I was working on the excuses we use to NOT be creative and I thought it would be fun to replace them with excuses TO be creative!
So, why is it important to be creative? We all get why artists, writers, songwriters and poets need it, but what about the rest of us? If we're not painting masterpieces or designing buildings, why should we take time out of our already packed lives to learn a skill we may not even use?
Here are my top seven reasons why I think EVERYONE needs to develop their creativity.
1) It sorts out over-consumption.
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a tree-hugging eco-warrior. In fact, with things as they are, I'm always a little puzzled at anyone who isn't!
Years ago, after my art degree, I got creatively stuck in a big way. When I look back, that was the only time in my life I really did the shopping thing. Consuming products is one way we compensate for being unable to create things from scratch. Choosing and buying things can give a very similar buzz to creating something, giving us the illusion of artistry, for a short while.
Since I unearthed my creative nature again, I hardly shop at all, which means not only have I been able to give up work to run my dream business (my cost of living is astonishing low) but I'm being kinder to the earth, which is very important at the moment.
2) It helps with everyday life and problem-solving.
The skills you learn in art are transferable into all areas of life. Creative thinking means you'll come up with a less-than-obvious solution to a problem, a better way to get to a goal and you'll have the edge over others who take a more conventional route. It does pay to stand out!
In my working life as a director at The Art House, I'm hardly ever making art or design, but the skills I have as an artist mean I can cope better with the many challenges of running a business.
3) It's brilliant for our self esteem.
It's true! Being able to make beautiful things, write poems, paint pictures and behave creatively makes you feel good about yourself :) It gives you an inner resource which doesn't rely on anyone or anything outside yourself to make something wonderful happen. This builds your core sense of self, which is one of the keys to feeling happy.
4) It's good for our relationships and builds community.
Being a creative person inspires and delights those around you. Creatively active people are more fun, more expressive, more open than those who are not, which leads to stronger relationships.
Creating art or performing together is also a powerful way to build friendships and communities.
Here are my chums Heike and Sarah performing with my all-female drumming group, The Djembabes, at a community festival. It was a good day!
I never stop being amazed by watching how creating together builds friendships and strengthens communities. It's pure magic.
5) It combats stress.
I'm never an advocate of art being 'just a hobby' or confining art to therapy. I think artistic practice needs to be integrated deeper than that - but the act of making something does chill you out! Here is Jenni of Craftizan with one of my students from DICE demonstrating the point very well in the robot costume she made!
When we are making art, or writing a poem, we are totally focussed on what we are doing and on the present time. I think the 'in the moment' phrase is horribly overused, but it's something creative practice does help us achieve. This is a big stress buster!
6) It makes us HUMAN.
The arts are called humanities for a reason - science and medicine may tell us HOW to do things, but art is the thing that tells us WHY.
7) It can lead to greater things........
I believe everyone is an artist, with untapped oceans of creative output just waiting to burst out. Working on your creative skills is how you open the floodgates on this wide ocean and share it with the world.
The world NEEDS people to do this, not just so that we can enjoy pretty things but so that we can work towards a better society, a better understanding of each other and a deeper experience of living itself.
Sign up for my FREE UnEarth your Creativity ecourse.
I also can't recommend enough Leonie Dawson's Creative Goddess eCourse: