I recently responded to a conversation thread about creativity, specifically the top three skills needed to be creative. What I think, and what I’ve learned, is that we don’t need skills to be creative, we just need to create.
Here’s what I wrote:
Creativity blossoms in an environment that is judgment-free — and that includes head space. We need to give ourselves permission to be creative without fearing that we’ll be judged on our ideas, approaches, actions, or things we create through decorating, art, music, etc. With a level playing field where judgment of ourselves and others doesn’t impose (or self-impose) limits, it frees us up to entertain possibilities and opportunities we may otherwise dismiss.
Years ago, I was spending time with one of my nephews (then about 4 years old). We had paper, markers and crayons spread out on the table so that we could draw. He was on his third picture when he looked up and asked me why I hadn’t drawn anything yet. I told him I didn’t know what to draw (when really my inner voice was being critical of my talents and was holding me back because I was worried that my drawing wouldn’t be “good”). He replied, with the infinite wisdom that children have, “It doesn’t matter what you draw — just draw.”
It’s that simple.
BTW, the image above is a painting I created. Until today, no one else has seen it except another of my nephews who was with me when I painted it during what we called “art therapy”. The rules were that we just painted — anything — and we weren’t allowed to comment on each other’s work. At all. It was liberating.
And now it’s posted on the Internet.
It really is that simple.