While most Americans are making resolutions to lose weight or to quit smoking, I am resolving to be more creative in 2011. As an entire year of possibilities lies before me, I am excited just thinking of the many opportunities I will have to create.
December proved to be an above-average month in my creativity. Why? I had a purpose. I was creating gifts for Christmas. I learned how to knit, how to crochet, and how to make jewelry. I had such a good time creating.
I have to admit that seeking to be creative can be intimidating. As you stare at a blank canvas or a variety of beads, you can be overwhelmed. Where do you start?
Do I know what my end product will be? Not necessarily. I liken it to when I begin to write an article. Do I know every word I will write and the order in which they are written? Absolutely not. I have a vague idea and just begin. I have the freedom to change my mind, change my direction, etc. Why? Because I am the creator of the work.
If you are like me, you have many different areas of interest. I enjoy photography, watercolor, sketching, colored pencil, sewing, knitting, crocheting, making and designing jewelry to name a few of my interests. I also like to cook and make new recipes. I teach my children at home and enjoy finding different ways to teach. All of these areas of interest require a certain degree of creativity.
Luckily I am not a perfectionist. I do not restrain myself with the fear of making a mistake. To me being creative is a freeing experience. Give yourself the freedom to try and fail. Most of the time you can just start over. Delete the photograph, unstring the beads, or remove the stitch. Sometimes it is not so easy to correct our mistakes, but it might take you in a different direction.
Years ago, I was reading Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes. In the book, I was initially surprised when she advises that children should learn to draw with a marker. A marker? Really? But what if they mess up?
She believes that if a child messes up by drawing the line in the wrong place, they need to learn to use their creativity to change the drawing. Artists need to learn to adapt. Not only is it an exercise in creativity, but this method also teaches students be more precise when putting marker to paper.
My personal encouragement comes from God himself. He is the Creator, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and everything in them. God is the epitomy of creativity. As He is busy creating in Genesis, the Bible tells us, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
If God, who is perfect in every way, can stand back from His creation and admire it, then I can stand back and admire my creations. He did not call His work perfect. He was content with very good. Likewise, I can be content with my work being alright. It does not have to be great or a masterpiece.
Regardless of your abilities or level of creativity, resolve to be more creative this year. Keep yourself open to learning new skills. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just create for the sake of being creative. And who knows, you might surprise yourself and your family in 2011.