HOLLIS STARTED IT!
I participated in a podcast today with my good friend Hollis Gross-Citron (www.aimcreativephilly.com and her podcast is on Podbean under "Creative Conversations with Hollis Citron") in which we discussed creativity.
This truly got me thinking about creativity and how it affects each and every one of us. What I am going to do today is answer some of those questions.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE CREATIVITY?
My answer on this one is quite simple. I do not define creativity. Creativity defines me.
Any incident or situation. Any conversation or glimpse of something unique. Literally anything can spark something in me. A thought I express will sometimes merit immediate notation in my notebook. A flower or the curl of a vine may merit immediate recording with my phone camera.
Summing this up, it's that being open to those inspirations and ideas, and being willing to see them through childlike curiosity, is in and of itself creativity. What you do with those ideas (performance art, painting, writing, music) is magic. Everyday magic that comes from small things and blossoms into something that may or may not be your magnum opus...
Creativity hits me and I must react.
HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE IT IN YOUR LIFE?
Well for one, dear reader, I write books and silly poetry which you, graciously, purchase and, hopefully, enjoy! I also draw and paint. I take photographs. I make videos. I create!
I carry a notebook everywhere and I make sure I have more than one pen with me as well. (There is nothing more catastrophic and angst inducing that having your pen dry out or run out of ink mid-stream of a creative outpouring.)
I create videos to make my friends smile or to convey a message to them. I make up words to songs when the tune is stuck in my head but I don't know the real words. When my children were small, they were part of these exercises because the magic of creativity must be shared. Also because collaborations are wonderful!
I've even used it in auditing when working as an accounting tech because if you lose the trail, thinking outside the box can help you find it again.
The key here is that you must incorporate it in your life. It is part of the magic and adventure. Creativity is the seasoning in your sauce! The sprinkles on your ice cream! The snooty plating that would make a Michelin starred chef weep. (Even if you only made macaroni and cheese with a side of hotdogs...it's all about the presentation, dahling!)
WHY IS CREATIVITY IMPORTANT?
Creativity is important because:
That last one is the most important one for me. If life is not an adventure, then why are we even here?
YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT:
Be child-like in the way you experience the world. See it as if you've never seen it before. Relive that magic of discovery. You can do the adulting later on. Now eat your peas!
Be open to the inspiration the world around you is sending your way. You don't have to write or draw or dance or sing or act. You just have to be open to magic. Maybe the smell of fresh earth made you think of garden vegetables and rekindles your love of cooking. Maybe that flowering shrub you passed on the way home from work makes you think about those vibrant coloured cushions you saw for your patio. Maybe you will just fall asleep deeply and soundly for the first time in years to dream of worlds you've never been to.
Be your truest self. When you express how things make you feel (communicating them to those around you through conversation or through some other creative form), people see the real you. The real you is AMAZING!!
My original working title for this post was "Shots to the Head". This is because Headshots are like a physical blow to me.This is why.
For years, as a mother of three young boys with a husband who worked overseas, I was the photographer of the family...for two reasons. Reason 1: I love to take photos, especially of my uber adorable monsters...I mean... children. Reason 2: I shouldn't have to explain this, but if you'd ever met my sons you would know they can't be trusted with a camera and instructions to take "candid" shots.
Later, after the divorce, the kids were old enough you could almost trust them to take a good photo but their interpretation of my instructions was never quite what I pictured. As grown ups now in their 30s, they seem bent on taking the most embarassing photos they can of me as revenge. (Fortunately, they still will do corny poses for me and send me really funny selfies via WhatsApp. MY monsters.)
My very patient Dave loves to take photos of me when I'm not looking, and some of these are funny like the one with the glasses on top of my head and another pair of glasses in the usual place....
Or the ones we took when out for dinner where I look like I should be writing romance novels like Barbara Cartland. (The pearls...what was I thinking?)
There are the inevitable ones where a friend steps in and takes a photo like the photo on the swing chair. It's a good photo...except it looks nothing like me. I mean, really, I am wearing taupe. NOT my colour at all!
Also, one would think that as a writer I might be great with communications? Not so much. I even try to draw "story boards" on napkins but it never comes out quite the way I pictured (all puns intended!).
I always think the photos look faked, and posed, and very stiff. I also just hate having my photo taken. It makes me feel self-conscious. Even when doing a selfie I have a tendency to make sure no one is looking.
So, (thank you so much to the folks at Apple for the wonderful camera and settings on the iPhone), enter the selfie. Most of my author photos are selfies. This means I can keep them fun, playful, and in tune with the theme of my books.
Could I hire a professional photographer? Yep. Should I hire a professional photographer? Yep. Will I hire a professional photographer? Well...we shall see.