A few months ago, one of my work colleagues asked me a question: is creativity something you’re born with, or is it something you learn? In my mind, the answer is both. At least, that’s the way it is for me. My mother is extremely creative, as is her sister (my aunt), and their mother (my grandmother). I was born with those genes, but I’ve also had to cultivate and refine any ‘skills’ or ‘talents’ within me. Olympians don’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I think I’ll compete today!” It doesn’t work like that. Runners might be born with great legs, but they have to put in the training to become fit enough sprint long distances. You get what I’m saying?
So, I think we can be born with creative inclinations… But I also think we have to develop them.
Over the course of my twenty-seven years, I’ve tried so many different creative ‘outlets’ that I don’t think I could name them all if I wanted to, but let me take you on a picture journey down memory lane to give you an idea of a few…
Obviously I’m a writer, so we’re skipping past that one since I don’t think my publishers will be too pleased with me if I post anything from one of my books just yet (eek!)… So we’ll jump straight onto the next one. And that’s music.
I think I came out of the womb singing (my poor mother) and I haven’t stopped since then. I played various instruments all through school, and about two years ago I finally decided to teach myself guitar so that I could do the whole singer/songwriter thing – which I still do to this day since I love it so much:
(Please excuse the lack of make-up and bogan hair/clothes, lol. Oh, and BTW, my guitar is named ‘Kovu’ – bonus points if you can guess why!):
… I’ve also sketched (this is such a great way to tune out on life if ever your head is going a gazillion miles an hour and you just need to find a way to relax):
… I’ve decorated cakes (messy… always sooooo messy!):
… I’ve knitted (don’t judge me! I love it! I make the softest baby blankets in the world – this multi-coloured one is my favourite!):
… I’ve painted:
Okay, I confess: I’m not actually Leonardo da Vinci (gasp!)… So, umm… sadly the above picture can’t be credited to my creative genius. Le sigh.
But I have played with a whole stack of other creative outlets over the course of my life: I’ve scrapbooked, I’ve done other needlecraft (is it even called this?), I’ve designed and created clothing from scratch, I’ve worked with clay and pottery, I’ve made masks (don’t ask), I even made a fake Christmas tree for my workplace last year when we didn’t have a real one available:
… Okay, I’m pretty sure you get the point. I’ve dabbled in a number of creative fields. Some I’ve loved, some I haven’t. One way or another, I’ve come to truly appreciate creativity in all forms.
It’s time for another confession: I think I’ve become so distracted by trying to find the pictures for this post that I’ve forgotten the whole point of what I’d originally intended to say. And for the life of me, I can’t seem to remember it. So I’m going to end this with a question for you: do you agree with the answer I gave my colleague? That creativity is both something you’re born with and something you develop? Or do you have a different opinion?