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Asking Myself Grade School Questions About Creativity

Getting to the heart of creativity, I’ve been asking some questions lately, 5 questions to be exact. The kind of questions I learned to ask when I was in grade school. You know… the what, why, where, when, and how! I’m compelled to answer these questions about creativity, asking them for myself and my creative journey. If you read my post about vulnerability, you’ll know I’m ready to dive in and keep things real. Welp, in the spirit of vulnerability, I don’t really know the answers to these questions…

What is creativity?
Why do we create?
Where do we create?
When do we create?
How do we create?

Questions About Creativity

Questions About Creativity

Considering myself a creative person, I have been taking it for granted almost all of my life. I’ve said this before, I know how to create things  A+B=C, so then I thought I knew everything there was to know. Not much to it, no feeling or emotion about it, just the doing. I was good at the doing part, not taking in the what it is and why I do it.

I’m so pleasantly surprised to discover it is so much more. My deep inner creative soul has been sparked! And because of my new found excitement, I’m on a journey of exploration, going back to the basics of making and re-learning what creativity is all about.

Over the last several months, with my year of mindfulness, I’ve been on a quest to find some answers. I’m very curious and soaking it all in. Reading, researching, and observing creativity in all its forms. In the end, it comes down to this…what’s the point of creativity? Well, I’m going to attempt to answer these questions as best as I can.

Definition of Creativity

What is creativity?

Creativity is the act of having an idea, sometimes turning into something physical, making a creation of something. It typically has to do with an artistic process, but there are so many ways to be creative, not limited to the art world. You can be creative at work and play. Inventing a product or process. Helping fill a need or solving a problem. It can be creating something for business or simply for entertaining. Using that big beautiful brain and having an idea – light bulb!

Gru Light Bulb Moment

Why do we create?

The why is all about a feeling we get, a connection, something inside burns or glows and it’s a drive to want to keep doing it. We learn and grow from this process of creating, innovating, and it’s satisfying. We want to be part of the process again and again. Ideas keep getting thought and put into action. The process of making keeps rolling along because we have a feeling or emotion surrounding it. A creation helps something or someone and we’re happy. We provided, we connected, we get a sense of helpfulness and it drives us to keep the creative world going round and round.

Where do we create?

Anywhere, everywhere. There’s really no place off limits to create something. You could be at the gym creating a new exercise, in an art class, a dance class, in your kitchen with a new recipe, in your basement on your guitar, or at your computer with a story or poem. Although when we actively create, making a plan, we’ve usually set aside an area or time conducive to our creating. Most of the time there is thought behind the where. Dancing will need a little more space than writing in a journal. Painting will need to be an area where you have supplies set up or baking a cake would most likely need to be in a kitchen.

When do we create?

Literally every moment of our lives we are creating. New thoughts come into our minds all the time. It’s exciting, and sometimes annoying. We plan, we schedule, we participate. Most of the time we are active about this creating – planning it out and executing the creation. But sometimes those creative ideas come in the middle of the night while in bed, those moments when you wake up with a creative thought – always have a notepad and pen handy by your bedside! Some people claim the morning is the best time for new ideas, some say staying up late at night gets their creative juices going. To each their own. No wrong way when to create.

Creativity Doesn't Need Limits

And How do we create?

Back to the mechanics, it is about that doing. There’s something magical that happens in the moment you take a thought in your mind and create it into physical form or make a plan for your creation to come to life in some way. It’s in your brain and now you’re bringing it to life, into existence. It all starts as a thought. I’ve never really realized how meaningful that is, how important a thought is and what it can become when we take action. That moment of acting on that thinking. Taking a thought, working through the steps, and creating! A+B=C… A(thoughts/ideas) + B(method/supplies/action) = C(process or product). The results aren’t always the same, but the process of how we create is usually very similar for everyone.

Me and a My Creative Process

For me and my creativity, it’s ever changing. It’s been one thing in my life and now another. I used it to help make money, to provide useful DIY projects for my home, and to keep my kids active in crafts. For most of my creative life, my purpose was to make something and sell something, it was a physical purpose in marketing and selling. Even back in 6th grade when I learned how to make scrunchies and sold them at a boutique! Then I created to simply share and started a blog, which helped make money and provide. But feelings of self doubt and unworthiness set in as time went on in the online world and I stopped creating at all. I took a big break, I needed some time off of creating in general. But then that wasn’t serving me, a part of me was missing. Becoming more aware of a depression I was in, I recognized what I needed and how I could be part of the creative process once again. This time around, on my terms in a new way. Creating for me, for an audience of onegreat book by the way, read it! I am now ready to create for the purpose of play and discovery and wonder. I want to try new things, dip my toes into more of what creativity has to offer, being curious. I want to develop my creative soul, spark joy and delight, making life more fulfilling. Most of all I hope this new creative journey will bring me more connection. Connecting with myself, connecting with other makers, and connecting with the creative process – materials, medium, making.

So it’s time to go to work. No one is going to create for me. It takes action, like all things. Creativity is no different, gotta work my creative muscle.

Open to Creativity

I’m open to the path of where this experience is going to take me. I don’t know where it will go, but I’m open and very excited!

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**images by Richard Balog and The Creative Exchange

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