Hey Everybody! Welcome to Curiously Creative’s first blog post! And my first blog write up EVER! So I think it is fitting to share the curiously creative story. Which however is virtually impossible without diving into my own personal relationship and journey with creativity. So here goes.
I have been a creative soul since I was a kid. This sentence seems simple enough to say but boy, owning it, living it, feeling it, being it, has not been a simple process. Growing up, my creative pursuits were taunted by someone I loved and craved attention from, as being frivolous, unworthy, illegitimate, of no service and a reflection of my future inability to support my loved ones. In other words, it was a thing you can do, but not a thing you can pursuit. Although I never gave up on being creative, naturally my sense of worthiness of receiving love became tied to the value of my creativity. So my relationship with creativity became one of proving a point. The point that it WAS of value. Not of value to me though, but of value to others.
THE CREATIVE SUPERHERO
So I went about “legitimizing” my art by choosing Graphic Design for University, because it would be more of a “real” job. But this wasn’t enough. I went volunteering in “third” world countries to figure out how design can save the world, then did my Honours on creating HIV Awareness for an Aids organization in Kenya, and then my Masters on designing information that would TRANSFORM health care! While these are ofcourse important problems and experiences I do not regret one bit. I realised that it was all a sneaky internal game to validate my creativity. All the study helped me pretend I was doing important things and fueled the idea that it had to be grandeur and world dominating for it to be of value. But never feeling enough or fulfilled. So it was only a matter of time, when I started asking myself ‘what was it that I really wanted to do?’
THE ONE THING!
The thing was though, I quickly found that trying to figure out what I loved to do was not the problem. The problem was CHOOOOOSING ONE THING! This idea that your passion had to be this one vocation was driving me nuts! I am a dancer, designer, teacher and creative thinker for a lot of things. And I LOVE all of them! I also love Elizabeth Gilbert! Who’s talks and book Big Magic has helped me understand a lot about myself in my creativity. So you can imagine my excitement on finding out she would be talking in Auckland and I would get ALL the answers I needed! Her response to not knowing your passion - "follow your curiosity". I remember thinking, ‘well.. that doesn’t help me.. I have been curious my whole life. How long do I have to be flippin curious for??!' Tell me how to choose and find focus.. JUST TELL ME NOW PLEASE! I Lined up to ask this during Q&A, only for time to run out just as it was my turn.
Oh well.. That is okay. Cause you know what! Kung fu Panda 3 came along and I got my answer there! When you are seeking, sometimes, answers come from the most unexpected places. But seriously Kung Fu Panda is some deep shit guys! Go see it! There is this scene where PO finally finds his chi from all the things he is. He IS all the things! So maybe all the things is what makes me up too!
THE ROSE IN THE THORN
This wasn’t the point where I suddenly figured how to make a start at something, OR anything though. It wasn’t until hitting a real low point after returning from an inspiring trip to Europe, where I suddenly found myself out of work, broke, emotionally displaced and not knowing my next direction. This was when all the accumulative experiences and growing awareness were starting to trigger some clarity and action in to the acknowledgement that for a very long time I had denied myself creativity for creativity sake. Not for saving the world, not for others opinions but purely for joy.
FOLLOWING THE FEELING
This is why I started creating artwork for friends, which helped me stay sane and active. I found myself getting delightfully surprised at the enjoyment I was getting from creating them, and the joy it gave others. And in these cases, when you aren’t sure what to do, the best you can do sometimes is to follow the feeling. And the feeling felt great.
This is the artwork that you now see as products on curiously creative. But it isn’t just about the products. The products are what they are because of the journey. In a conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity, Brene Brown mentions that during her research on shame, she found 85% of men and women interviewed remembered an event in school that was so shaming, it changed how they thought of themselves for the rest of their lives. For HALF of those people, those shame wounds were around creativity resulting in art or creativity scars. This reminded me that my story is not an isolated occurrence. Sharing the story is just as important in the process of healing and finding courage as the act of creating. Because as Brene Brown Puts it. “When you are taking on creativity you are taking on soul work, this is not about what we do, it is about who we are”
So here we are, with Curiously Creative. Lovingly created products and conversations that hopefully bring you joy and inspire you to honour your own creative curiosities. Because as it turns out, we are ALL creative and must remain more curious then we are afraid. That may be how life gets a lil scary and uncomfortable, but is also how we grow and how life gets fabulous! Lets see where this journey takes all of us.
With love, light and a massive splash of joy
Creative Curiosity Advocate
PS. Below is the list of inspiring resources I mention above!
- Big Magic. Creative Living Beyond Fear. Elizabeth Gilbert
- Magic Lessons Se.1, Ep. 12: Brene Brown on "Big Strong Magic"