Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Curiosity is Part of Creativity - Jump In

My curiosity feeds my creativity.  I love to learn new things, to experiment, to see what is around the next corner. 

When my girls were little, my youngest would ask a lot of questions, and as those who have toddlers know, the "whys" can get overwhelming at times.  But I told her to keep asking questions, because that is how you learn. 

I remember when I was younger, my dad would be out in the garage working on the car and I would go out and ask him about the different parts, and what they did, and how it worked with that part, etc.  He was very patient with me...  I'm no expert on car engines, but I know enough that when I have to get my car repaired, I can ask questions, and tell the mechanic the symptoms with some accuracy.
 
 "Creative is a verb"  - Patti Digh
 
I think creativity can be learned in the same way.  If you know someone that has an ability you would like to learn, ask questions.  Have a conversation about their latest project and see what information you can learn. 

I understand that fear can keep us from even trying something that has a hint of sounding creative.  I have days myself when I am afraid to work on a project because I'm afraid it won't turn out like I think it should.  Well. . . the only way to guarantee it won't turn out like it should, is by not even starting it!  I encourage you to take small steps, find someone to walk you through the process, or do some research online.  There are so many tutorials and videos out there!

Do you have a friend who makes the BEST cookies, but you don't bake?  Ask if you could help make them sometime.  Watch their method, ask if they would be willing to share the recipe, and be willing to burn a few to learn something new.  (I think things taste better when friends make them, but it is certainly worth trying for yourself!)

Do you know someone who has a living room arranged and decorated like a magazine photo?  Ask them how they did it.  Ask how they decided on the furniture, or colors, or how they found their "style".
 
"Creativity is intelligence having fun." -- Albert Einstein
 
I'm guessing many of you already ask these questions in conversations, but don't think about how to turn that into your own creativity...

Here are my suggestions:
  • Ask the questions - How did you do that, could you show me?
  • Listen to the answers - Listen to the how, the when, the why
  • Try something new - It doesn't have to look like someone else's, you are unique!
  • Look online - there are many tutorials and videos out there for just about everything!
  • Make mistakes - Things don't always look like the cookbook or magazine.  It's okay!

One of my favorite quotes is from Miss Frizzle of Magic School Bus fame:
"Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"
  
Jump in, find something new to learn and get curious!
What keeps you from thinking you are creative? 
Or,
Do you have any tips to add for those who might be hesitant to jump in?

72 comments:

  1. I think fear of failure keeps us from trying so many different things and I myself am tired of being like that! I loved this and what a great quote Albert Einstein makes me want to go find something new and really mess it up!

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    1. You go Rena! I hope you have fun finding something new! :)

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  2. I love how you suggest to ask someone who knows a skill better than we do for help. That's how I've learned what I know (which is only a tiny bit so far!!) about blogging.

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    1. Isn't blogging fun, though? Glad to hear you are learning from others - and hopefully asking lots of questions!

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  3. At the peak of my son's desire to ask endless amounts of why questions, I told him that he had to choose three questions on the subject before I would stop answering. It forced him to stop and not ask the most random questions, but prompted pretty interesting toddler conversations. You can see it now, and he tries to ask questions that will get him the answer he's looking for (meaning not asking if dinner is ready if he really wants to know what's for dinner, bad example, but I think you get my point). Let's see how it works with my two little ones. :)

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    1. Great idea April! Teaching them to give a little thought to their curiosity... love that!

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  4. Yes. Fear of failure can hold us back from so many things! But you never know unless you try, and even if you fail you can try again, and learn from your mistakes. Great post! I think it can be applied to all areas of life, not just creativity.

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    1. Yes, you are right, Miranda! It can be applied to other areas of life. Thanks for pointing that out!

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  5. Love the quotes and the energy I feel to try something new just from reading your post. You are so right about fear being our biggest obstacle. We need to openly encourage curiosity more with all ages, especially us grown ups.!!

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    1. I agree Jean, I think as adults we forget how much fun curiosity can be!
      As Picasso said: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

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  6. I would LOVE to learn how to sew but am so intimidated by it. What's stopping me right now is the 'start up' cost. Buying a machine, materials, etc. Also, time! I am a new mom of a 3 month old and have no idea when I would find the time to sew!

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    1. Congratulations on the arrival of your baby! You are busy with that important bundle right now...sewing can wait a bit. :) But, I know my first sewing machine was an old one that my sister-in-law gave to me, so be sure to let your friends and family know to be on the lookout! Enjoy this time with your little one!

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  7. I tend to get caught up with looking at past things I have made that didn't turn out the way I wanted them to and getting discouraged. But I will keep trying! ~Emma

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    1. I'm glad you are not giving up, Emma! Sometimes we just need to keep experimenting!

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  8. The majority of my life I have had assumptions that I wouldn't be good at some things because I don't have an particular talent or skill. Only recently I decided to give myself permission to listen to what I really want to do instead of trying to find an option with fewer obstacles. After all, the only sure way to fail is to never start. I love the idea of breaking the stereotype that you have to be born creative! Thank you for sharing tips on how anyone can develop a knack for creativity if only they tried.

