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Rock the Quarantine: Creative Spark Saturday!

Are you creative?

I’ll answer for you: you are!

Even if you answered, “not really” when you read that question, the fact is: YOU ARE CREATIVE. If you have thoughts, feelings and ideas that are original to you, by very definition of the word, that IS creativity!

Creativity looks different in each of us and is unique to the individual. I love to think about a box of crayons and how pretty that picture is with the various colors, and if the box is big enough, there are multiple shades of different colors. Similar colors, but unique unto themselves. That’s creativity!

Sometimes we can feel weary of self-expression or even feel uninspired, but that doesn’t make us any less creative. There is a season for everything. I’m a writer by nature and secondary vocation so writing something every day is important. But I’ve had to take months at a time away from writing because of the fatigue I felt. I still had thoughts, feelings and ideas flowing through me, sometimes those thoughts were stuck in my brain or yelling so loudly in my head that I had to make note of them just to get them out of my head and onto the page. But, the creative process, the “getting it out” and developing it had to be put on hold because I was tired. Still creative, just not creating.

You are creative. But do you create?

If you feel as though you are not creative and wouldn’t know a creative process if it bit your nose… Even though I’ve explained why simply being you IS creativity in essence and that you can choose to create… Perhaps you are still stuck in denial… I’ll help you along, shall I?

If you’re feeling dry, dull or as though you have no creative spark, there is ONE foolproof way to find it. Are you ready for this? (I’m so excited to tell you!) The ONE way to spark your creativity is to:

Ask a question.

That’s it! When we ask questions, even about the most common things in our life and our world, especially questions we DON’T know the answers to, we open up a myriad of possibilities! For instance, I’m afraid of water bugs. Not necessarily afraid of them, but they kind of gross me out. Why? I couldn’t tell you. But one day I thought: ”I wonder what the purpose of a water bug is?” Then I wondered, because the bugs seem to come out in the dark then run away in the light: “Are water bugs afraid of the light, much like some humans are afraid of the dark?” Which led me to think about a story of a young water bug whose mother is teaching him about being a water bug, when to go out in search of water, and so on. You can see how, by asking a simple question, one that I do not know the answer to, it allowed my thoughts to wander into something that perhaps could be a cute children’s book someday! (Though I can’t imagine a water bug being “cute”!)

Asking questions about a particular object or event can also help spark creativity. For instance, perhaps you are a painter. You might look at a sweet, little, curly-tailed, pink pig and wonder what it would look like if it were blue instead. Then you paint it. There have been many artists who have recommended focusing on the same subject and rendering it in different ways. This requires asking the question: What would it look like if ____?” Then to engage in the creating process by painting it that way.

I have a friend who might consider himself an amateur photographer (am I right, Jason?). He has been taking a picture of the same scene for months now. It’s amazing how each photograph looks so different even though the subject hasn’t changed. The Grand Artist shows us how to be creative: to look at the same thing but to see it differently, to render it differently time and again. My friend’s photographs of that same place in Northern Michigan have served to grow a tenderness within me for that place. I’ve been there so that helps, but seeing the place through his lense, through his creativity, evokes emotions and memories within me. It’s beautiful. It’s creative.

Asking questions is a great way to interact with the art and creativity of others. There have been many times when I’ve had my creativity sparked by contemplating a painting at the art museum, watching a movie or reading a book. When we allow ourselves to interact with the world around us, to engage it with an open mind, there is room for our creativity to be sparked. Then we have the choice: to create or not to create. Will we sit with our thoughts and ideas or will we express them through words, songs, paintings, photographs or the like? You may think you don’t have it in you but you won’t know until you try. There is no “wrong” in creativity. It’s about you being your authentic self. Beautiful. Unique. Invaluable.

I encourage you to ask questions.

To choose to create.

To believe: you ARE creative!

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