On Being Creative

I never considered myself to be a creative person. A creative person is someone that can transform a blank canvas into a breathtaking world with a single paintbrush; a creative person is someone that is able to capture people with enticing tales made up on the spot; a creative person existed in a world I could only admire from afar. My art skills were limited to an almost dismembered stick figure, and my storytelling techniques consisted of me laughing too hard mid-sentence. Creative person? More like creative disaster.

I devour books at an alarming pace, recreating the world inside my head, but that wasn’t being creative – I just had graphic imagination. And creativity was something that had physical results. “Quirky”, which is just a better description for “weird”, was always my personality description; “not what you’d expect” and “unable to figure out” were also other adjectives featured on my school report cards. I wasn’t creative, I was just a mess.

A creative disaster, a mess, what an artist is supposed to be – all this time, I was trying to define what being a creative person was, the only creative thing I was doing was coming up with excuses. I was building a cage around myself. I thought being creative meant you always aced art class, that you were able to write without staring at a blank screen for hours – that it was a certain kind of behaviour. My idea of what creativity was so left field, I might as well have been playing hockey.

So I dragged myself back into the playing field – What is creativity? What does being a creative mean? How can you be a creative person? “Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.” Being creative means you’re aware of the rules and the guides, and you use that to let your imagination run wild. Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard; expressing feelings with syllables, building worlds with thoughts, abandoning the well-taken road and exploring a new problem solving method. Step outside the box, take the windy path, purposefully use the “nonexistent” method. Being creative means you aren’t stuck inside an operation model; it means you aren’t mindlessly following directions. It means you’re alive. A creative person isn’t just an artist, or a book writer, or a film director. A creative person is someone like you and me, living the everyday life, but not willing to settle with the handbook of life. Ordinary people who struggle to write the next Harry Potter, but imagine magical worlds during our commute.

    Being creative means you’re alive. It means you’re coming up ways to solve problems, imaging the impossible, creating fiction in non-fiction, it means you’re letting your mind run free of the barriers of reality. It means you’re brave enough to dream. Being a creative person doesn’t mean you’ll be able to paint the next billion-dollar masterpiece, but then again, you can’t put a price on creativity. Be brave, be bold, be free – let your imagination run without restraints. You are a creative person.

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