Tapping into Creativity

As Carolina Man and I were falling asleep last night, I said to him, "I feel like I need to do more with creativity." It's something I've been thinking about for awhile now. Ever since I graduated and became a "Non-Student,"* I've really been lacking in the creativity department. Most of the creative things I've been part of have been performative and/or community-oriented. But, given the crazy travel schedule I have, I'd really like to find something I can do on my own, on my own time and terms.

But, I really suck at the following:
  • Drawing straight lines
  • Painting (even the walls)
  • Cutting straight lines
  • Sketching anything
  • Basically anything artistic that has to do with hand-eye coordination 
I have to start thinking outside of the box. I used to have a knack for scrap-booking back in the day, which makes me think I might like doing some kind of collage work with found objects. I have no idea what that would look like, but I like the idea of layering things and piecing things together in interesting ways.

But, I kind of have a fear of the things I make sucking really badly. Then again, as Carolina Man reminded me last night, being creative doesn't have to be for anyone else but me. I can just do it for the sake of doing it, for having the outlet.

Hmm, an interesting concept for me. Not being judged on something I do? That would be a first.

How do you tap into your creativity? I'd especially love to hear from those of you who aren't "artists" in the traditional sense!

*I'm kind of getting tired of referring to myself this way.

15 comments:

  1. I write. I can't draw to save my life. I'm not crafty. I even tried knitting but I get bored easily. Writing is my creative outlet!

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    1. Yeah, I love how you do the creative writing as well! It's never been a strong suit of mine, but I do love to journal.

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  2. I've started making jewelry. I go to the craft store, pick out pendants I like and ropes and clasp them (I taught myself by looking at the clasps on necklaces I have that I like & bringing it to the craft store and asking what they were called & where I could buy them). I'm starting to get into beading now too --it's more fulfilling than I thought to match it all up. I love it!

    I may think about playing with clay too.

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    1. Ooh, jewelry! I never thought about that. I used to babysit a girl who loved beads, and I have to say, it was fun to look at them all.

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  3. I couldn't draw to save my life, and I've never been considered traditionally "artistic." But my creative outlets are photography and quilting.

    You're absolutely right that your creativity doesn't have to please anyone but yourself. Don't focus on being a "skilled" artist. My photos aren't good in a technical sense, but I love taking them and I love that I have such a concrete documentation of my life. It makes me happy, and that's all that matters. I am working on learning the more technical aspects slowly but surely, but it's because it's a goal I've set for myself, not because I want my photos to be considered technically "good" by professional photographers.

    As for quilting, I never would have considered it art. I felt like it was a practical skill. I choose fabrics that make me happy when I look at them, though, and people always comment now on how artistic they are when I'm finished. If they want to call it art, it's fine with me. The important thing is that it's a hobby that I enjoy.

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    1. Thanks, Karen! I think I focus too much on being good at things in general. My goal would be to find something I love, no matter how the "thing" I'm making turns out.

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  4. Have you thought about taking some sort of class in a creative area that interests you? I'm not good at drawing but I used sometimes sit in on art classes at a middle school I used to teach at. I learned some tools and techniques that have improved my skills. I'm still not good at drawing but I am confident that I could be somewhat good at it if I took time to take an actual class and dedicated time to practice the techniques. At the end of the day, the purpose of your creative activity is your having a creative outlet for yourself... if a class will help you be more confident in trying a new artistic skill it could be worth trying out!

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    1. A class is a great idea! My only hesitation is that I have such an irregular schedule. It'd have to be something with a lot of flexibility. But, there might be something just like it!

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  5. I'm like you...I can't sketch or paint or draw a straight line. So instead, I crochet and I take pictures. Those are my main creative outlets. Also...are you on Pinterest? There are tons of great crafting projects on there that don't require much artistic ability.

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    1. Oh, I LOVE Pinterest! I spend way too much time on there. I hadn't looked at crafts, so now I have an excuse to spend even more time looking and browsing. Thanks, Shana!

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  6. Dude. If you're tired of referring to yourself as a 'non-student', the solution is simple! Stop doing it ;)

    Anyways. I second the anonymous commenter. Take a class in something artistic. Your town might have some sort of 'recreation program' that offers such things to adults...or maybe there's a local art program somewhere? Or use the power of youtube videos to teach yourself to knit?

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    1. iris--haha, you are so right! And I love the "power of youtube" phrase. It's true that we don't have to go anywhere to learn something new. Thanks!

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  7. I love "art with rules." I am an amazing knitter, but only if I follow a pattern. I don't care for open-ended expression without instructions or guidelines...it's too overwhelming. But with knitting, I follow a pattern yet I can be creative with color, yarns, etc.

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    1. I love the idea of knitting, but I'm intimidated to try it because I'm afraid I'll suck at it. Hmm, sounds like a theme in my life...

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    2. Everyone sucks in the beginning! :) But if you stick with it you WILL get better and the benefits are amazing!

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