Do you believe that creativity and inspiration comes from within us or from around us?
Personally I believe that all of us are capable of amazing creativity and inspiration.
Ancient Romans believed that 'genius' was something that existed outside of us, something that we received or possessed us.
In Arab folklore, a 'genie' is a spirit with intelligence and power. We think of a genie in a bottle - you rub the bottle and the genie will grant you wishes.
The Ancient Greeks had Muses - which were the Goddesses of inspiration.
I like this idea - that creative genius is perhaps all around us. I believe that everyone can be creative, you just have to be open to it.
Creativity is essentially a form of problem solving - it requires space and time for the mind to wander. Have you ever had the experience of waking up in the middle of the night with a problem solved, or an idea that had until then evaded you?
Single 'light bulb' moments - rather than being flashes of inspiration that come out of nowhere, are more likely the result of a long time studying or researching a problem or topic, and then your brain having time to process and consider all of the input and put it together. Sleeping, stepping back from something or a change of scenery or task could be just the time and space your mind needs to wander and fit together all the pieces of the puzzle.
Perhaps our creative geniuses are what step in to help put the puzzle pieces together to produce that 'A-ha' moment, or fabulously new and creative innovation or idea!
Thinking of creativity in this way reminds me of a kids movie that my girls used to love and often watched -
(Don't laugh - I've always found meaning in the strangest movies!)
In this movie, there are 3 Flairies, Shimmer, Shine and Glimmer, I think they are called. They basically add the final shimmer, shine and glimmer to already great designs of clothes. They themselves do not make the clothes design fabulous, but can only enhance something that is already great. - I guess this is saying that hard work and good ideas attract the external genius that make them brilliant!
There was also the moral side to the Flairies that their powers could only be used for truly good designs of clothes. When the baddie of the movie kidnaps the Flairies and makes them add shimmer, shine and glimmer to her own designs; which are just bad copies of other people's work; it only produces bad luck instead of adding that touch of genius!
The message that this is giving is that genius (when thought of as an external force) cannot be forced - and should be used for good not evil !
We cannot expect to just magically 'be creative'. I believe that it does take hard work, dedication and perseverance in our chosen field. But if you put in all of that, and are open to ideas and possibilities then you have positioned yourself in the best way possible for your own creative genius to find you and add shimmer, shine and glimmer to your ideas!
For me personally - what I have decided to do differently after considering all of this - is to take time to let my mind wander and process all the input. Working from home on the computer - and sewing, I tend to stay at home, and go out only when I have a purpose - for example when I need to get something, or take my girls somewhere.
I've decided to take some time each week to get out of the house and go somewhere different, for no reason other than to get out and take a break. A change of scenery and routine will be good for me, and may help produce fresh perspectives and ideas.
I think I'll take this time to learn and explore with my new camera - see what inspiration I get from looking at things in new places and new ways!
Do you believe that creativity comes from within or is it an external force?
Do you take time to let your creative genius find you and work it's magic?
Do you have places where you feel you get most inspiration from or are particularly creative?
I've recently discovered and have been watching some TED talks on Youtube. Last week I watched a couple on creativity, which inspired me to write this post. They were: