This is something I have been working on for a while. It is actually THE thing that got me on track to bringing The Merriweather Council Blog about as a space that encourages + supports creative lifestyles and aims to inspire creatives whether they are wanting their creativity to turn a profit or not. Kinda like an aha moment. But less aha and more, thank grapefruits this is out of my head and starting to make sense.
My mission with The Merriweather Council Blog is to empower people to put their creative work into the world and to embrace creativity in their day-to-day-doings.
The first thing I want to clear up is that artists are not the only creative people in the world. Not by a long shot. People often think “I’m not creative” followed by “I don’t draw or paint, I don’t make things…” or some such preconceived association between creativity and art. Artists are creative, certainly. So are chefs. So are writers. So are the “regular people” you follow on instagram who post amazing photos. Art is not narrow, and neither is creativity.
You can be creative in nearly every aspect of life. Creativity and art might go hand in hand but it doesn’t end there. Art is not the only outlet for creativity.
Creativity exists and thrives outside of museums and fine art studios – just as much as it does within them.
I have long labored under the idea that art is quite literally everything you’ve ever had an experience with the exception of other humans and weather/ natural disasters. (The sunset? beautiful, but not necessarily art in the sense that it was not created by a human.)
The house you live in, the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the laptop you write on, the chair you’re sitting in…. art, craft and design played into each of them. Artists are designers and craftsmen. Craft is a form of art, designers are wise to have strong craft skills, and artists need craft and design skills to create good work. That’s what I think.
I believe that art is made up of bits of craft, design, and creativity. Just as some piece of art are more technically competent – some pieces are more creative and some are more well crafted than others.
I know so many people who feel held back in their creative pursuits because they don’t have a degree or formal training in the field. They think they can’t be taken seriously – or worse, shouldn’t be taken seriously – because they don’t have a degree in their field.
It’s not true. You need skills, yes, but you don’t have to earn them in a college setting.
Formal training is great, and you can certainly invest in it if you’d like. Certainly having a degree does help sometimes, and it could be a requirement for certain things. But it’s not the only way to figure out what how to do what you want to do.
A lot of times I don’t extrapolate or lead with my college credentials – because I don’t think they played that huge of a role in the successes I had after college. I learned to embroider in my middle school home economics class, and we never disused entrepreneurship or business in college. I loved my program + my classmates, and I’m glad I went to college, but it’s not the be-all end-all of what I do. .
Creativity is very… attractive. In all situations – – food, music, color, decor, design, art, fashion, craft, I admire people who aren’t afraid to be a bit bolder, think a bit further outside the box, try something new… that’s what I want people to feel empowered to do.
This is what I am all about. I love it when creativity changes how we do what we do and the way we experience things. Cut stuff up, put it back together, repeat. Newness! Newness everywhere. Make it so.
ALRIGHT I SAID IT. Let the backlash begin. Let me be clear: I get it. I understand the value to culture and society of art and art objects such as those in museums. I value museums for their work, stewardship, peaceful settings, educational outreach and as establishments that support art and creativity. I just don’t LOVE the idea that art behind glass is more valuable than art happening around us. Also creativity is sometimes messy and museums are generally not. Just a thought.
I like the hands on, everyday creativity of life much more. I like the creativity that goes into pretty storefront displays and getting dressed, or refurbishing a piece of thrifted furniture. I like the paint things, cut things up and put them back together, or make photo collage books. I like to write and play with graphics with different apps on my phone. It’s not going to show up in a museum, but it’s still valid work and it’s creative. There is valuable creative work being created every day by “regular people” and I value that so so much.
Creativity is the difference between basic and bold, between it’ll-do and it’s-fabulous!
I believe your personal brand of creativity is invaluable.
Completely + utterly needed, should be shared, will be appreciated, and will open you up to new opportunities if you let it out! I have seen it time and time again – mimicking another style will only get you so far. Doing work you don’t LOVE because you think “this fits the norm better” – it never works out. You need to do that thing you are crazy into, that thing you can’t stop thinking about. Write it, paint it, wear it, bake it, make it, build it, try it… please please, I want to see it!! I’m so dead serious about this. Your unique creativity is what will set you apart + bring your ideas to life. And you never know who that will serve.
I think this is a big topic – and one I reserve the right to modify my feelings on – because as I learn more, I can articulate better what I am saying – or what I’m not saying. I hope you’ll chime in.
Which of these resonates with you? Any? All? None?