“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” Steve Jobs
There are times when my family has to eat outside on the picnic table, not just because it is a nice balmy evening, but because I have fabric scraps from my *STASH, new fabric, buttons, and my sewing machine spread across the dining room. I often trail snips of strings for days after I have cleaned up my mess..I mean creative expression or more than likely a creavite explosion!
Sewing is just one thing. There are paper crafts, knitting, painting, canning, and the list goes on. It isn’t always about the project..it is the process.
I have my parents to thank for it. Seriously. There are a lot of things that my parent’s have passed along to me such as, my dad’s blue eyes and adventurous spirit, my mom’s creativity and resourcefulness, but the thing I am most greatful for is that they passed on a sense of curiosity. They allowed me to grow up CREATIVE. In fact, they even encouraged it from the time I could hold a crayon in my chubby toddler fist. I was a hands-on learner, who was never afraid to ask questions. Lots of questions.
To this day, I often start my sentances with “What if..” .
For someone who thrives on color, texture and taste, being able to create something that is “In the picture of my mind” is as essential to my well being as file folders are to a Type A personality.
“When you are curious, you find lots of fun things to do.” Walt Disney
People have often commented on how many things I do, or write about, as if it boarders on the miraculous or amazing; that leads me to the topic of FEAR.
I think “fear of failure”” is one of the biggest killers of dreams and curiosity. Instead of “What if” being something that springs people into action..they consider “What if..” and quickly add in the words “I fail”.
Instead of lining up for the race, they sit as observers in the stands, quietly wishing they had their face toward a goal.
I think that is what is happening to the younger generation. It concerns me. A lot. I was teaching a class and showing the students how to make paper airplanes for an experiment we were conducting. One student who asked another student if they would help them. I asked them why they weren’t able to do the simple task. The reply was, “I don’t think I am very good at folding paper.” That was a kid in 6th grade!
What he was really saying was, “I am not sure if, or how well, I can make the airplane fly, so I am unwilling to attempt it.”
The younger generation tends to be so conditioned in needing to know what the outcome will be, before they risk trying something new. What if they fail? And who defines failure anyway!
What about you? What do you have on your bucket list or wondered “What if…”. What is stopping you? What are you afraid of?
If you want your kids to be curious and creative, be prepared that it might be messy. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and join in. Allow kids to grow up creative by modeling it in your own life. It can be as eleborate as building a treeofrt out of discarded wood pallets or as simple as creating a table decoration from wildflowers.
Consider these two questions.
- What would your life be like if you actually did something you have wanted to do?
- What will your life be like if you never try?
I am doing a Kickstarter right now to open an Esty store for my handcrafted cookie stamps. It is one of theose things that I had wanted to create for my kids as they began starting traditions of their own. As much as I want them to bake something fabulous, I want it to be a reminder that they come from a legacy of messy creatives who often started their sentances with “What if…”
*STASH..an assortment of fabric that you cannot live without. Limited edition scraps that are valued, treasured and stored, but that you are sure you will need someday in the future. This is also true of knitters. In fact some crafters need an extra room for their STASH after the space under all of the beds have been utilized. Gifting someone part of your STASH is as close to donating a kidney as you can come.
NOTE TO SELF: Being creative is part of our genetic make-up. We were all handcrafted. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1