Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Creativity - Breaking the Mold

There are times when creativity can manifest itself in subtle ways, off the beaten path of our own particular creative endeavors. Creative people often find they have more than just one primary outlet, though they may prefer one over the other.

I have drawn and doodled for as long as I can remember. Much longer than I've been writing. In junior high school I used to carry around a folder filled with drawings much like the one to the left. One day the folder went missing and I later found out, after hours of fruitless searching, that my father had thrown it away. Was it out of contempt? Was it because this use of my time seemed to be a waste? Was my drawing something that he felt he needed to cure? I don't know, but I was devastated.

I stopped drawing for a while - I suppose you could say that my heart was broken and it took some time to mend those wounds. But while I stopped drawing, I couldn't help but fill my school notebooks and the notes I wrote to my classmates with little doodles, escaped convicts of my efforts to quell the creative uprising.

Even today, I can't help but doodle when taking notes. Someone might look at what I've written and determine that I wasn't paying attention - a misunderstanding that has occurred on more than one occasion. Much to the contrary, however, doodling while listening helps me to remember things and I often remember them much longer than those who attend the trainings or briefings with me. Some people are the complete opposite. Their notes must in perfect order, everything with a place: outlines with numbers and letters. It might have something to do with the whole right brain / left brain thing, I'm not sure. The important thing is to find which method works for you and to realize that the status quo isn't for everyone.

Now, the point of this post is not to say that I can draw. There are people out in the world today that can dwarf whatever talents I may or may not have with the wave of a pencil. The point is that sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Don't let other people and their expectations get in the way of who you are. It is okay to be creative and to want to spend your time expressing that creativity. As long as you aren't hurting anyone or anything, feel free to pursue the creative outlets that strike you as appealing. Likewise, don't expect perfection from yourself - art is much more than that, it is expression and no one is perfect. Therefore all art is subject to understanding.

Be courageous, break the mold and listen to the gentle song of the muse as she whispers in your ear.
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