I’ve been thinking about creativity a lot lately, as I’ve noticed I keep telling people in some way, shape or form, that I’m not creative. I can’t design, I don’t do the ‘pretty’ stuff.
I’ve labelled myself as this boring creative-less ‘nuts & bolts’ person who makes everything work, but doesn’t make it look good. I’m an awesome project manager (when I’m not growing babies and cleaning up their poop), if I do say so myself, so that description fits. But project management is structured, organised, measurable, nuts & bolts, no frills….boring. Definitely not pretty.
Somewhere along the way, I guess I’ve embraced the boring nuts & bolts a bit too much, and let the rest of me fade away. This never used to be me. And the more I think about it, the more creative memories pop into my head…
I’ve always loved drawing, and for the right subject, I think I do a good job (see a few examples here). But at some point I gave up when I decided, by my standards, I wasn’t awesome at it. I suck at drawing large landscapes, and I can’t draw anything decent from memory.
When I was little, I used to love making pictures out of twigs in the garden. There’s a photo kicking around somewhere, of me proudly standing next to a giant eye and a house, arranged out of twigs, broken to the right sizes to make my master pieces. I remember being very proud of those!
I love interior design, and when I have the time and money, I think I can create beautiful spaces. I even looked at doing a short interior design course, not to pursue as a career, just to feed a passion. My partner bought me a few interior design books on request after watching the BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge which I LOVED and was so inspired watching it. I set up Pinterest boards and my head was filled with all sorts of ideas. But alas, I was afraid I’d ruin the family home, and waste money in the process (I didn’t want my efforts to be worthy of one of those sarcastic “nailed it!” memes).
One year in school, I designed and handmade a massive chocolate advent calendar for my class. Yeah you heard me! I was rather impressed with myself. (At Headlands Lower School I think, I can’t remember how old I was and there’s no photo, so holler at me if you were in my class and remember!!).There was a door for each child, personalised with their full name, with an individually wrapped Cadbury’s Diary Milk Miniature chocolate behind it (held in place with sellotape rolled into a loop, to act like double sided tape!).
My Mum managed to get me two large pieces of thick cardboard from work to make it from, and I drew a Santa popping out of a chimney as the main design. Each little door had to be cut with a Stanley knife, which I’m pretty sure Mum would have done but she doesn’t remember! I do remember presenting it to my teacher, all proud, and her saying she would pick who would get their chocolate each day. As an adult, I now realise she must have seen an argument waiting to happen! Not my intention, obviously.
Singing is the biggest creative thing I’m passionate about. I had a whole book of songs I wrote when I was around 9. A neighbour had read through them and said I should get them published… I was quite mature for my age so always just assumed he was being overly nice to a kid, but he did have musical talents himself, so maybe not? Maybe they were good? But I’d never hit the big money notes like my idols at the time Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, so why bother?
I’ve tried a few things over the years but confidence has always held me back…Simon Cowell (yes I went on X Factor) was really quite lovely with his no on that occasion, encouraging me to come back “when you know who you are” because I’d lost my own style, or never had one, I was always trying to copy. I was 21 then, I’ve just turned 30 and I still don’t know who I am, I’m only just finding out, so no I haven’t been back. Cheryl and Louis said yes, FYI. Dannii was a no but was also a class A b!tch about it, not that I’m bitter or anything.
There’s lots more examples where I can see I have had a creative passion, but I’ve let it die off. I’m not sure if I stopped being creative and so started saying I wasn’t, or stopped being creative because I started saying I wasn’t. Self-fulfilling prophecy ‘n’ all that.
Now I want to get back in touch with my creative side. Because I can still be creative, even if I think someone else does it better than me.
So I’ve decided I’m going to start with a bullet journal. I’ve sort of been doing a bit of this anyway, without knowing there was a modern term for it…planning, brain dumping, tracking etc, but there’s a whole creative community that make it look SO DAMN PRETTY. And I wanna give it a go, so I’m gonna! (that sounds like a childish strop, but I promise it’s just enthusiasm!)
My friend Gemma kills this whole bullet journal thing, check out her latest weekly spread:
Uggggh, envy!! She’s gooooood.
So good that at first I did my usual “woooah, back up, let the experts do their thaaang” move, but thankfully I’ve come back and I’m going to give it a go, and make it my own.
I feel like I’m further on my way, to finding me.
Fun fact! – when you share a link on Facebook, you don’t actually get to decide what image gets shown as the thumbnail. So as much as I tried to pick one of my images, Facebook ultimately knew that Gemma’s bullet journal image was the dogs bollocks and needed to be the face of the post.
My own fecking post about being creative despite others being better than me, is mocking me.
Facebook is a bit of moron.
I’m still doing the damn journal.