Thoughts on creativity

I love being creative. It’s one of the things that make me really happy and is a way I deal with stress. Creativity to me is not just about making things. It’s about creating things…duh….and I feel like that comes through in so many ways in my life.

It goes back to my childhood. I don’t know if being an only child for almost 9 years meant that I needed to use my imagination or what, but I’ve always enjoyed being creative and coming up with things. I loved school projects that required creativity. The more I had to think outside of the box the more I enjoyed it. I have to say I even think those are the school projects I remember the most.

Me as a budding artist in my grandparents basement wearing my Mama’s apron.

Me as a budding artist in my grandparents basement wearing my Mama’s apron.

I think I was also really lucky to have people in my life that rewarded my creativity. My Pappy first comes to mind when I look for sources of my creativity. He himself was a maker, and was constantly working in his workshop. When he had a few strokes he turned to painting, and he and I spent countless hours painting together. We would watch Bob Ross and spend time in the basement trying to copy Christmas cards. Although I am not a gifted painter, I do think those hours were well spent. I think made me believe I could be an artist and that helps me tap into my creativity.

Me and my Pappy with a picture I painted. Remember I said I was not a good painter.

Me and my Pappy with a picture I painted. Remember I said I was not a good painter.

One of my Mom’s costume creations. A Hershey kiss. The picture doesn’t do the hat justice.

One of my Mom’s costume creations. A Hershey kiss. The picture doesn’t do the hat justice.

My Mom also played a huge part in my creativity. I think it’s because she valued it and she praised me a lot for being creative. I was on an Odyssey of the Mind Team (now Destination Imagination) and I still hear the pride in her voice when she talks about it. I think I just knew that being creative was a great thing and it felt good to be good at it. Also my Mom is a creative person (even though she doesn’t know it). Growing up she showed her creativity in our halloween costumes which she made or helped us make. I have so many wonderful memories of those amazing costumes. My Mom is also a gifted flower arranger. She makes beautiful arrangements and loves doing it. In her retirement she has a passion for learning and has been taking classes in painting, music, and more. In seeing her stick with these pursuits she shows me that creativity is also about learning and perseverance.

I also think about those teachers that rewarded creativity. I think of Mr. Abe my 5th grade teacher who was also our Odyssey of the Mind coach. He supported our creative endeavors and even encouraged us to make up our own games on the playground. Then there is my 8th grade language arts teacher who made every unit full of options and creativity. I recall so many of those projects and moments in her classroom. From creative writing, journal prompts, and even making a whole endangered species marketing plan I value that time learning by being creative. I think these mentors helped show me that there are so many ways to learn, and learning by doing creatively is so valuable.

A Susan project. I just asked for some mud pie kitchens for work and she delivered this awesomeness!

A Susan project. I just asked for some mud pie kitchens for work and she delivered this awesomeness!

Finally, I think of Susan and how she creates. She is such a problem solver. She loves projects and especially ones that solve a problem. I think thinking about a project is her favorite hobby. She shows me that research and thinking are such an important part of the creative process. Susan also is such a brave person in her creativity. Once she has done her research and made her mind up to do something she jumps right in and does it. She may have to try a couple of different methods but she does it and almost always perseveres. Her enthusiasm and go get ‘em attitude makes large projects seem not so daunting and it gives me courage to take my own creative leaps.

All of these influences helped shape how I think and what I’m passionate about. One of the things I love about making things here at Marsh Farm is that we get to be creative, whether it is creating things to sell or in building things for our home. I’m so thankful to get to share these creative processes with you, Dear Reader, and I hope you’ll keep coming back for more creativity.

Bob Ross and Projects,

Katrina