On Being Creative… / by Marcell Marias

My Other will occasionally look at me from across the table or in a quiet moment and ask me, “What’s it like to be creative?”

I don’t think I have ever answered the question to her satisfaction.

I mean, how do you quantify that?  My Other is a measurable genius. I suppose it would be kind of like asking her “What’s it like to be smart?”  It’s not like she has a point of reference; she just is.  She can’t separate herself from her synapses and mental processes anymore than she can separate her vena cava from the rest of her circulatory system.  

But while not all of us can be intellectual powerhouses… I believe ALL of us can be creative.  And are creative. 

I think we in the artistic community are often a little too protective of our turf.  We can make strange statements like “Everything the artist spits out is art”.  We can be purposefully oblique and toss our heads in disgust when people don’t ‘get it’.  We can be offensive, yet surprised when people take offense.    We have a bad tendency as a community to define creativity along our own lines, often to the exclusion of others who may not see the universe as we do. 

But every time we see patterns and want to recreate them… we are being creative. 

Every time we appreciate a piece of music... we are being creative. 

Every time we appreciate a sunset, because somehow this one is DIFFERENT from the one hundred sunsets preceding it…we are being creative. 

Every time a sports fan makes connections between hard statistics for their favorite pitcher… we are being creative. 

Every time we cook a meal, with all the many possibilities and ingredients… we are being creative.  

Every time we resolve a conflict… we are being creative. 

Creativity is not limited to the physical and sonic arts.  Creativity is an expression of who we ARE.  Creativity sees the bits and pieces, picks them up, and strings them together into a necklace.  It sees things as more than the sum of the parts.  Not because it HAS to… but because it WANTS to.  Whether it’s music, or sports, or food, or painting, or writing, or geophysics, or computers, or middle management.

Embrace your own creativity.  It’s already there.