Wednesday, July 8, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (C - Creativity)

This post is the third in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

C is for Creativity

Creativity is defined as "a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed" or "the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc." Creativity incorporates originality, progressiveness, imagination, and seeing things in a new and different way.

Most of my life I thought I was not creative. Growing up I was the "smart, pretty one" and considered myself the least creative person in my family. Looking back I realize my view was skewed because I showed creativity in lots of ways - in writing and baking and crafting and acting.

Even now when someone compliments me on my Creativity, I laugh and tell the story of how I'm not really all that creative. But the evidence is stronger now that I do, in fact, have that creative gene that we are all born with (because we are created in the image of The Creator). I enjoy numerous creative activities, especially scrapbooking and card-marking.

Recently I've been stepping outside my comfort zone to try different activities to stretch my Creativity. For example, even though I'm not a painter, I transformed that ceramic sun in a few short hours. Once I hung it back on the patio wall, I realized that the rusty metal sunflower piece hanging on the other side of the back door looked awfully boring. That was the INSPIRATION I needed to pull it down and transform it, too! (I forgot to take a photo before I started, so the before shot is after I'd sprayed on a base primer coat.)

I had tons of FUN with this project, even mixing paints to create different colors!

My favorite part of working on this piece, however, was having my own little "art studio" set up on the big table in the front room, complete with flowers from Robbie for INSPIRATION. This little space just made me feel so creative and artistic!

I'm also fortunate that our local library offers a monthly DIY class where I can try new things. Last month in the Sharpie Art Class, I actually utilized my weak drawing skills to decorate a pair of bowls using alcohol-based Sharpie markers. Once the bowls were baked in the oven, the design was set and now we can use the bowls (like we did for Robbie's cobbler earlier this week). I also created a plate as a birthday gift for one of my teenage friends, and my friend Claire created bowls with a doodle design and a monogram.

I think my Creativity is most evident when I'm teaching. I enjoy the planning and preparation that go into teaching, whether it's a Middle School Careers & Technology class, a university level business course, a mixed media art class, a Bible study, an entire retreat curriculum, a card-making class or a Sunday Morning Children's Church session.
I also find that reading about Creativity provides INSPIRATION for being more creative. I recently enjoyed The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp (see my review HERE), and I'm currently reading Spark: How Creativity Works, which is based on previous episodes of the Studio 360 radio show. Each chapter shares the story of an influential creative, including filmmakers, sculptors, poets, writers, etc. The book jacket description states: "Creativity is integral to business, parenting, education, science and, perhaps most poignantly, our personal relationships." The stories are fascinating, and more than once I've had to stop reading after a chapter and do a little research to view artwork or read more about the individuals discussed.

For example, I was intrigued after reading about Painter Chuck Close and his huge grid-style portraits, so I scrolled through a gallery of his works. I also had to see Mel Chin's Revival Field and some of David Plowden's photographs.  I still have a few chapters to go in this book, but I definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about Creativity. This quote from the book sums up another wonderful way to think about Creativity:

The essential gift is to be open to wonder, and to let that wonder spark your creativity.

In summary, Creativity involves seeing and doing things in new ways. INSPIRATION can lead to Creativity, and Creativity is often the result of INSPIRATION, thus the two are intertwined.

Do you consider yourself creative? Please share your thoughts on Creativity and INSPIRATION in the comments.

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)   H(Hiking)
I(Immersion)   J(Journaling)   K(Knowledge)
L(Learning)   M(Movement)   N(Nurturing) 
O(Organization)   P(Planning)   Q(Quiet)   R(Reading)
S(Style)   T(Teaching)   U(Upcycle)   V(Vacation)
W(Work)   X(Xciting)   Y(Yuletide)   Z(Zzzzzs)


  1. Great post today melissa...until I discovered scrapbooking, i too thought I didn't have a creative bone in my body! xx

  2. I never thought I was creative either---at least not until I started scrapbooking. Then I realized a few things about myself. I just didn't recognize creativity in myself. I've always been a good writer. I have a knack for pairing plants in the garden. I'm a really good decorator. And I have creative ways to organize. I think that I just always thought of creativity when it comes to being artistic. When it comes to painting or drawing, I don't have a creative bone in my body!!

  3. When I was younger I never considered myself creative - I was told as a child that I was the brainy one. However, even as a child (looking back)'I was creative, as I knitted, cross stitched and did tapestries. When I took up scrapbook img I never thought that I could create pages like I was seeing on the web, however I am now told how creative I am by my friends and family and realise that as long as you have a go that is the important thing and then your skills develop.


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!