Thursday, April 4, 2013

Let's start at the beginning...

I cringe a little bit every time I hear someone say "I'm not creative."  We are ALL creative in our own way.  My sister, for example, can throw together the best meal you have ever tasted and present it beautifully without cracking a cookbook.  She can also wrap presents worthy of a Neiman Marcus window at Christmas.  My honey took a debilitating back injury in midlife and transformed himself into a strong, healthy (and hunky) bodybuilder by changing his diet and joining the gym. To me, these two people are supremely creative in ways that I could never be (read: I'm too lazy).  I, too, believed I didn't have a creative bone in my body until I was in my mid-30's.  So how did I do it?  How did I find that ever-elusive quality in myself?  Let me tell you...

I remember vividly being in art class in Junior High and HATING it.  I couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler, much less draw anything that looked recognizable.  I swear, the only reason I passed the class (barely) was out of professional courtesy to my mother, who was also a teacher in my school.  I decided then and there that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew long as it wasn't an artist.

Fast forward twenty years:  I was the mother of two children under the age of 3 and caught up in the daily frenzy of motherhood and running a household. In the rare (and I do mean RARE) moments when both children were napping, I needed something to do that would calm my nerves and didn't require too much concentration.  Someone invited me to a Creative Memories party, back when scrapbooking was easy and only required you to cut your photos into cute shapes and slap some stickers on the page.  I thought, "I can do that." So I did. Then another friend invited me to a Stampin' Up party (we were big on parties back then. Any excuse to drink wine and shirk our responsibilities for a couple of hours.).  Stamp an image on paper and color it in? I could do that. And so it went.

Eventually I ran out of parties to go to and money to buy more pre-made stuff.  By then I knew that I enjoyed making things and had a little bit of confidence that I could do it.  I started playing around.  Discovered art journalling. Then altered books. Then mixed media painting.  It was at that point that I realized that I LOVED art, and that what I made counted as art even it would never (and I do mean NEVER), hang in a museum.  It was art because I said so and I'm standing by that decision. I highly recommend you do too.

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