Musings

Definitions of Creativity

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

I’m recovering today from the whirlwind of last two days, feeling so amazed by all the talent on display and impressed with the hundreds of creative people present at the same conference, sharing their knowledge and skills with one another.

I’ve been thinking about creativity a lot, what it means, how to channel it, where it comes from, and how to use those inspired ideas to turn them into something satisfying and tangible.  Children are great examples of creativity in action.  Their minds are free to make up worlds and crafts and ideas and art with their wild imaginations and most express themselves creatively without reservation.

But then something happens as we grow.  We start to care what others will think and then we squelch our creativity deep down out of fear.  I think that’s where the common phrase “I’m not creative” comes from, our adult shell refusing to let our childlike inspiration run free.  I believe we’re all born creative, and as adults, we need to consciously tap into those ideas, those feelings, those moments, and take action to express them, whether it’s writing or photography or art or design or whatever subject it is that brings forth those unique ideas.

On this topic, I asked a few ladies who express their own creativity with great confidence and finesse to share their personal definitions.  I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I do.

“Creativity often happens for me when I’m out and about in Mother Nature (even if it’s only the Urban Jungle).  It’s combinations of color especially blow me away, like the trees in a forest whose perfect shadings of multiple greens and browns inspired my living room walls and trim.”  – Elaine Griffin, Interior Designer

elaine griffin family room

 

“The thing about creativity is that it works best with three ingredients that most of us try to avoid. The first is margin, you know like white space. I do my best creative work when I give myself permission to mess around with no expectations if I know I need to be done in 15 minutes my creativity is squelched. Creativity takes unscheduled time.

The other ingredients? Risk and limitations. If you don’t take a risk then you aren’t really being creative are you? And those pesky limitations? Those are the parameters where the creativity happens. My most creative days last year were when I worked ahead of time and decorated for my sister’s book release party. I limited myself to decorating with only book pages and then I had time to take big risks knowing if something didn’t work out, I could make something else.”  – Nester from Nesting Place

nesting place creativity

 

 

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A Purpose Filled Home

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Most of the time, I’m in charge of my weekend, but not this last one – it was in charge of me.  I had high hopes of spending my Saturday gardening after I spent $60 at a local nursery on new plants and annuals, but the rain kept me from my plans, and I was forced indoors.  In hindsight, it was a good thing, because instead I set the plants aside and concentrated on some much needed interior spring cleaning, and in the midst of that purging and organizing I came to a conclusion about my home.

I think a lot of us seek purpose in our lives, I know I do.  In my later years, I want to look back and hope I made a difference, especially my family’s lives.  It came to me during all that scrubbing and dusting that our homes need purpose just as much as our lives do, and I started to think about all the ways a home can serve a purpose beyond just the shelter of four walls and a roof.  As I cleaned and decluttered, tossing out the unnecessary, polishing and displaying the lovely, I concluded that there are several elements in a purpose filled home.   

A purpose filled home tells a story.  Have you ever walked into a home that’s clearly been decorated by an outsider and it felt a bit… cold?  I have, many times.  Don’t get me wrong, I think interior decorators serve a necessary purpose, the best ones help people pull together a look that suits the resident’s lifestyle and tastes.  However, my favorite homes, the ones of friends and family, the ones I recall from the past and love in the present, aren’t fancy or pretentious, instead they tell a story of those who live within because they’re so personalized, from the pictures on the walls to the books on the bookcase.  I want our home to tell our story too. 

pics and lilacs cg

We all know the famous quote by William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  Every season as I clean and purge, I think of those words and ask myself, is this thing Useful?  Beautiful?  Sentimental?  If not, out it goes.  It’s important to love everything in your home and I believe it’s better to live in a sparsely furnished space than to fill it with meaningless objects.   

A purpose filled home is one which reflects the resident’s style, and without apology.  We’re inundated with images from shelter magazines, Pinterest, design blogs, and other publications, it’s easy to fall prey to the notion that your home isn’t up to snuff.  Nonsense I say.  I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go, and I know which ones aren’t for me.  I respect and admire all great design, but at the end of the day I know what I like and I’ll stick with it through all the trends that come and go.

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