Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Speaking on Creativity

Here's the sweet Instagram Lizzie posted of me speaking!
Wow! What a privilege to speak at my dear friend, Liz Heywood's "Lemonade Salon", which is a once a month discussion group. Knowing that I'm in transition of establishing myself in a creative line of work, Liz gave me a platform to speak on the topic of Bringing Creativity into Your Life and Home. She also asked me to specifically address people who "are not creative".

Wow! What an exciting topic! Here is a recap of what I shared from my heart.

We are all creative! 
I believe it! If you share my world view then you believe that we are created by a Creator who is Creativity. Creativity lives in us.
I have wonderful friends that have declared to me that they are not creative AT ALL!
I politely pointed out to one, "Yes you are! You teach Math to dozens of kids and you have used creativity to make Math fun and understandable. You use creativity when you teach."
To the other I responded, "Yes you are! You run a busy family and a ridiculously busy office. The way you juggle a calendar and an agenda takes all kinds of creativity."
Both ladies were deeply encouraged as I called out their creativity, and they agreed. You see, we are all creative, it just looks different for many of us.
Creativity grows! It can be fostered with the right mindset.

Addressing the stressfulness of bringing creativity alive I came up with the acronym
LAUGHS, as a reminder that it can be fun.

L: Limitations! It is counterintuitive to free up a bunch of people by starting with limitations, however, I have found that limitations have forced me to be the most creative. Creativity is used to solve problems, thus "Necessity is the mother of invention." It's like that. It needs healthy boundaries.

Ex 1: Have you ever been in a class and the teacher tells you that you can write about anything you want? And you sat and sat and sat and wasted most of the time thinking, starting and starting over?
If the same teacher told you to write about your fluffy bunny, you could begin straight away with great creative ideas.

Ex 2: DIY and How-To's are popular because most of the world is limited by budget and creativity forces us to be resourceful and figure out how to replicate the things we love within our monetary boundaries.

A: Ask! Ask for help. Ask for ideas. Designers and stylists collaborate all the time!

U: you! I know the translation is weak but you need to know what you like. You must collect things that inspire you. Start a Style File or an Idea File. Grab a binder, page protectors and start tearing ideas out of magazines. I've even been waiting in the dentist office lobby and asked if I could tear a recipe or photo page out. If you are tech savvy then start Pinterest boards and refer to them often. You'll see your tastes change and refine. Mostly, you will be constantly inspired. Inspiration fosters creativity.

G: Go! Go and make mistakes! Many who don't feel creative are stressed out by the fear that they might make a mistake. Designers make mistakes all the time. Stylists bring more than they will ever need for a photo shoot because they have to try and see what works. Concepts don't always translate in real life, so just try things. Designers and stylists are successful because they have tried so many things that they begin to instinctively know what will work. Go and try! If it's a mistake return it, change it, start over. - If you are investing a lot of money then ask for help! Collaborating does not mean that you are not creative.

H: Hang out with creative people! Like I mentioned before, creativity is a force and it feeds itself within relationship. Have you ever planned a meal, party, or an outing with a friend. The more you share ideas, the more exciting the conversation becomes and sometimes there are so many ideas at the end that you both are exhausted.

S: Space (and Time): Give yourself ample space and time to be creative. Make a date for an afternoon. Creativity can't be rushed or you end up feeling frustrated. Many artists and hobbyists plan time and space: Sketch Crawls, Srapbooking Retreats, Open Air Painting Events are all examples of creatives making a time and space for themselves to experiment.

LAUGHS! The acronym is to remind you to have fun. You will get there. Another tip that didn't make it into the acronym is to START SMALL! Don't start with your whole home. Start with a coffee cup and a Sharpie, a mason jar and metallic gold pen. Write an inspiring word on it and see if the one small idea inspires another one. Here is an example of a time I felt a block and started very small:

Here I took a gold metallic pen from the craft store and wrote an inspiring word onto a wooden valet plate. It led me to do an organic design on the back. This project took five minutes and the creativity it generated inspired a host of project ideas that I am still working on. It started with a boring plate and a metallic pen.

I hope you are reminded, as I am myself, that WE ARE ALL creative!
Creativity is a force, it helps solve problems, it grows, it likes time, it likes space, it likes company and 

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