150+ Creative Acts is inviting everyone to get creative this summer and to let us know what you are doing.
Every time we hear about a creative act, we are counting it. For every 150 acts, we are making a giant candle and are displaying them around Castlegar.
So far the community has done over 300 fabulous creative acts in our workshops and events and from the public. We’ve received photos of drawings and paintings, construction projects, knitting, gardening – even a wild boar pie in the shape of a wild boar.
We’re displaying these on Facebook, Instagram and our website. But there’s been a trend that most of our acts have come from kids, youth or adult artists. We want all these folks to continue to participate but we want to encourage the people who think they are not creative. Everyone is creative.
Creativity is becoming a vital skill and attitude, as our workplaces become more automated, as we adapt to climate change and as we need to learn to live with those we see as “other.”
Creativity requires open-mindedness, it helps us solve problems, and leads to better mental health. Being creative is a positive way of life. We can start now to model to our children that creativity does not end with adulthood.
Here are some ideas I’ve read about that may help some of you get going:
Rethink what creativity means
When people talk about a creative act, do you think painting? Painting is definitely part of creativity but creativity is a much broader idea. Musician and writer Henry Rollins defines it partially as “Starting with nothing and ending up with something.” That “something” can cross all areas of work, activity and thought – a person can be a creative hockey player, coming up with new a new shot to outwit the opposing goalie. A creative parent can make a delicious dinner for the kids from whatever is in the fridge and cupboards.
What did you love to do when you were a child?
If you aren’t sure where to begin to create, think about what was stood out to you from your childhood. Was it the taste and smell of your Grandma’s cooking? Pick up a cookbook. Was it the thrill of Super Mario? Find a way to re-create that sense of adventure –make a scavenger hunt for your kids.
Challenge your self-image
When I was a child, my sister was the “artistic one.” She was and she still is. But as a child, I was told I was the “academic” one and so I didn’t think I was creative until I had a strong urge to paint. I responded to that need and it opened up a whole world for me. Sometimes the comments of parents or teachers, even if they mean well, can shift and shape a child’s self identity. Who knows, maybe you aren’t tone deaf and can sing.
What are your reasons?
Many people, including creators, come up with reasons to avoid creating.
“I’m too… tired, poor, busy, lazy, old, uninspired…and so on.”
Some of these can be very valid reasons. A lot of people work one or more jobs, parent, volunteer and so on.
If you can find some time, ask yourself if there are other reasons why, such as fear. T
here are all sorts of book and resources on-line that can help you with this aspect. For me, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron helped me tremendously.
Some resources can induce a sense of guilt if you can’t get up at 4 a.m. to write before your day starts, for example. If you are honestly full-on with all the demands of your life, give yourself a break. You don’t have to do or be everything. On the other hand, if you are stopping yourself because you are scared, be honest with yourself, be brave and take a chance.
Instead of buying a large canvas and staring at it, get a piece of paper and doodle. If you can’t draw a straight line, get some magazines, paper and scissors and make a collage (and if you want to draw a straight line, use a ruler). Instead of sitting down to write a novel, try writing a paragraph. If you want to build a piece of furniture, start with a simple box.
These are a few ideas to help you get creating, gathered from a variety of sources.
There are thousands of resources on the internet and in books and magazines to help you as well. Hopefully some of you will feel inspired to take a (small) leap into creativity.
150+ Creative Acts is a project of the Kootenay Gallery of Art. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.