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    1. Thanks Aliaksandra! You'll never know until you try! :)

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  9. Sometimes the best results come from the worst failures.You may come up with a best way, a shortcut, a Masterpiece. Never be afraid to try. Thank you for sharing and Have a Fabulous Day!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Becky! I hope you have a great day too!

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  10. I have some uber creative friends and one trait they seem to have in common is that they don't worry about what others think when they create... they work from their heart and keep that childlike spirit. I would like to remember how to tap into that inner child sometimes and be more creative.

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    1. Yes Carla, I think we all forget how to set aside our inner critic. Sometimes we just need to start small...and remember to have fun!

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  11. I think people are afraid of being creative, because they are afraid of getting messy. If it makes a mess, it takes time to clean it up, and with our busy schedules, messes don't fit in. To me a mess, is a mess, is a mess. You got to get dirty sometimes. Think outside of the box.

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  12. I think that trying to do things without a model or directions can lead to some incredible creativity. Obviously, there are times when this isn't a good thing, but it's good to give it a try first!

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    1. I agree Lisa! Yes, sometimes we need directions, but sometimes it is okay to color outside of the lines! :)

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  13. This is fantastic! I let fear ruin a lot of things I want to try. I also let my fear of disaster keep my from letting my kids jump into learning by doing and discovering with curiosity. I need to read this everyday and remember I have to try and let them try no matter what the outcome is! I also ask a lot of questions of others but try too hard to do exactly as they do. I need to use your tips to make it my own and not be afraid of branching out and maybe even failing. I love this oh so much! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for your comment Katy! I hope you keep trying and more importantly, keep having fun enjoying new things!

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  14. I used to really want to take a cake decorating class. It was my dream for awhile, but timing didn't work out and I never did. So one day I watched a tutorial online and used some cake decorating tips and ending up decorating an ok looking cake and hating the whole experience. I now make cupcakes for my kids birthdays and they are just as happy with them. So in my time I took to learn something new, I learned I didn't really care to spend any more time perfecting it. And that that was OK.

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    1. Glad you didn't give up, Dawn! I'm sure your cupcakes are wonderful! :)

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  15. What keeps me from thinking I am creative? Well, it's not the creativity part, exactly, but the ability to execute. Nothing turns out like I see it in my head. I know that the abundance of images online and in magazines are supposed to inspire us to create, but I honestly think comparison kills creativity. It's tempting to say, "Well, I wasn't able to pull off the stilletto cupcakes for my friend's birthday, so I guess I'm just not good at parties," when the reality is that regular cupcakes were just fine.

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    1. I agree Gloria, comparison does kill creativity. Sometimes we need to learn to enjoy the process, and the learning - something I am still learning... :) I hope you keep creating! :)

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  16. Holly, I love this post. I have 3 beautiful boys and my days are consumed with WHY's. But I tell them that without the why, you mat never find the purpose or meaning. I wrote a blog, How To Capitalize On Your Creativity (http://www.mtnuniversal.com/how-to-capitalize-on-your-creativity/), and I feel like I should add Be Curious as one of points. Holly, thank you for a great blog post.

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    1. Thank you Bryant. I think we can all learn so much by asking questions!

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  17. I love the quote you used, "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!" That's what life is all about. Fear can hold us back from making some of our greatest masterpieces. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. This post couldn't have come at a better time! I consider myself to be a creative of sorts, and I love the world of art and creativity. However, when it comes to taking risks, and trying new things - especially in the world of cooking and baking and basically anything DIY - I am just not geared up to try it. You are so right - it's about asking questions, really listening to their thought process (and why they love it so much), and being WILLING to try it. I made a few kitchen mistakes, and it's done a number on my confidence. But just tonight, I called up a friend, got her step-by-step instructions, and voila! We had a new dish that really wasn't too difficult to make! So for me, it takes a little creativity, and whole lotta guts to initiate :)

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    1. Good job in stepping out again to try something new De! Yes, maybe there are three "Cs" Curiosity, Creativity, and Courage... Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  19. Hi Holly,
    I too find that creativity fuels me, fills me up and energizes my life. I think it is important to live creatively. From pottery to writing to making things from scratch to traveling to appreciating all forms of fine arts, creativity is an integral part of my happy life!

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  20. I love doing creative projects. I love your thought about asking people to show you how they do the things they do so well. If I could be an apprentice on people with various creative fields, I would be so happy.

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  21. I love this post. I am a creative person. I love learning new things. I have some very creative friends. I laid ceramic tile in my kitchen and bathroom. I learned using YouTube. I find instructions for many new crafts and projects there. Hurray for creativity!

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  22. I love to cook, that's my creative gift.
    One of the local coffee shops has a once-a-month painting class. Last month, I didn't make a reservation in time - but I think that this month, I'm definitely going!

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    1. That's great Patty! I hope you have fun!

