Creativity is chronically misunderstood.

Most people think that to be creative they have to be really good at something like oil painting or drawing or photography. Most people think that there isn’t any point investing time in creativity unless you are a) really good at it b) make an income out of it or c) it’s good enough to post on social media which covers a and b.

Here’s the thing though, we are all creative beings!

Check this out, the earliest known human art is thought to be at least 40,000 years old!!!! If our ancient ancestors were busy surviving and running away from sabre tooth tigers and still found time to create art on their cave walls that really says something about human nature.

Our brains are physiologically designed to create.

This means creating things that are purely for the sake of creation and personal meaning and not for the sake of function or survival. That’s actually a massive massive deal when you think about it. Because if you don’t work in a creative industry (such as say graphic design or photography), how much time do you invest every day in being creative? Every week? Every year? Ever? If you are anything like me, I went through a long drought of non-creativity. I had the perfectionist attitude that there was ‘no point’ in being creative as I was crap at it and there was no satisfactory ‘end result’. However, in my wisdom (ehem) – these days I know without a shadow of a doubt that flexing your ‘creativity’ muscles has so many amazing side effects including:

  • Increased mindfulness as you are ‘forced’ to focus on a single task
  • Creating new pathways in your brain – creative activities are much less likely to have a formal procedure you have to follow so your brain has to stretch to accommodate novel input
  • Opening your mind to opportunities – basically you learn how to think outside the square more effectively
  • Simple joy. Children have this sussed. They colour, paint, glue, build and craft because it’s fun. They make up songs, characters, games, entire imaginary worlds because it’s magical. You definitely reconnect with this as a parent which is a wonderful gift. It’s amazing how absorbed I can get in creating a new lego world or drawing colourful creatures with my son.

I know loads of amazing and talented individuals who nurture creative side hustles! For most it started as a hobby they did purely for the joy of it, then for many they decided to invest a bit more into it and make it into a business like say photography, or handmade baby clothes or handmade stationery. All of these people still have day jobs (radiographer, Education Assistant, physiotherapist respectively), but do what they do because they love love love it.

Isn’t that wonderful?

Love Michelle

P.S I’d love to hear your thoughts on creativity? Do you have a creative hobby? Or is it something that hasn’t been on your radar? If the latter, would you be willing to explore creativity given the benefits? Share your comments below.

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