Sunday, March 13, 2011


Firstly, a plea to readers - this is an interactive blog, so please, please leave feedback.  The point of writing this is to have readers respond and share their thoughts, experiences and ideas. I am not expecting readers to agree with me (though that's great if you do) - by all means, if you have a different opinion, then please feel free to express it.  I am not going to criticize or abuse you.

Now to this week's topic.....Because I'm doing an Arts course, I'm naturally thinking a lot about creativity.  I've had many people say to me "Oh, you're so lucky to be able to make things, I'm not creative at all".  I don't agree.  I think we are all creative, especially as children, but this talent is either stifled or simply not used.

Perhaps someone told us we were c*** at drawing (or singing, or dancing or making things or whatever). Perhaps our own "self talk" told us we weren't as good as our classmates, so we stopped doing that activity.  I find it interesting that I have absolutely no recollection of school art classes.  In fact, I asked my friend, Hope, whom I've known for over 40 years, whether we even had art lessons at high school (apparently, we did). I can remember all my other subjects and teachers, but not Art.   

While I have dabbled a bit in handcrafts and sewing since my teenage years, I doubt that anyone would have dubbed me "a  creative child".  I did some knitting for my children when they were small, and sewed clothes for them when I was on my own from financial necessity.  I also made some of my own clothes for the same reason.  However, working fulltime, raising 2 children and a number of years spent studying meant that I had little time for creative leisure pursuits.  This is the norm for women with families to care for.

What about you?  Do you find yourself being more creative in your spare time now that you have more time to yourself, or have you always done so?


  1. I made my mind up about 12 years ago that I was going to dedicate as much time as I could to being creative. I never thought of myself as an arty person although I loved those 'Paint by numbers' kits and sewing kits as a child and used to draw a lot (nothing technical just pretty flowers and decorative patterns). I remember art at school but never felt confident enough to enjoy it and challenge myself, although I did get chosen for an exhibition when I was 11. I did nurture dreams of being an artist and in my 30's started to learn to paint. After some life changing events I resolved to immerse myself in creativity and that has been my priority for over 10 years now. I don't always succeed in producing finished products but creativity is my number 1 priority whenever possible, household chores can wait!

  2. At junior school we made knitted cotton discloths for our mothers. Just simple garter stitch. I was the only one not allowed to take hers home. It was lumpy and uneven around the edges and full of holes from dropped stitches. I didn't knit for years but I did learn to crochet. My grandmother taught my little sisters and they taught me. When my daughter was a baby she had crochet blankets, crochet jackets, crochet hats and crochet dresses. But nothing knitted. I do knit now, but not very much. I got very indifferent marks for needlework at school too - but my mother and several other family members were all-round needlewomen, so creativity with needle and thread was encouraged not stifled!

  3. I do agree about how easy it is to self-talk into not thinking we are creative. Education is also a guilty party as there are set ways of doing things in art and craft that are viewed as the right way - so if you do things differently (and I'd call that creative) you are wrong! I used to feel that because I "can't draw" I'm not creative but now appreciate that that is totally untrue. Creativity is not the ability to produce a copy is it?

  4. I started drawing at a very early age and was "making things" constantly as a child. I always wanted to be an artist. It was my identity from childhood on.

    I love the story about an art professor who was going off to work. His 4 year-old daughter asked where he was going and he said he was going to teach people to draw. The child, in amazement, asked, "you, mean they forgot how?!"

  5. When I was drawing, coloring books, etc as a young kid, my parents always insisted that I do it right. In other words, I had to stay within rules, make houses that had straight walls, use real colors, etc. And it is still very much part of myself.
    I have been knitting, sewing, embroidering, etc for as long as I can remember. I have vivid memories of my sewing teacher at school. She gave me good basics, and I owe her a lot. I also remember big fights with my mother because my teacher taught me techniques different from my mother's, that worked better and I sticked to them. My mother was not pleased at all that I did not do as she did. We also had drawing and music, but I was always told by my parents that they were useless, that the drawings were awful, that I'd rather spend my time learning maths and French, etc.
    I've discovered creativity rather recently, but can my creativity only from time to time. I tend to follow patterns. To be creative, I need time, time, time, and since I'm working full time, and I'm rather tired when I come home at night, I don't have a lot of time, hence only few creativity.
    However, I've cleaned my stash a few weeks ago, realized all the treasures it contains. Since I have planned some works on my home, I try to limit my textile budget by using my stash to its best, and that makes me more creative :-) Somehow, here again, I'm following a rule. Apparently, I need them, sigh...

  6. I made my first clothes at age 6, always did cross stitch and dressmaking - my mother did and my grand mother worked as a semstress for BIBA so there was always lovely fabric around. When I had kids I made their clothes and still did stitching. In 1992 I was working full time and had the kids but started City and GUilds by correspondence. SInce then I have done 6 C&G courses whilst working and brining up the kids. Now at age 50 my kids are grown up but I still work full time and create my art to wear costumes in my evening and weekends - I am really looking forward to the day I can retire and do this full time! If only I could find a way of financing my art I would be doing it full time NOW!! I need to start a private teaching/workshop class but don't have the financil backign to quit my full time office job.