Picasso and me

I talked a few months back at the Orange Conference about the subject of Creativity, a topic that has fascinated me as of late. As I mentioned there, one of the reasons is because I have always held a job with the word “creative” in my title, yet not really knowing how to be creative.  I have always assumed that some are born creative, like the guy who can get away with purple sunglasses, and there are others who don’t have creative vigor.

Well, as I’m prone to do, I changed my mind. I now agree with Picasso, when he said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  I find something profound in this idea, that creativity isn’t something we gain as we get older.  Quite the opposite, it is actually something we are all born with yet some of us just happen to lose.    I want to discuss this topic in further posts, but I wonder how many of us are born with amazing creative potential that never gets unleashed because we convince ourselves somewhere along the way that we just don’t have it.

I think it’s a lot of us, myself included. As we grow older in a broken world, our sin nature comes with the toxic gift of shame, and shame becomes like a muscle we flex over and over until it becomes a strong guiding force controlling our thoughts.  The more acute our sense of shame is, the greater our fear of failure is, and the greater that fear of failure, the less creative we are.  I don’t think the trick is in becoming creative, I think the trick is really in decreasing your fear of failure.    I say all of this, I suppose, because I believe our creativity is apart of God’s design and desire for us in this world. Creativity is something that every job needs, every problem needs, and what we need to survive in an increasingly complex world.  We are made in the image of a creative God, and perhaps we reflect that image more vividly when we are being creative.

This adds a certain spiritual nature to every pursuit.  When you enroll in a dance class and you hate dancing because you are afraid of not knowing how, you are being creative.  A student who takes a class even though they are afraid of the subject is being creative.  A mom who parents each child uniquely because she understands the nuances of personality is being creative. No purple sunglasses required.

Do you consider yourself creative?