I consider myself a creative type. I grew up loving music and art and dance. I realized early in life that I didn’t have enough talent to make a career in a creative arts path. So I took my creativity and found gainful employment doing corporate work. Very often, boring corporate work.
My creative flair set me apart from my co-workers, and sometimes in a good way. I had a boss who would regularly slip into one of my computer training courses deep in the bowels of the Defense Intelligence Agency at a major military installation and comment that I should give stand-up comedy a try. What she didn’t know is that I was doing stand-up right there, in the times she wasn’t in my class. How did she think I got such great attendee reviews?
You may not long for a spotlight in your eyes. You may see yourself signing books at your neighborhood Barnes & Noble. Or see your art hanging in a regional art museum. Or see your handiwork being sold in a specialty boutique. Or see 100 presentations of your best recipes being served each night in a local hot spot. And like me, you may be paying the bills with other types of work, things not related to your creative passion.
Creative To The Core
I believe that everyone is creative. Yes, I see that some people have more flare and greater talent, but I think that at the core, we are all creative people. And most of us are not engaged in creative work endeavors. So how can we honor the creative core while we eek out our living doing something that doesn’t feed our creativity?
First, acknowledge that your passion is your creative core. It doesn’t matter if others don’t think you are creative. Maybe you have a knack for sensing the abilities of professional athletes, and your creative outlet is selecting your fantasy team each season. Whatever it is, admit that you have a creative core. If you are not sure about your creative outlet, think about the one thing that gives you joy. When you do your creative thing, time stops and all is right with the world.
Carve out a small space in your life for your creativity. It doesn’t matter if it is a single drawer where you keep your supplies, or the ritual Sunday morning breakfast you create with a flourish. Find a way to incorporate your creativity into your life. Make an appointment to include your creativity in your schedule if necessary.
About a year ago, I converted my seldom used guest bedroom into an art studio. I pulled tubs of supplies out of the garage, organized the space, and set up shop. Ideally, I spend a couple hours one evening a week in the studio. To encourage my use of the studio, and to help me integrate my art into my life, I started an art blog where I can talk about my art and my journey as an artist. It doesn’t matter that I don’t sell my art. What matters is that I’m doing it and my daily life is richer because of it. Each project I do feels great at the time, and inspires me to greater things I can do next.
I believe that exercising my creativity in the studio makes me a better person. I believe it widens my perspective in all areas. This means that I have more ideas for solving problems in my corporate work as well. It also brings out the best in me, and that means that a better and improved version of myself shows up at work every day. Even though what I do in the studio has no direct bearing on my work, I know that just being engaged creatively in the studio makes everything I do better, including my work.
What is your passion? What would happen in your life if you carved out just a sliver of space and time to engage in something that touches and nurtures your creative core? Why not give it a try and see what happens?