The Build up of Creative Forces
It is my belief that all humans are creative beings. We have been conditioned and programmed to believe that 'creative' looks one way, like a passionate artist who's work flows effortlessly, names like Picasso, Mozart, Proust, and Van Gogh come to mind. We as a society seem to believe that creativity is something you have or you don't...
This is total bull. For one, every single person alive has the capacity to be creative, and express this capacity on a daily basis. Second, the highly creative people we know, artists and makers of any sort, do not inherently possess more creativity than anyone else. Just like any other skill, creativity is a learned trait that is developed through practice. While it is true that, just like some people are born in a more athletic body than others, some find it easier to channel ideas to express on canvas or into writing.
Do not take that to mean these people are more creative than you.
I was lucky enough to have been raised with my artistic capacities being nurtured. I spent my weekends immersed in creative activities, and my free time doodling, regularly practicing what I was good at. While I'm sure my parents would have rather I gone into a field with a little more job security than a fashion designer, it was no surprise to anyone that this was the path I chose. This may sound cocky or boasting, but the fashion design program in college was relatively easy for me, and though it was definitely challenging I found the skills I had learned through my life made it manageable.
Then there were the students who did not consider themselves artistic or creative. I pitied them as they were ripped apart at critiques for out of proportion drawings or ill fitting garments (I'd been sewing since such a young age I don't remember not doing it) but then as the years went on, the ones that stuck with it with steadfast determination seemed to be gaining on me.
Not that fashion is any sort of competition, but they seemed to be developing a creative edge that was the result of spending a few extra hours each week pushing themselves past their perceived limits. While I would put in minimal effort to get decent results, their habit of consistently having to work harder, in the end, made them just as good if not better designers than myself. Through sticking to a creative practice, they were able to evolve their abilities to something much greater.
It took me many years out of school, but I'd realized that while my lifetime of skills was all well and good, it would not get me very far, and what I really needed was a consistent practice and the ability to receive and transform criticism.
They had developed their creativity despite not having had grown up believing it was their birthright, not because of it.
They took in the criticism, doubts, and negative comments and transmuted it into energy with which to reinvest in their belief that they could, in fact, do a thing. They built up their creative force slowly over time, with drive and determination, in a way that the word "creative" truly defines.
create | verb | cre·ate \ krē-ˈāt , ˈkrē-ˌāt \
1: to bring into existence
2a : to invest with a new form, office, or rank
b : to produce or bring about by a course of action or behavior
Some of my favorite books to help with developing a creative practice, or on creativity in general are:
The Courage to Create - Rollo May
You Are A Dream - Prof G
Deep Work - Cal Newport
The Artists Way - Julia Cameron