If you feel like you can't even draw a good stick-man, does that mean you're not an artist?
“I just knew I had to be an artist when...” Bah! I never had such a moment.
It may surprise you to hear that I was never comfortable with that title...
My parents were quick to sound acclaims when their smiling squinty-eyed toddler held up her crayon doodles. “You're a real artist!” they'd say. And in kindergarten, when my crudely drawn Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan art became star of the cork-board, I was tagged the class artist.
Since those early days -with journal entries that often featured more drawings than words- I've been dubbed an “artist” many times. But I never felt comfortable accepting that title. Why not?
To me, people were saying that I was different from others. Or somehow better than others. I looked around at the creative minds in my class and felt indignant that they weren't receiving the same attention.
We are All Creative Types
My strongly-held view is this: We are all artists. Some may balk at that, as if I'm condescending to drop some inspirational breadcrumbs to the creatively-stunted from my bountiful artist's table. But hear me out:
Whether or not you subscribe to the notion of a traditional “God,” the plethora of nature's beautiful projects at our constant viewing disposal leaves little doubt as to what kind of source was behind it: a thoroughly creative one.
This lends a hint as to why we create. The Genesis account records the “maker of heaven and earth” announcing “Let us make mankind in our likeness.” If we were made to reflect the qualities of our Maker, is it any wonder we seek to be creators?
Kermit dee Frog once said: “Maybe the Big Bang was really the first creative idea; it got this whole thing going, and maybe it's our purpose to keep it going.”
It is with this logic that I can confidently assert: we are all creative types.
You and I are more alike than you know
One dictionary defines an “artist” as a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby. By that definition, yes, I am an artist. But that title does not define me. And the lack thereof does not define you either. Whether it's carving a world-renowned statue, or finding a new way to organize your cubicle or mop the floor, you were made with the capacity to create.
Jim Henson believed the very best part of creativity is collaborating with friends and colleagues. If you'd like to collaborate with me on a project, please contact me with your idea! Many of my commissioned projects would not have been half as cool without the input and vision of my client! I'd love to hear from you!
Leave a comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To watch an insightful TED Talk by Kermit dee Frog all about creativity and recapturing the inner child, visit this link.