Anyone that’s been following us for a while knows that I’m prone to jenvy and comparisons. An area where I’m particularly prone to this is in creative endeavours. This, of course, flies in the face of what creativity is really supposed to be about – the joy! And creativity is one of the core ways we believe, as Ripenists, that we can express our purpose.
It got me thinking about what I perceive to be the different types of creative souls:
My Mother has staunchly maintained all of her days that she is not creative, yet she is one of the most ingenious problem-solvers I know. She is a whizz at coming up with creative solutions to whatever practical problems present themselves. Need to store a leek in the fridge? Use the long narrow plastic bag that came with the vacuum cleaner nozzle. Getting sick of restacking the towels so that the newest one is on the bottom of the pile? Put the newest one on the top of the pile and just pull the oldest one out from the bottom. Got a banging door? Put to use that old piece of sheepskin that’s been lying around, by taping it to the door jam. And yet she still doesn’t see herself as creative!!
If you’ve been watching the development of Kate’s Butterfly Garden on our Facebook page, you can see evidence of what a hard-wired beautifier does effortlessly. They see opportunities for creating beauty and they do so – whether that’s a garden, interior design, or a workspace. They can envision and then execute a plan that creates beauty, or more beauty, where there was none before. Have a blank wall, a less than pretty garden, a colourless outfit? Ask a Beautifier for their thoughts.
My friend Sharen has a crafter’s soul. Right from the time we were kids she was always making something – whether it was sewing clothes, knitting or all manner of crafts – she always had a project on the go. I was an enthusiastic crafter as kid but over the years other pursuits have taken over. From my observations, crafters can’t help themselves. A beautiful example I saw recently was a handmade book cover that was, quite literally, a work of art. You can check out more of Gaylene’s work here.
These are the creative souls that love experimenting with food and drink. They take delight in reading food magazines and combing the aisles of bookshops for the latest cookbooks. They indulge in planning, and then creating, moreish and beautiful meals, craft beer, pickles, chocolates… (salivating yet?!) And unlike so many of us, they enjoy the process of creating things to eat or imbibe at least as much as the outcome. You can easily spot Epicureans because they are a fount of foodie knowledge. Even if they don’t spend a lot of time cooking up things themselves they can still tell you where to get the very best saffron or the strongest blue cheese or the most aromatic Viognier.
This is a tricky category because very few of us are prepared to own up to it. We figure that in order to be an artist you have to create good stuff – a painting, a sculpture, a piece of writing. But here’s the thing: if it’s about your creative soul, then it’s not about the outcome, but the process. If you’re drawn to paint, write, photograph, sculpt, pot or any other artistic pursuit and you deny yourself this joy because you’re concerned what other people will think of your work if you claim this moniker then, quite frankly, get over yourself 😉
Because even if you’re not depriving the rest of us, you’re depriving yourself! (I’m not taking the high road here because I’m still not comfortable calling myself a ‘writer’, despite some positive and kind feedback from the Ripenist community. But for as long as I can remember writing has been the thing I’ve wanted to do.) So if you have an artistic soul, you know what you need to do … go be artistic!
These are those among us who see the connection between other’s ideas and come up with something new from joining the dots. They see opportunities where others only see blank space. They may read something in a book and link it to a problem others are having, they may envision what the future might look like completely independently of anything or the trend line for a situation or circumstance that’s playing out right now. My Beloved is one of these – he simply cannot help himself but come up with new ideas. It’s like if left to its own devices, his brain is noodling away on all the possibilities from all the information he’s taking in. As he puts it, he’s an ‘intellectual man of mystery’! Unlike other creative soul’s Ideator’s may not end up doing the actual creation but they are often catalyst for other’s creations.
These are a special kind of creative – they don’t necessarily do the creating but they have a huge passion and enjoyment for the creative works of others. I have a lovely friend who always has tales of the latest concert, play, or exhibition he’s been to or the latest piece of literature he’s read. More than this though, he speaks of these works with an awe and reverence usually reserved for mystical experiences. When I’m doing my comparison thing, I feel the opposite of well read and well informed. He doesn’t go to Arts and Writer’s Festivals to be seen, he goes because the work makes him think, and stretch and grow, He goes to be entertained but also to be challenged. He goes to enjoy having his creative soul stimulated.
I’m not sure we’re all exclusively one type of creative soul or another but I am sure we are all creative souls!
Which type resonates most with you? Leave a creative comment!