Are Creatives Born Or Made?

By Kimberly A. Cook               (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Creativity fascinates me.  Since I think of myself as a creative with imagination, the biggest challenge I have is explaining the “process” to other folks. The classic, “where do you get your ideas?” question stumps or terrorizes many a writer.

My answer is where don’t I get ideas? If I keep my eyes and ears open, I’m flooded with input. I consider myself a writing pirate; always looking for writing adventures and seeing buried story treasure everywhere.

Not to get clinical, but I believe creativity is rooted in being a lifelong learner and having the curiosity of a cat. While past public school system curriculum may have taught to primarily left brains, I always knew I was a right brain creative type.   I conformed to get through school, but kept my right brain engaged. Luckily I had many teachers who helped me keep it alive.

A big challenge for creatives is to not lose the sense of wonder and awe we experience on this planet and reinforce our childlike love of play. Before I could read I made up stories to match the pictures in my books. Then movies were my imagination made real in front of my eyes.  Everything from how I decorate my home to my wardrobe are influenced. There are no limits on my brain’s need to explore and make up worlds. 

We are all creatives; some of us might be a bit out of practice or not think of ourselves that way. I know great cooks who make me swoon with the amazing food they produce and wood workers who can make a piece of furniture look so gorgeous I have to caress it. When my plumber or accountant help me out of a jam, they are using their creative right brain in an area I am lacking. Double ditto for all the tech hijinks my IT elf fixes.  

At one conference an ad agency creative director said the hardest part of his job was trying to explain to the company executives who hired their firm how they came up with an ad campaign. You really can’t make a schematic diagram for the creative process – it happens. Like finding buried treasure off the coast of Florida or in your own backyard, you must exercise your creativity muscle – the brain. Music helps me create. I play a special set of creativity music cds when I’m writing; if we only use 10 percent of our brain, I think the music is for the 90 percent of my grey matter responsible for my imagination. Don’t want it to get bored.   

Who can imagine how The Glass Duo in the video began learning the ancient art of the glass harp? How did the first glass harp player start back in Mozart’s day? Think about what you are passionate about and love to do – from writing to travel to your chosen profession – you might realize you’re a creative pirate too!

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