art versus craft. Art is original and craft is creating something based on a pattern. I’ve always been crafty, but not artistic (in my own mind).

Because of this mindset, I would always bristle when someone would look at something I knitted, needlepointed, or otherwise “made,” and said, “Oh, you are just SO creative!” I would uncomfortably respond with, “I just followed a pattern, though I guess choosing a color was creative.” Or, I’d get told a newsletter I made was creative, and I’d think, “No, I just arranged what people gave me and put it in a template. Whoever made the template was creative!”

Whoever designed this triple goddess in iron was creative.

I was wrong, so don’t waste your time shooting holes in those arguments. I’ve come to a much wider view of creativity, where I think we all get to join the Creativity Club. Any time we put things together in a new way, tweak a recipe, put together a new outfit, etc., we’re exercising our creative talents. We’re making something new and interesting out of whatever is at hand. I like this viewpoint better.

I’m glad I get to arrange furniture, select lighting and paint, and plan uses for rooms in renovated houses. I’m glad I get to arrange objects on my shelves and tables in ways that please me. It’s great to do crafty things and follow the directions OR branch off. Our minds need to be able to take chances and do new things. It keeps us fresh and alive!

Taking a hideous room with no windows and no ceiling and making it into a workable office…I guess that’s creative.

How do you manifest YOUR creativity?

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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