Welcome! This is the third post in my 2019 guest blogging series. Cally Dale, the author of this piece, is a killer designer with a contagious smile, based in Austin, TX. She is the brains and creativity behind Cally Dale Design, and spends her days crafting authentic brands and packaging for passionate business owners. I love that Cally wrote this piece because too many people doubt their creative spirit when in reality, everyone has it…they just might need to learn how to tap into it. Enjoy!
All images in this blogpost are by Katie Jameson Photography
The term ‘creative’ is often reserved for artists, writers, chefs, actors, or those involved in some artistic profession. But here’s the truth: we’re all creative — yep, the whole lot of us! Each one of us was born with a special gift, a purpose for existence in this big world. Whatever we were put on this earth to do (creative profession or not), we will need to tap into our creative abilities to do so.
Simply put, creativity is the act of creating something original that offers value. What that something is is not definitive, and who it provides value too is subjective. Whether the product or idea designed is useful to one person or a thousand, creativity has very much played a part in its existence. Because for anything to exist, a creative idea has to come before it. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It can most certainly be a solution to a scheduling mishap. A short cut on your commute home. A way to work with what you have when the means for buying what you need isn’t available.
Neuroscientist Dr. Michael Grybko says that “Pooling from the wealth of knowledge we store in our brains and making connections between different ideas, we have to solve a new problem, or create— that’s what science looks at when we study creativity.” To drive home this point, creativity is a function of the brain. Which means, we are all hardwired to be creative.
Let’s be honest, creativity isn’t the easiest thing to do. Creative thought can appear clear as daylight one second and vanish the next. It’s also impossible to predict when a creative surge will present itself. So keep your brain curious and consistently seek out things that inspire your creativity!
To start this process, incorporate these three strategies into your routine:
1. Spend time on what interests you.
Read that book. Watch that play. Take that class. Spend time with that thought you just had. Chat-up someone who knows something you don’t. Learn a language you find fascinating. In short, let your curiosity lead the way. When we lean into our curiosity, we might catch a wave that glides us further along. My favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert, once said, “Curiosity does one thing, and that is to give. And what it gives you are clues on the incredible scavenger hunt of your life.”
2. Surround yourself with sound encouragement.
Surround yourself with people who love to see you win, and encourage your growth. People who make you think bigger about what’s out there for you. People who lead you back on track when you’ve lost your footing. Rather than people who feed your negative thoughts (which stifles creativity).
3. Stop criticizing.
Believe in yourself. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back once and a while! Following your passion and creativity is hard, but rewarding work. So stop criticizing yourself and the work you do. Remember, you’re on the path, but you’re not finished yet.
Sally Ride didn’t become the first woman in space (AND the youngest American, at that!) by mulling the idea around forever. No ma’am! She had to take action & work hard to convince others that she deserved to be in the cockpit. When you find an idea that ignites your soul, you’ll find there’s a lot of work paired with it. But the best thing about doing this kind of work is, you’ll have some fun while doing it! So stop thinking so hard, and give your creative spirit a-go already!