Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Unleashing The Creativity Within

"We don't stop playing because we grow old,  we grow old because we stop playing."  Satchel Paige

Over the fist 8 months of this year there have been two new great joys that I've been lucky enough to experience. Firstly I've had the privilege of watching my daughter grow and discover the world around her during the first year of her life. Running almost in tandem with this has been the reigniting of the creative spark inside of me that has lay dormant for some time. I’ve been fortunate to have two jobs that give me opportunities to be creative, but the ongoing creative process that I have lost myself in when putting together my ideas for Lets Go Make has been quite exhilarating. I didn’t realise I had so much repressed creativity inside of me and it’s great to let it out. There must be a lot of other people who have a creative side just waiting to burst out and  for whatever reason it never happens.

As children we were actively encouraged to be creative, to paint, draw and make things and when we did so, we did it without inhibitions, not really caring what anyone else thought. If we got some positive feedback from a teacher or parent it was a bonus, and made us smile, but that wasn’t the reason for doing it. Somehow as we get older, and we start to care more what other people think of what we do, this creative innocence can get sucked out of us. We can be embarrassed about showing what we’ve done to other people for fear that they won’t like it.

Upon returning from a run the other night, a friend of mine opened his car boot to reveal a treasure trove of new art equipment he had purchased. He explained that he wanted to draw a picture of his young son and the excitement in his voice, as he described how he had started sketching again, was wonderful to behold. He used to be a fantastic artist in his youth but with the onset of adulthood he had let this side of him go.  As we get older it gets harder to fit creative pursuits into our lives and it can be even more difficult to justify if we are not that confident. I would urge anyone who has suppressed any urges to draw, paint, photograph, play an instrument, knit or do whatever they might long to do, to just start. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it, possibly even feel like a child again. Don’t worry about the end result, it’s all about the process – just have fun and enjoy.


  1. I teach many adult students, some of whom haven't picked up a pencil or brush since their school days. They obviously have an interest in art or they wouldn't have joined a class but they are amazed at what they can achieve and how absorbing creative activity is. I just hope schools make time for art and craft activities.

  2. I agree Sonia, it's a very liberating experience to be lost in a kind of creative flow where you're completely absorbed in what you are doing. It's not very often that we can completely switch off from everything that's going on around us.

  3. You're quite right, Mark, unleashing creativity is certainly good fun! Mummy has a couple of frames on the wall and puts new creations up every week. I create so many masterpieces, we don't have enough wall space for all of them!