“In the beginning God created . . .”
God’s creativity is evident in all of creation. Look at all the things that occur naturally—so many things, so much variety. Even when they are the same, they are profoundly different. God’s creativity knows no bounds. Creativity is one of His divine qualities. God created man in His own image. We are designed to be like Him. If we accept that truth, we must accept that creativity is present and should be cultivated in our own lives. Everyone is creative. The author Ron Carter puts it nicely, “Creativity is not simply a property of exceptional people but an exceptional property of all people.” For those who are adamant creativity does not exist in their personal make up, this may be a hard pill to swallow. I challenge you as you read on to re-examine your definition of creativity, open your mind to its possibilities, make steps, and perhaps discover the creative you God designed you to be.
So just how do you define your culture of creativity? The following three little steps will help you begin to discover your own power of creative thinking.
- Re-Define your creative reality.
- What is creativity?
- What does it look like in you?
- Learn to tap into your creativity.
- Practice makes perfect!
- Keep it moving.
- Learn to operate in your creativity daily.
Exploring your creativeness begins with re-defining your creative reality, or rather your definition of creativity. Understand that creativity does not equal artistry. Webster’s dictionary states, “Creativity is the state or quality of being creative, the ability to transcend traditional ideas and to create meaningful new ones.” Creativity is simply a way of thinking or viewing the world. Yes, it is that simple. To be creative you do not have to have artistic skills or talent, you just have a mind open to the possibilities that are present … everywhere and in everything. Dewitt Jones, a National Geographic photographer and author of Everyday Creativity, says “Quite simply, creativity is looking at the ordinary and seeing the Extraordinary.” Creativity is merely an alternative way of approaching life.
Yes, everyone is creative and the expression of that creativity will be different in everyone. What does your creativity look like? This is something you will discover for yourself when you explore your own innovativeness. Do not be discouraged if your creative expression does not manifest itself in arts, crafts, music, etc. Yours may reveal itself in other unique ways. Perhaps you are one that can whip up a gourmet meal with only four ingredients. Or maybe you are a mastermind at organizing your family’s hectic schedule. Perhaps you are the go-to person when a problem needs solving. Take a good look at you and remember those times you found yourself thinking outside the proverbial box. Guess what? You were being creative. Now that you understand what creativity is and have discovered what it looks like in you, let’s move on to step two.
To be good at anything, one must practice, practice, and practice some more. Being creative is no exception. To be creative, you must tap into it. You must embrace and explore it. You must practice it. Seek out those areas where your creativity shines best. Look for ways to be creative every day. Open your mind to new ways you can be creative. The fact of the matter is, the more you use your creativity, the more creative you become. That is my truth and testimony. I have always had a talent for drawing. I was told if I used that gift, God would bless it. So, whenever asked, I would draw, usually for my church. I was the one they asked to do the anniversary banners, the special event posters, the sales signs, and program covers. I was always encouraged to pursue my art. In fact, in my early years, my mother was more energetic about me taking classes than I was. Back then my creativity manifested itself primarily through art. Later I begin to learn my creativity was directly connected to my art. So as I grew as an artist, I also grew as a creative.
My creativity no longer just manifested itself through my art; it became a part of every aspect of my life. It now assists me in problem solving and process creation on my job. It flavors my approach to parenting. It keeps me purposely seeking the other perspective. It allows me to see extraordinary things every day. I exercise my creativity daily and daily my creativity grows.
You may be a newbie to this creative lifestyle and have no idea where to start. Perhaps you are already very creative but are seeking ways to take it to the next level. Here a few practical ways to explore and practice your creativity:
- Practice creativity daily. Do something creative everyday—whatever that looks like to you. While you may not be artistic, exploring art is a fantastic way to jumpstart your creative mind.
- Stretch yourself. Step out of your comfort zone, do something different or do the same thing in a different way. For example, try a new hairstyle, take a different route to work or wear the red shoes instead of the usual black ones.
- Always look for alternatives. Do not accept the first right answer. Look for other solutions. There is always more than one right answer.
- Shift your thinking and explore different perspectives. There are many sides to every situation, why not look at it from another direction?
Bringing or restoring creativity to your life is a worthwhile endeavor. Being creative will assist you in turning problems into opportunities, find unexpected ways to resolve conflicts, create new ways of doing things, and use what is available to reach your goals.
“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”
Take five days and challenge yourself to be more creative. Comment and share your results!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sonya A. Finley (SonyArletta) is an artist and designer currently working undercover at North County Transit District. She is a proud mother of four young men: James, age 24, Kevin, age 22, Joshua and Johnathan, age 17. Sonya attended US International University, School of Performing and Visual Arts, where she majored in Advertising Design, she received her Associates in Fashion Design from FIDM and her Bachelor’s in Fine Art (painting emphasis) from Mississippi State University. To see her work click here.