Not Artsy? Neither Am I. But We Can Still Create.
I know I’m not alone in saying that some people (including me) simply are not artsy. I can’t envision how a decoration should be laid out, I can’t angle a shot perfectly, I can’t draw to save my life, and even crafty things with instructions leave me flustered. But that doesn’t mean I’m not creative (a lesson I’ve been learning).
I believe that all human beings are made to be creative. It’s vital to our identity and it often brings us fulfillment. However, I’m learning more and more how this elusive “creativity” is not tied solely to the arts as I subconsciously—and detrimentally—thought for a long time.
I’m talking about how I’ve seen creativity stuck into a box labeled “The Arts,” a box filled with paintings, pictures, music, crafts, and the like. That’s obviously one place where creativity belongs, but it isn’t the only place it belongs. When we limit creativity to the arts it is far too easy to see creativity only in a finished art “product.”
We need a revolution in how we delegate and approach creativity. Rather than creating false ideals that end with Etsy pages or offering opportunities only to the “artsy type”, we need to realize creativity is not only expressed by a product, but by a mindset.
Not Everyone Is An Artist, and That’s Okay
When you don’t feel like the “creative type” there is nothing worse than recognizing the need for creativity but thinking the only way to embrace that is to do something crafty or artsy. For some people that is how their creativity is manifested, and that’s a good thing.
But that isn’t how everyone functions.
You can still exercise creativity even if you have nothing tangible to show for it. You can be creative in the way you approach a challenge at work, the way you communicate with a co-worker, the spontaneous adventure you plan with a friend, the schedule you meticulously organize and follow, the meal you whip together with ingredients on hand, or the delicious dinner you plan for friends. We all want and need creativity in our lives, so it is important to have a healthy view.
I think that this can be summed up in the idea of holistic creativity.
I work for the small classical liberal arts college I once attended. The core curriculum at the school is built around the idea of a holistic approach to learning and the world in general. Having a holistic approach to the world enables you to see how each area of life influences and impacts another. We do not learn in isolation. The different things we learn feed into other areas of life and help to form us as complete beings.
I think that creativity needs to be seen from this vantage point. It should be able to influence and impact all the different areas of our life.
If we can learn to think outside the box and let creativity speak to various pieces and parts of our lives, we will grow to appreciate it more, not exclude it to the arts. We can view it as an approach and a mindset that gives us a sense of inventiveness and excitement that something is better for having done it, and I think it is vital for us to embrace living creatively in a way that enhances and blends into our abilities and talents.
Image by Frank McKenna via Unsplash.