Forever we’ve been telling our children that they should be creative. We encourage it, nurse it, help build it and celebrate it. But when does it end? And why does it end?
Should we, as adults, stop being creative? If you’re not being paid to create and design and do something that makes you smile, is it a waste? I don’t think so.
I’ve been writing for years. It started with bad teen-age poetry and has evolved into blogs and editorials and story telling and bad adult poetry. And I love it. Creating and expressing and sharing makes me smile. It gives me a chance to connect and show the world some of what goes on in my mind. I don’t plan on ever giving it up. In fact, I wish I did more creating. I wish you did too.
I’ve got a great friend who, in his mind and heart, knows that he wants to make a movie. He’s mentioned it on Facebook and he and I have tossed around the idea for him, but he hasn’t committed to it. My goal tonight though, while we watch NBA basketball, is to make him get serious about it. He has ideas and vision and passion and he’s a creative guy. I should be nurturing that. It doesn’t matter that he’s in his mid-twenties and not eight years old. Patrick should be encouraged to make a movie and show it to the world. I believe in his talent and drive and desire to make a movie. To start with an idea and a dream and follow it through to the finish. I know it’ll be great. Hell, I’ll be his date when he premiers it at the Toronto International Film Festivals.
I’m also in awe of the creativity on the internet. Designers like Amanda Farough are making the internet a better looking place, it’s amazing. (Check out www.violetminded.com) The way that these people turn code into something worth looking at astounds me. Now, I’m useless when it comes to the kind of stuff that Amanda and her peers can accomplish. I have ideas of what I’d like webpages to look like, or include or how they should function, but I can’t make those things happen. And because of that I very much appreciate their effort and innovation and the creative nature of their work. I think that they should be encouraged and acknowledged for what they do. We should be pushing them (gently) to create new elements, pages, ideas, concepts and begging them to continue. The world is a better place because of what they do. Maybe not in a world peace kind of way, but I truly believe it nonetheless. And again, I’m not talking about our teenagers and their computer abilities. I’m talking about grown ups with a thirst and desire to make something new and share it with the world.
Already I’m coming up with a big finishing statement and I’m not even done yet.
I’m not much of an art connoisseur but I do enjoy some of the things that are out there. Whether it be wood block prints or painted robots or photos of Toronto’s skyline or a gorgeous sunset I can find a smile in them. I’m envious of people that can draw and paint and see art. It makes me want to doodle and sketch. And then I do, and I remember why I write instead. But when I’m given the opportunity to praise someone’s art work, I’m happy to do so. And I hope (fingers crossed) that some day I can be supportive with my wallet and wall space for the pieces like the ones I’ve been admiring for years. Why would we ever stop encouraging this artistic effort? When a pre-schooler finger paints we hang it on the fridge. When a 3rd grader draws her family with pencil crayons it goes on display and manages to bring a smile to our face and a tear to our eye. Is it homework that we start prioritising instead of creativity? Or maybe we stop pushing our teens to cultivate their talent and passion when they start developing other, more adult interests.
No matter what the reasons are that we stop, we need to find a way to keep it going. We need to find a way to push our adults. What’s to stop the amateur artist from sketching Batman and Robin on his lunch hour? Why wouldn’t a mom want to take the family camera and take some snap shots of her gorgeous city? Who says that the amateur comedian can’t make a podcast and get some laughs? There are opportunities for everyone to showcase their passions. So, whether you are a writer, comedian, musician, painter, sketcher, photographer, designer of code or clothing or you want to make a movie, take this as my personal encouragement to you.
Go forth and create. Show me and the world what you’re capable of and what makes you happy. Show your children, nieces, nephews and grand children that creativity is a life long mission. But most importantly, make yourself smile. Remember what made you happy when you were young and care free. And trust that it can keep you smiling as the years keep passing now. Make life long creativity your mission. And do your part to help cultivate the creativity of your friends and neighbours. This is something that we can accomplish together. Something that is within our reach. And something worth doing.
Good luck my friends.