Do you think you are creative?
Now I am a great believer in the creative spirit of human beings. I believe wholeheartedly in the fact that the human race is intensively creative – how else could we be here, sitting on our computers, reading Facebook, looking at cat videos, enjoying all the wonders that modern technology has to offer? It’s really true – we are ALL creative in some way.
But for most of my adult life, I thought I wasn’t creative. I thought that to be creative somehow meant you had to be able to draw and paint. And if you couldn’t then you just weren’t. It took me a long time to see that actually I was; how I decorated my house, how I chose perfect presents for people, how I could always throw something together in the kitchen out of a tin of beans, two tomatoes and a block of cheese (joke – cos that sounds disgusting!). But you get my drift! And when my husband said – ‘You’re always creative, just look at X, Y and Z, I used to think – ‘Yeah! Maybe I am.’
Now I am immersed in a creative business. I have been for a few years now – in case you hadn’t spotted it – I live and breathe Silver Clay. It’s a passion of mine and I really love working and teaching it. BUT I still have those demons, creeping into my head sometimes. In fact quite a lot of the time actually. The voice that says ‘What do you think you’re doing? Why do you think that will work? What a waste of time!’ You probably have one of those voices too – why are they always shrill? Well it is in my head anyway!
I posted some pictures on Facebook of my UFO box – Unfinished Objects – to illustrate that you can leave Silver Clay objects, quite safely, sometimes for <ahem> months and years…… But the reason that there ARE UFOs and that I have a special box for them is really the reason for this blog. You see when I am creating, especially something that matters – I can choke quite easily. I put the piece down and look at it and think ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I don’t have the skills’ ‘This is rubbish’ – that’s when the piece finds itself consigned, out of my sight to the UFO box.
And then, every so often I return to the box, look in at its contents and think – ‘Ooh yes! I remember that – I could do this, or this, or this’ and then I take it out and finish it. But sometimes it goes back in there for another wee while until I learn what I need to or find the inspiration to put it out of its misery and complete it. Sometimes it’s just ground up into powder and reconstituted!
I think it’s a common response to constantly question yourself and look at what you’re doing and wonder if it is enough. Most of us have a modicum of self-doubt. I just want you to know that you are not alone! Whilst it’s hard for me to admit that there are times when I find even the simplest processes difficult or frustrating, because I am the teacher. I also think it’s important for people to know that I understand what it’s like. I’ve most definitely been there. I’ve been that learner, just starting out. And I still make it my business to learn new things – to put myself in the classroom and remember what it is like to be the other side of the experience.
It’s like everything that is important in life. It’s a matter of persistence and perseverance. A little bit more every time. And be gentle with yourself because sometimes it doesn’t come easily the first, second or even the third time. But if you persist and you are kind to yourself, it will come.
Til next time