Dawn Tolbert

Writer
#366Days Creativity Emerge Faith Reflections Writing

Are you an artist? #366Days Day 6

Creativity is intelligence having fun. Einstein

My mom, my aunt and I took a continuing education course one night on making Christmas decorations or something like that. I don’t remember the particulars. What I do remember is what I refer to as The Episode of the Ribbon Rose! The goal was to make a rose out of this thin pink ribbon. When we finished, my mother had a perfect rose, my aunt had a nice rose and I, well… basically I had my fingers tied together.

Then there’s the crocheting. My sister and I started learning on the same day. She’s now a wonderful crochet-er (is that a word?), and I have recently forgiven myself for my failed crochet experiments and freed the yarn to go live with a friend who can turn it into art.

And on and on could my Confessional of failed artistic attempts go.

It’s easy to dismiss myself as untalented or not creative. But the truth is I wasn’t working in the right medium. Yarn, fabric, and other textiles simply refuse to perform for me. So it would be easy to declare myself a failure and return with a box of chocolate to watching Law and Order reruns for the rest of my natural life.

That would be a shame though. Because there’s something in me that has a desire to create, that wants to turn raw materials into something beautiful. But when you Google art and creativity, you’ll see images that look spattered with paint, sculptures of stone or clay, and dozens more visual art examples. So I feel not very artistic, not even really crafty.

Writing has been a passion for me for most of my life. But something — I’m beginning to think now that it was my Fear — taught me along the way that there are Those Who Write to Communicate and Those Who Write for Art. I planted myself firmly in the former category and decided that I didn’t have “the it” that would earn me membership in the latter. I tend to create what I think of as consumable writing — something with a very short lifespan: a news release here, notes for a report there, maybe the occasional feature story. But none of it, I imagine, will be raved over — or even railed against — in literature classes 100 years from now. And thus, the barrier.

That’s a pretty tough barrier to cross — the 100-year line. So, what are the choices? Does that mean I have nothing to contribute in the halting arena of Those Who Write for Art? Maybe. Maybe not. But that’s not really the point, and thoughts like that will keep us from doing what we have been gifted to do — goodness, it might even keep us from commenting on a blog post!

Through this #366Days Project and through The Pink Typewriter Project, I am learning that I do have something to offer. The quote above says that “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Don’t go off on the trail of thinking that intelligence is something like the elusive Art. We are all intelligent beings. In educational theory, we learned about a theory called Multiple Intelligences, which basically says that being intelligent doesn’t just mean being book smart. Dance, crocheting, writing, crunching numbers in Excel, athleticism, decorating rooms, decorating cakes, making ribbon roses, designing planned communities or well-run machines, and maybe as many more ways as there are people on the earth — these are all ways to show our intelligence, to express our creativity. When we start putting measures like the 100-year rule on ourselves, we begin to stifle that creative drive, to tap down what I believe is God’s creative spirit stirring within us. We are, after all, made — No! CREATED — in His image.

So, who’s ready to go have some fun? Do you have an idea for something creative you’ve always wanted to try? Do it!

 

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