I did not consider myself creative growing up. I was factual, smart, studious. But not creative. I studied science and math. I avoided art because I believed I was not good at it.
Somehow I got into Horticulture. It’s a scientific field, but also frequently borders on art. I was forced to draw a bit, visualize, exercise my creativity. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but I did enjoy it. Designing happened to be my most marketable skill: people will pay you to design a garden, but trying to get people to pay you to spend five minutes telling them they have a borer in their raspberries is a little bit more difficult. I started to exercise my creativity and do garden designs for people. I became somewhat “creative.”
But the real catalyst to becoming a creative person was quitting work and raising children. I was thrown back into the world of free time, crayons, and projects that needed no outcome. I had the opportunity to play and discovered that play is a powerful precursor to creativity.
Childhood is a time to learn creativity, and somehow I talked myself out of it when I was an actual child. But when I was an adult, raising my children, I talked myself back into it again.
It is still strange when people say a comment like, “Your so creative!” They think it is an ingrained quality, a talent that I have and they don’t. But I didn’t have it for a time. I redeveloped it in myself. Anyone can be creative. It is a learned skill and everyone creates a little differently which makes it all the better.
Learning to be creative gave me the courage to start trying to do things that I thought I would never be good at. I’m taking a drawing class right now. It’s one of the most fun classes I’ve ever taken. These pictures are not supposed to be amazing. (I only barely started my class and have only completed a handful of drawings in my whole lifetime.) But they exist, and I’m proud about that.