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  23. As the owner of several creative businesses, including one that has it in the name (AD-RITR Creative Services), I love curiosity & creativity! I strive for both in my life, personally & professionally. I think many people say they aren't "creative" because they think that means being artsy, crafty or performing on stage. I believe there are "creative" aspects to all of us, even engineers & accountants! It just may not appear that way on the outside but when you look closer, you see the twists they put on things because the pursuit of perfection (or at least improvement) drives most of us to learn, try, explore, experience, create. I think we need to let people know that "creative" is not a destination, but a journey. It's not a way of life or a constant state of mind. It can be flashes of brilliance, moments of wonder, fleeting but powerful. Once you feel that creative nirvana, you'll crave more of it! Thanks for encouraging everyone to be more creative...it will improve our world in ways we can't even imagine!

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    1. I totally agree! Thanks for your comment!

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  24. :) Favorite quote which I will have to start using "take a chance, make mistakes, get messy!" it goes perfect with my "nothing ventured, nothing gained"...its what I always use in the kitchen when I'm working on something new to cook up.

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  25. You lit up my world with Miss Fizzle's quote! It's the way I've tried to reprogram my brain this year - I wanna get messy. I watch my kids ask questions and learn with no preconceived ideas, and I'm learning to channel that innocence and wonder into my own life. I think we learn fear as we mature, when in fact we really want to be fearless and free. I say take baby steps to shed the fear, experiment and take a class here and there, try a new restaurant, even wear a new nail color. The smallest changes help our creativity flourish!

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    1. Aw, thanks Kemya! I do think we can learn a lot from kids and the way they ask questions...

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  26. There are so many creative things I want to learn. I just need to get busy and start doing it. Thanks for the encouragement.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Kali! I hope you try something new! :)

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  27. I think fear is probably the #1 reason I don't try new things or let my creativity come through. I decided this year, I want to learn to sew! And you are so right, the only way the project I want to complete will be a total bomb is if I never start! If I mess up, I can pull out the stitches & redo it or I can let the mistakes stay as a reminder of the accomplishment of attempting something new. Either way, its something I want to learn and there's only one way I can learn and that's by jumping in feet first! Thanks for the reminder to not be scared of creativity!

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    1. Fear can be a powerful thing if we let it, but I'm glad to hear you are jumping in, Melissa!

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  28. Thank you for the ideas. I am always trying to be more creative. I like your suggestions especially asking experts and listening for answers.

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  29. I absolutely LOVE learning new things! In fact, if I had all the time in the world I would probably have a million hobbies. My next endeavor is photography and your post just convinced me to reach out to my photography friends to learn more. Thank you!

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    1. Glad to hear it, Cheryl! Enjoy the process! :)

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  30. Fear of failing kept me from starting my blog. The changar came when the thought of not being creative was worse than trying and possibly failing. Life is short - do it now. I've been getting back in touch with my creative side and I love it!

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    1. Excellent! I'm glad you are having fun with your creativity, Kimberley!

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  31. Thank you for your post. I love learning new crafts and spend way to much time on Pinterest. Now to actually start learning these skills.

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    1. Ah, Pinterest... it is a great place for inspiration! I'm glad to hear you enjoy learning new things!

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  32. I was definitely one of those toddlers always asking questions. Even now, I always want people to explain their viewpoint because I'm honestly interested to understand what makes their thought process different from mine. I would like to be a creative person and ask all the right questions and try my hardest, but mostly I'm creative at finding ways to fail.

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    1. It sounds like some of your creativity lies in learning new perspectives, Mary. I think the area our curiosity is focused on leads us to our creative place... It doesn't necessarily mean arts or crafts as someone mentioned earlier. It can be politics, accounting, it's all in the way you learn... I hope you keep asking questions and learning new things! :)

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  33. Every time I want to know something, I jump on Google, it is my best friend :) Then if someone else asks me that question I can either tell them or point them in the right direction. I'm not that crafty but I enjoy watching my boys draw and create things.

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    1. Yes, Google and I are friends too, Jennifer! It is nice to see our children create things and work through their ideas. Even getting the supplies they need, and allowing them the time and space to do that is wonderful! :)

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  34. Love the simple steps you offer to push past that fear of creativity. I'm going to share these ideas with my oldest daughter as part of our homeschool lessons. I often have creative thoughts, but I'm not so great on the follow through because of my perfectionist tendencies.

    That Ms. Frizzle quote is one of our favorites, too!

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    1. Thank you Sara! Sometimes just breaking things down into smaller steps makes a big difference! :)

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  35. Creativity is not my thing. But, I step into it with the help of wine and Pinterest. I don't back down from the challenge. Now, the finished product may not be the way I visioned it but the beauty of it all is that I can start again. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, Dee Dee, the biggest step is the first step! Glad to hear you don't let fear keep you from trying!

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  36. I love the quote that you shared from Mrs. Frizzle! I can actually hear her voice saying it! I will remember that one!

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    1. I can hear her saying it too, and always with such energy and enthusiasm! :)

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It would be great to hear your thoughts!