Warning: Perfection and beauty kill
What does it mean exactly to be a creative person? Many of us think that a creative person needs to have a specific talent or at least some sort of experience in creating things. As adults, when we come in contact with a child, we remember that the last time we touched a colored pencil or an art paintbrush was when we were very young. Many feel clumsy, embarrassed and completely out of ideas when they put those art utensils back in their hands. And the worst of all is that constant voice at the back of the head saying: This looks ugly! This is such a waste of time.
Ever since I started organizing art workshops, it became a certainty that the first thing I would heard from the person’s mouth is that they are not talented and that their mind is blank. Once they pass this stage and finish creating something, the next immediate reaction is: This is horrible. I told you I had no talent. However, this weekend I was really hurt to hear the same exact reaction from a 9 year old girl refusing to draw because apparently she drew ugly.
It hurts to hear that from the very beginning there is so much criticism towards oneself and so much rejection for something that is not perfect or beautiful. And this is how I came to the conclusion that perfection and beauty kill our spirit and our creativity. From my point of view, the problem stands on how we define creativity. For me, creativity means not to rely on something that already exists. Creativity is having the courage to create something with your own hands. Creativity is not being afraid of making mistakes. Creativity is taking the risk to put your personal touch on something. Creativity is having fun. Thus, creativity can only be defined as self-reliance, courage, taking risks and not being afraid. When we forget about defining creativity as perfection or beauty, that’s when you will understand the joy of creating something regardless of the result. Creativity happens when we focus on the progress and not on the result, when we let go of control and embrace randomness.
This weekend a creative mother had the idea of crafting birthday hats for her baby boy’s party. The simple fact that she chose not to rely on the birthday hats found in stores, the fact that she had the courage to try something new, the fact that she was not afraid of creating something imperfect means more than the result itself. And if you are curious to know the result, well I thought they turned out pretty darn good! The feature photo of this post shows our final products. Aren’t they so great with all their imperfections?
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