Be Creative

I can't even tell you how many people I hear say that that they "aren't good at art". That they aren't artistic. Oh, no, I'm not creative. I don't do art. This puzzled and frustrated me for a long time. I once thought that maybe I wasn't made for art either, that maybe since I wasn't all that good at drawing I should give up. Maybe art just wasn't for me I thought to myself.

But I didn't give up. I practiced and I grew in my skill. I worked hard because I loved art and I wasn't going to loose it without a fight. I couldn't imagine life without it. And I still do to this day.

During this never ending perseverance, I often heard people inquire about my work, sometimes in awe or shock. "That's so good!" They would exclaim. "How do you draw like that? Your poetry is amazing! You're so lucky you can do stuff like that, I'm not creative at all. I can't draw. Art isn't my thing." I would often look down at my work in confusion. "Thanks." I would say. I was proud to receive the compliment, but I didn't understand why they thought my work was so good, and that it would be impossible for them to do it as well. Didn't they understand that I wasn't born with a pencil in my hand sketching figures? Didn't they realize that I was drawing stick figures in fifth grade also, that the short story they were reading had took me months of rewriting and revising to perfect?

I went along like this for some time, trying to figure out why some people weren't born with a gift of creating. It seemed strange to me that some people got to be good at things that others weren't. Especially since I had come to believe that art was something very important to a person's well-being. Art had grown sacred to me, and I saw it as a great gift that God had given me, a way to experience His beauty. Why did I get to experience that and others didn't? Why couldn't everyone be good at art?

I thought for a long time that certain people were born artsy and certain people weren't. But I'm here to tell you that that is a lie that thousands of people are telling themselves every day. We are naturally creative. It's impossible for us to not have some speck of creativity. The only thing stopping us is the little negative thought that society has ingrained in our heads- that some people are naturally good at somethings, and some naturally aren't. Sure maybe people are born with a certain adeptness for certain things, but that doesn't mean that others can't do it also. That doesn't make a difference for you. And chances are, if you really love something, that passion will carry an adeptness in itself. A fancy skill without a drive is worth nothing.

Now you're probably sitting there thinking, whoa Vivian, that's a pretty steep claim, why do YOU get to decide this is true? I assure you that this isn't something I made up, it's something I figured out, with plenty of reflection and thought and research. Remember, I'm a night-thinker. It's my JOB to overthink everything. Well not really but I can't help it. But anyways, let me explain to you how I figured this out.

First of all, I looked at all the people around me who also enjoyed art and were GOOD at it. And I realized something. All of them were practicing CONSTANTLY. They enjoyed it so much, that they would do it very often. And they improved. Sometimes I would ask to look at my artsy friends' sketchbooks from past years, and I would often see dramatic improvement. The thing was, these people obviously weren't born the next Claude Monet. They were born with a passion. A joy, an interest. And that's why they would practice so much. And the practicing is why they improved. The natural talent was nothing compared to the amount of time and effort they put into it because it brought them so much joy.

The second thing I did was look to God and His Word to figure this problem out. I thought that if God had truly chosen some people to be creative, then he probably would've mentioned it somewhere. But I found quite the opposite. What I realized was that God had created us in His image, yes? And what is He? THE ULTIMATE CREATOR! Therefore, we must be creators as well! Everyone!

While figuring this out I also noticed the fact that God calls us to be like the little children. Think back to kindergarten and preschool. What was one of the biggest pieces of the curriculum? Coloring, arts and crafts, pasting, cutting, building with blocks and legos, being creative. Maybe when God calls us to be like the little children, He's not just calling us to be innocent. Maybe He's also calling us to remember our creative spark that we were given. Maybe we aren't supposed to bury it under society's stigmas and stereotypes. Maybe we need to actually retain it, nurture it, use it.

I would like to note that art is not, by any means, limited to drawing and painting. I think that ANYTHING that involves creativity is art. That includes, sewing, cooking, interior decorating, scrapbooking, photography, writing, sculpture, architecture, graphics, fashion, dance, theatre, all of it. It's all art, and it all requires creativity.

So what I want to leave you with is that everyone is creative. There's no excuse. And we need to pursue and teach our creativity, and grow it and practice it. I'm not saying that everyone should paint all that time. Some people don't like painting. DON'T DO IT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT. I want you to pursue your creative passions. What have you always had an affinity for? What are you drawn to? What do you wish you could do? Believe me, you can do it. You just need to practice. Don't let anyone tell you you aren't good at it. Don't compare yourself to others and feel discouraged. Put in your time, your effort, your practice. Do it because you love it. Use the creativity God has given you. Don't let it go to waste. Your creativity is just as important as anyone else's, just as important as math or science. Art's purpose is to bring beauty. Who wants a world without beauty in it? Who want's an ugly world? Sure you could invent the next greatest thing. But who want's to use it if it's ugly and not pleasing to use or look at? Buildings could be effective and efficient, but nobody would ever want to live in them if they weren't aesthetically pleasing. Use your passions. Bring beauty into people's lives, into our world. Don't tell yourself you can't do it. Be creative.

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