I am always so excited when I find a site, publication or magazine that I want to consume in its entirety – something that I could sit down and read from start to finish without noticing that time is passing by. It is not unlike that gem of an album where you can listen to every song, over-and-over because you want to compute it to memory and consume every last morsel of it’s creativity (while perhaps choreographing a dance to one or two of them in the process). That is how I feel about the site Creative Something by Tanner Christensen.
Every post that I read on the site has me nodding my head and feeling inspired. It is directly related to Chapter Be’s bigger mission of encouraging people to see that creativity is in ALL of us. Plus, as an educator, I love that he is speaking to the fact that we need to think about how we teach creativity – both to children and ourselves. When people ask me if I am creative, I often struggle with that question because I have been conditioned to think that creativity = a traditional artist that creates paintings or sculptures or graphics. Yet, the last few years have allowed me to embrace the word creativity and expand on its definition to include the idea that we all create – just in different ways. If we are true to our authentic self than we are creating in the way that we are naturally meant to create.
As Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, said, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” One of the reasons why traditional artists are so easily called creative is because they are taught that within the process of making their art, they are going to make mistakes – it is allowed and encouraged. My younger sister is an artist, and I remember when we were younger and doing something creative – painting Easter eggs for example – I would FLIP OUT if I made a mistake. The perfectionist in me just couldn’t handle it. She would just say to me, “It’s okay – turn that mistake into something else.” I couldn’t wrap my head around that idea, yet she just got it.
I love Tanner’s list of “What Causes Creativity” because it infuses within it this idea of exploring, experimenting, failing and trying again. It is the fact that if we want to live a creative life then we have to provide the space to make mistakes and fail, and not see it as debilitating or the end-of-the-road. How much better off would we all be if we learned these skills and traits in our formal education? How, as adults, can we allow ourselves the room to be truly creative?
*Image via Creative Something