Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Perspective on Creativity

Before we get started as a group in the book, ‘The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women’ and begin to pursue the thought/blog process prompts from Jamie I thought I’d just share what I believe about creativity coming in.

I’ve been a quilter for many years and for a period of time in order to be near the essential elements of the art/craft, mainly fabric and thread, I worked part time in a fabric store. It used to frustrate me immensely to wait on customers who would come in with a book/pattern for a quilt and insist and precisely duplicating every single fabric in the illustration. I couldn’t imagine myself devoting all the time and effort to a project destined to be merely a replica of someone else’s choices and vision. I thought THEY lacked any creativity and imagination.

Not long after my present view of creativity began to develop when our local church became involved in a ministry to women exiting prison as a sort of half-way house and asked for volunteers and program ideas. Many skilled people volunteered resume writing skills, financial management, dress for success advice, etc., etc.

About that time I had read an article on art therapy and offered it to the program director as an idea for something that might be useful if they could find someone of that persuasion willing to donate time. The response was "What day/evening are you available?" HA! I had to laugh – one article certainly didn’t qualify me as any sort of expert but instead of refusing my thought was I could begin something, claim a time slot, and maybe someone more knowledgeable would quickly step up. As I prepared to begin I thought long and hard about why former addicts, prostitutes, etc. would accept arts and crafts, so to speak, as beneficial to them in any way. The premise of the entire program was the intent to help these women grow into the women God intended them to be. I very quickly latched on to the concept that I believe each of us to be a unique individual created by God and to believe in/accept a creator the Bible states in Genesis He created us in His own image and the very first, most primary thing we know of Him is He created. Therefor, it MUST follow that creativity is a basic, primary, even essential component of what we as human beings are.

Creativity can be expressed in any form – music, writing, art, the construction from wood or metal of any number of objects, the approach to child rearing or serving in whatever occupation compensates us, but we MUST flow in some creative way.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Embracing the 'newness'

Ahhhhhhhh...a new blog! Just like that first, fresh, virgin page of a blank new journal while the paper's still crisp and if you close your eyes you might even catch the scent through the bleach of whatever tree's pulp was pressed and processed to make it. I remember in grade school thinking the smell of fresh paper was kind of intoxicating until I realized it was the mimeograph inks my teachers 'printed' it with. Nothing in contemporary life comes close to the memory of that scent - it was probably not only eclipsed by photocopy machines in modern technology but I would bet somehow it was considered a toxic material to be banned forever. What a shame.

I came here to join in a process, a growth experience in creativity, with other participants and I'm excited about it. It's a step toward developing as a writer and artist meant to give hobbies and interests I've long felt passionately about more solid respect and worth in my own estimation and those around me. I've always resented that family members and friends seem to discount time spent on those pursuits as merely recreation and therefor open to being interrupted and even expecting me to totally push them aside to meet their needs and demands on my time & energy and yet I've let them do it. It's much easier to 'take a stand' now that I'm mostly alone and without much in the way of demands on my time and energy but I'm hoping easier doesn't mean less worthwhile or meaningful. That would be hugely disappointing. It's taken a long time to get here - to this freedom and room to spread my wings.