A bit of validation appeared on my Facebook newsfeed (it’s good like that). This article, ‘Stress reduced with art-making, regardless of skill’ is a study done that suggests creating art can reduce stress levels.
Before we coined CoLiberate, Bop, Jody and I referred to our venture as a ‘creative gym’. Identifying as creatives, we were unaware that there was any stigma attached to the word ‘creative’ until we were challenged on why we shouldn’t use it. Not everyone identifies with being ‘creative’ , not everyone nourishes their creative potential or even realises they have it. By using the word ‘creative’, we are excluding this group of people who have been told they are ‘not good at art’ or who believe they don’t have the skill to be creative.
When I say the word creative, I immediately think of art making. But that is so exclusive. Plot twist… You don’t have to be an Artist to be creative. It’s not just art-making, it’s having a growth mindset. Being able to think of an idea and realise it, pivot it, challenge it, look at it, harness it, enjoy it. Putting an idea into action is being creative.
This leads me to think about why the word creative makes some of us coil up our insides and go ‘that’s not me’. Is it because creative expression isn’t valued over creative talent? That the sheer act of being creative isn’t as valued as having a finished product we can slap a price tag on to ?
I read somewhere that ‘blind conformity and social repression are the arch-enemies of creativity’. I’m curious about how it’s difficult for one to think or act in a playful, unique and curious manner and access their imagination muscle while holding the strong thought that they must always do what’s acceptable or that there’s only one “correct” way. I admire my colleague Jody, who admits that perfectionism holds her to focusing on the best and ‘correct way’ of her creativity and stops her flow.
My personal creativity barriers are money and time – classic ay? So this week, for Creative Flow week, I have challenged myself to do Julia Cameron’s (author of The Artist’s Way) Daily Pages. Because it doesn’t cost any money to sit in the armchair at my flat, looking at the view, drinking a cuppa tea, and it’s only 45minutes in the morning before work, my physical barriers aren’t stopping me. I have taken away my barriers and am not holding myself to writing a whole perfect novel.
I’ll probably mention my discoveries tonight at CoLiberate’s Wellness Wānanga. Join us. It’s KOHA and the most inspiring part of my week!