Being creative means many things. The inspiration for material things – paintings, sculptures, glamorous dresses, exotic sports cars, beautiful gardens.
The spark that improves boringly ordinary things, longer lasting floor coverings or more efficient toilets, for example.
Creativity is the gift that produces music which makes us happy, sad or moved in some way. Or books that inspire, motivate, educate. Ideas and philosophies that disrupt, provoke, expand and influence our thinking. .
Most of my life I did not consider that I had a single creative brain cell. It was partly because of the environment where I spent most of my life. Partly because of the strict education system.
Creative or Contrary?
I always thought that my ability to think a little differently about most things was just my contrary nature. Encouraged by my parents to have an independent mind, Branded a maverick early in life, I was supported in my quest to follow my path and warned to expect and accept the consequences of not conforming to the norm.
That attitude has caused me a lot of pain, loss and danger at times. But it has given me an extraordinary life with experiences few are privileged to have. I would gladly live through most of the bad parts again if I could have the same measure of good ones as I have had. I would not choose to live through the parts where other people got hurt, physically or emotionally, sometimes through my actions. However our lives are made up of good and bad times, we don’t get to choose what happens, only what we do about it.
Adversity helps us find opportunity if we choose to learn from the one and seize the other.
I thought the sharing out of creativity was restricted to those who already had the gift for music, words, or art. That creative people were different. They were the artists, musicians, singers, motivational speakers, advertising people.
Then I started writing, and speaking and more recently learning to play and read music.
Had I suddenly become creative? Definitely not, I had allowed myself to believe that I could be and then started doing more creative activities.
It was creativity that helped me think and react differently most of my life. It was what had got me into – and out of – trouble, embarrassment and danger many times.
Creative Talent showcase
On Saturday and Sunday 10 and 11 September, I had a stand at the Halls Creek Festival of Creativity in Ingersoll, a small town 30 minutes West of us to promote my book.
After a wet start on Saturday, Sunday was a glorious sunny day. It was a great experience. I didn’t sell many books – it was more geared to artists, sculptors, photographers, various crafts. However I enjoyed being there, met many interesting people, made contacts for future speaking engagements and listened to good live music on both days.
The other exhibitors, artists, crafts men and women, sculptors and more were a mix of full and part-time practitioners of their arts or crafts. Some lived off their work, for others it was a hobby.
What they had in common was the urge to explore their creativity, risk failure, possible embarrassment and financial cost to do what they loved.
Some of the exhibitors I met were:
Artist Jamie Dickson from Burgesville
Catherine Stark of the Fleece Festival – teaching knitting and demonstrating spinning.
Wanda Knight with her stained glass windows and decorative panels, glassafrass.com
Sian of siancphotography in Tillsonburg with her amazing photographs.
Diane Normand, creator of custom designed clocks and who, to illustrate the idea of 6 degrees of separation and coincidence, had lived in the part of Scotland I visited in July.
Fellow author Brad Davey who writes stories about Rhodesia and South Africa where I lived for most of my life.
There were many more, too many for me to meet them all personally.
What surprised me was how many of the artists and creative people were older, many older than my 66. Several told me that they had, like me worked at a job or running their business all their lives. Until retirement or a major life change had allowed, sometimes forced, them to find or resurrect their own creativity, to do what they enjoyed.