I am not creative. This is going to sound 1 of 2 ways to you.
1) Like the most ridiculous thing you have ever read and like I am fishing for compliments. – If you are someone reading a blog, that is not only written by me but contains drawings by me, someone that also performs improv, plays many instruments and owns a photography business.
2) Yep, this is totally true. – If you are the voice in my head.
I am not sure why I’ve roadblocked myself in this way my entire life. No wait. That is a lie. I do know. I can’t design things. You know when interior designers walk into a blank room and can develop a color palette? I can’t do that. I don’t understand color wheels or accent colors and my mind is often blown by those that do. Also, I can’t draw well. I mean, I doodle like a champ but when compared to other members of my family, my stick people look more like the makings of a campfire than actual people.
In elementary school we had the “Write a Book” challenge every year. My sisters won awards every single time they entered. Their stories were developed and their artwork left me more envious of them than of my friends that had a Greyskull castle. (Where are my He-Man fans??) My stories weren’t bad. I would write them fast and with ease. My problem was with the illustration of my books. Only the first 2 pages of my book were elaborately illustrated. I’d lose focus and the rest contained less than 1 character scribbled in with a pencil. I’d thrown them in at the last minute just before the assignment was due. No awards for me. I am not creative.
So that’s it. I couldn’t win the “Write-a-Book” challenge. I can’t decorate a room. I am not so great at assigning the right font to a design project for my business. I can’t draw as well as my sisters = I am not creative. I’ve been telling myself this for as long as I can remember.
PFFFFT. What a load of bologna. I’ve had an epiphany.
Recently, as I looked through the work of Lynda Barry, I felt a familiar wish rise up in my brain. My mean and low down ego said “Man, if I could only be creative like *insert any artists name here*!” Then another, much smaller voice in my head said “Hey ya Big Lug, you are creative!”
Whoa. What was that? Then the small voice persisted, “Don’t you write a blog? Haven’t you always written? Don’t you have boxes of drawing supplies and umpteen spiral and composition notebooks full of doodles and stories and words words words?”
Still not sure if I should listen to that voice I pulled out one of the boxes and began unpacking it. I surrounded myself with the art supplies and the pages of words I’ve written. I allowed myself to breathe it all in. (I didn’t huff the markers … for very long.)
“Ok, so you’re creative. But you’re not good” said that pesky little ego voice. “Anyone can write something. Anyone can draw something. It doesn’t make you good.”
Was this true? I thought on it for a minute and then felt a yell burning at the base of my skull.
“WHO CARES? WHO CARES IF YOU ARE GOOD? JUST CREATE. ” The smaller voice was now that of a lion. Whoa.
So here I am. Writing this 5 minute blog to tell you all, and mostly myself, that I am creative. *Does victory lap around the room* When relaying this revelation to my roommate this morning she was like “D’uh Joanna. I could have told you that” but until you believe it yourself it is in one ear and out the other.
Now I know I am not alone here, right? (Oh my God, what if I am all alone on this!) Do you have a roadblock you put in your way? Tell me what it is. I wanna know!