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Don’t ever say you’re not creative

Why do so many people say they are not creative at all? When did we bestow such a heavy meaning to the word ‘creative’ that it scares people off?

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Why do so many people say they are not creative at all? When did we bestow such a heavy meaning to the word ‘creative’ that it scares people off? Why do people think they practically have to be able to make fine art before they can consider themselves creative?

Creativity is the ability to make something new. Everybody is creative. Whether you make dinner, or a beautiful garden, assemble an outfit to wear or make a painting.

My name is Maartje de Boer, I am a Dutch mosaicist. I make mosaic art and teach people how to make mosaics. To promote my art and workshops I regularly attend artfairs. And every so often someone walks by, stops to admire my mosaics and then says ‘I could never do that’. Or ‘I love it, but I am not creative at all’.

Hold on, where did that come from? Don’t you make other things, anything? Have you ever tried it at all? Sure, I have spend more then 12 years studying techniques, developing my own style. You probably won’t reach the same level in one day. And of course, it is not just a matter of developing skills, there is also talent to consider. But that can only shine it’s briljant light when you give it a try and master your skills.

And sure, you have to play around a little to find out what medium you prefer: do you like to paint, make mosaic or music? Give me a blank canvas, a brush and some paint and I’m lost, completely uninspired. I wouldn’t know what to make. Mosaic is my medium, it triggers my inspiration and fantasy. But the only way to find that out is by giving it a try.

So many people have little faith in their own ability to create, whatever the subject or medium. Creativity is innate, it’s in everyone of us!! There to discover, to use and enjoy.

Just try it. When it doesn’t work out, at least you tried. You probably had loads of fun while you were at it. So what if you found out that this particular thing was not for you. Just don’t confuse that with not being creative, don’t sell yourself short like that.

That’s what I love most about working with kids. They are still so in tune with their creativity, so unafraid and unrestrained. They just go at it, knowing exactly what colors to use and where. They don’t question their own judgement and when they finish they love it, they are proud of themselves. Because they had a picture in their mind and they made it. And they want everyone to see and admire it.

It leaves me thinking: when did we lose that confidence in ourselves, the joy and excitement of making something new?

In almost every workshop I give there is a someone. Someone who picked up the courage to sign up for the workshop, or tagged along with a friend. But who seems so lost at first. Looking at what the others are doing, not sure where to start, undecisive about the colors and materials, doubting and second guessing their own ideas and intuition.

I find it all the more rewarding when that someone then takes the plunge and surrenders. You can see their level of confidence growing with every piece they put in. And they always totally amaze themselves and end up making a lovely mosaic.

So please, don’t ever say you are not creative, because you are. Don’t give yourself that disempowering label, it’s just not true. We are innately unable to not be creative. Come out of that comfortzone and try out something new every once in a while. You just might amaze yourself!

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