Friday, December 10, 2010

Creativity - you were born with it

To my friends over at the Lesson Loft, I apologize, this will be a duplicate post. During a thread, the discussion of ones 'lack of creativity' arose. The following was my response. I thought it had some merit for others to maybe think about, so I wanted to add it here.

Here goes: When I was in college studying art the prof presented some factual info about children and their playing habits. Since I have had my own children, that lesson rings truer than ever - I never forgot it. Here is the crux of it: People ARE BORN creative. Life and institution teaches them NOT TO BE. The whole concept of 'right and wrong' and 'facts', completely undermines a child's imagination.

Creating an imaginary friend is something many kids do. Once upon a time, you looked to the sky and saw animals or other wondrous shapes and creatures. Perhaps you wondered what clouds taste like, or if you could bounce on them. Today, those same clouds are just tasteless water, suspended in the atmosphere, waiting to return one day as rain. Education, peers, life experiences slowly push the creativity out of you. If you relate to any of this, it further supports the premise that you were BORN WITH IT.

I think some personality types are promoted to stay with it. As a child, I was always a good artist. I could draw at a level higher than most of the other kids. So my teachers and peers promoted me to do this more. It made me cool and it separated me from the herd. My creativity became not silly - but artistic. I could pull the same BS as some other kids, but because I was deemed one of the "art" kids, I was allowed to roam with it. I could grow my hair long or wear whatever I wanted and it was cool on some level. People LOOOVE putting others in boxes. I was in the art box therefore left to let my imagination continue.

Now I am not saying genetics have zero to do with it - they do. What I am saying, is that whatever your level, you are far more creative than you think. You just haven't likely allowed yourself, or should I say your ego or your peers have not allowed you to truly let go and play like a child. It is hard as an adult to get this back - but I believe you can.

Seriously try this, take a canvas (or paper) and some paint, get your hands in it and start chucking it around. Learn to play again - not the guitar but with your mind. Create imaginary landscapes, write stories about things not real, use the wrong colours - paint the sky purple, the wrong words. There is no harm in any of this! But somehow we are uncomfortable with the idea of doing so. If reading this gives you a pang of discomfort that is EGO - validating, judging. This 'I cant it is wrong' feeling is anti-music. It is the death of your dreams of playing well. Exorcise this crap from your being.

Then take these 'I can try anything' approaches to your playing and I think you will be surprised what you have within.The next time you learn a box pattern or some chord form ... pull out the old canvas and chuck it around a bit!

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