Though I do now, I have not always considered myself to be a "creative" person.
Growing up, I held very distinct views on this subject:
There were non-creative folks. They didn't even try or think it was possible for them to be creative.
There were crafty creative folks. People who could decorate a cake prettily, bedazzle, quilt or build things like birdhouses.
And then there were artists. People who could draw lifelike images with ease. They could invent worlds that never existed. And they could visually manifest abstract ideas and concepts.
Art seemed like something that required angst, suffering and months or years of toiling over a word or chord or brush stroke. Art seemed to be the cause of much depression, anxiety and a strange form of perfectionism that required you shun society, live like a hermit or remove one's ear. I had no patience for these things.
I considered myself (somewhat secretly) to be among the crafty creatives.
As an only child, I spent endless hours experimenting with glitter glue, carefully applying it to shoe boxes. I created my own version of a scrapbook, which consisted of stuffing as many photos, papers, magazine cutouts, stickers and other paraphernalia into one book that it was destined to never close properly again. I rebelled against my high school uniform by cutting, ripping and painting every non-uniform item of clothing I owned (much to my mother's chagrin). I covered my face with glitter gel and streaked my hair with turquoise during the summer months.
I even started a fledgling business drawing posters of pro sports logos for my 6th grade classmates. I think I grossed about $15 and a Charlotte Hornets emblazoned basketball.
In college, I found knitting and began experimenting with my own designs and stitch patterns. I would start with an inspiring yarn, a pair of needles and just create, sometimes intentionally and sometimes with no plan in mind.
It was thrilling.
No rules. No expectations. No pressure for perfection. No requirement for purpose or functionality.
I was creating for the pure joy of it.
Tapping into this joyful creation, I realized that I needed this outlet in my life to be truly happy and to fully express myself.
And then something switched over in my brain.
I was no longer of the opinion that there were non-creatives, crafty creatives or artists. I now fully grasped that we are ALL creative.
As humans, creating things is an innate part of our existence. It's how we communicate, share ourselves, make change, solve problems, make meaning, inspire awe and find joy. It's also a way for us to play, experiment, make mistakes and tap into a state of flow.
This creativity is much like a muscle -- the more you make it a habit, the more you practice, the easier it is to access and the more natural it becomes.
Unnecessary creation -- like my knitting adventures -- is a source of this practice.
The more you create without pressure or expectation, the freer you are to make mistakes and try new things. The freer you are to create your art.
That's what inspired me to create Fuzzy Lime Pizza Napkin, a game designed for more joyful creation; a game that inspires and enables anyone to make creativity a habit.
More on Fuzzy Lime Pizza Napkin soon!