One of the things I repeatedly hear people saying when they participate in one of my Art or Craft workshops is “I am not Creative”. This always makes me smile, especially since they usually produce something really beautiful by the end! Many of us think we are not creative. Maybe its that we don’t want to be, or maybe its because we have a pre-conceived idea of what being creative means. When I have asked people why, they usually believe they are not creative because they think they can’t draw. Drawing is simply one example of creativity expressed, there are many and limitless ways we can express our creativity.
When I am facilitating large projects such as team building or community art, I like to give an introduction on the subject of Creativity. I like to put people’s minds at ease and introduce them to the idea that, even if you think you are not creative, you actually are. You could be approaching lots of things from a creative perspective, but you are unaware that that is what you are doing.
In the 70’s a theory of right brain and left brain was put forward. Part of that theory stated that people are either more ‘right brained’ or more ‘left brained’. The right brain being the creative, intuitive, holistic self and the left brain being the analytical, systematic and mathematic self. Although this part of the theory has been disproved, the general theory still holds value for us today. For example, stroke victims usually have a haemorrhage in their brains on the left side, which causes them to loose their motor functions, speech and sense of identity. This leaves them with a primary ‘right brain’ experience. One famous stroke survivor, brain scientist Dr Jill Bolte Taylor, describes her stroke as an amazing and ecstatic experience as she was able to let go of her ‘tiny little self’ and becoming part of ‘everything that is’. She describes how as soon as her ego dissolved (a pea sized area of the left brain that gives us our sense of self), she became more alive than she ever had been before, even though she had lost her basic human functions. When you shift from looking things from just your perspective and look at it from a bigger picture, you are using a creative approach.
If there are parts of the brain that are Creative, and everyone has access to all parts of the brain, then surely it follows that everyone is creative, or can be creative? The only difference between someone who thinks they are creative and someone who thinks they are not creative is that the former person has used their creative ‘muscle’ more often. They have evidence of their own creative resources and they trust this way of being because they have put it onto practice.
There are many ways in which we can express our creativity and it doesn’t have to be through Art. If you are open to possibilities and can look at things from different points of view, then you have begun to use the creative approach.
Leona offers Creative consultancy to individuals and Community Art workshops to groups and organisations. Please go to www.artistsresource.co.uk for more information.