After too many dry years, rediscovering Creativity lead me to ask some Deep Questions.
A long time ago I loved art.
I would draw cartoons and paint pictures all day if I could. But no-one ever made any money with their art, right? So it seemed like a wise decision at the age of 13 not to study art but concentrate on something more worthwhile instead. Like science.
In my teens I made painting a hobby, and then I jumped into photography. That was back in the times before digital when you had to really think about the composition of a shot before clicking the shutter and exposing an expensive piece of film.
Then I picked up a guitar.
I discovered a love for the six-string acoustic and I’m sure it helped me serenade the young beauty who became my wife.
In the early years of marriage I still played guitar, still dabbled with painting, and continued with a little photography. When my camera equipment got stolen on a trip to Eastern Europe it was like losing an old friend.
Gradually, without me even noticing,
the creative side of me took a back seat as I focused on career and real life.
Fast Forward 15 Years
So the kids were growing up, we were living in a completely different part of the world, and I was in a different place in myself entirely.
My guitar usually stayed in its case to keep it from getting dusty, and if you lock things away they are out of sight and out of mind.
Yes, I had times when I would dig out the guitar, tune the old strings and work out a song that had been buzzing around my head. In my most creative moments I actually completed a few songs, but always with a “what’s the point?” in the back of my mind.
Fully embracing modern technology, my camera was now a nifty little point-and-click Kodak I’d bought when our youngest was born, and it seemed to take great photos without so much as a thought. You could fit so many photos on a 512Mb SD card!
And the art? Well, I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush for years…
But slowly and steadily it was dawning on me that I was missing out on something. There was a big part of me that desired to create, build, make, just for the sake of it. And it had no outlet.
Pursuing a career in IT Support meant there was no room for being creative. Even when I worked for myself there was rarely a moment when I could hold up some of my work to the world and say “hey, look what I made!”
But I believe that creativity is in all of us and it leaks out in different ways. It has to.
First Steps into the New
Strangely, for someone who spent all day fixing computer problems, I was reluctant to actually use computers outside the office. It was only when I started to look at changing the course of my career that I began to see the benefits.
I decided that I wanted to start making computers work for me, instead of just making them work for someone else.
A small decision with life-changing outcomes.
So began an amazing journey of discovery and learning that unlocked the gates to a seemingly never-ending flow of creativity and personal growth.
Amazingly, when I look back, so much has happened in just 6 years.
My initial steps into unknown territory where in the form of starting a WordPress blog.
When I saw my first web-page up there on the internet for everyone to see, something just clicked.
There was nothing special about those early attempts at blogging, but I quickly realized the potential for building my own websites. Very soon afterwards my creative juices began to flow once more.
Suddenly a whole new world seemed to open up to me, and I’m thankful that I can say I rose to the challenge.
So what is Creativity?
For many years I didn’t need to create. I just needed to do.
So when I set about changing my life I had to begin using those creative muscles again, and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. For me it felt like coming home.
My new journey was inviting me to write, to design, to envision, to construct and build and make. It was calling me to create things that didn’t exist yet.
It even re-kindled my guitar playing and love of photography.
So much so that makes me wonder what creativity is. It’s certainly not a physical thing. It’s not a trait, or a skill. Could it be something bigger, even, dare I say, spiritual?
When I think about it now, it’s as if I finally plugged myself in to the big, flowing river of creativity that is there for everyone.
It’s an endless supply for anyone who’s had enough of siting on the river bank and just enjoying the scenery.
But it only happened when I went looking for it. I needed to be creative to make the life I wanted. I needed to be going beyond my comfort zones and stepping out…
And Creativity rose to meet me.