Thoughts On... The Creative Life
Updated: May 1
Life Is By Nature Creation
At first glance, this blog may seem to feature a unrelated topics. There is some articles that focus on rituals and recipes, while others focus on music, language, or the arts. There is a little about plants and gardening and some articles on beauty, health, and (what may be called for better or worse) "self-care." I believe all of these topics are all shoots that share the same roots. They are all at the core, creative. By nature, all of life is creation.
When we think of creativity, music-making, drawing, sculpting, writing literature, acting, or dancing are some of the activities that pop into our heads We tend to think activities often called the fine and performing arts when we think go creativity. The arts are often considered superfluous to every day life. They may be considered the hobbies of the well-to-do or their children or significant others. Their true value ignored and taken for granted by a society that holds capitalistic self-interest above all else, including the lives and welfare of people and planet as the lukewarm response to Coronavirus pandemic has abundantly shown us.
This can be seen in the way creatives are so vehemently taken advantage of, see the Twitter Feed, For Exposure, for numerous examples. This trope has extended so far that is encapsulating not only the arts, but the entire Millennial generation or is sometimes referred to as the "Oregon Trail Generation," after the questionably educational computer game that we all played on outdated Apples IIs in school computer labs.
Beyond this, there seems to be a prevalent view that the arts are somehow less-than the sciences. The idea that one is lesser than the other is a misconception. It seems to me that this misconception may be rooted in a mid-20th century myth that there is a distinct difference between people who are left- brained, logical, empirical and rational, or right-brained, intuitive, emotional, and irrational. In this view, supposedly left-brained individuals are held in the highest esteem. After all, we live in a highly technological age and computer and engineering skills are in high demand. Hence, the recent educational movement towards STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. However, educational research did not take long to note that the STEM approach was missing an essential tool, creativity. Thus the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum became preferred. After all, technology—whether that's a computer or a piano or a paint brush—are intertwined.
Research does not show this to be true, showing that individuals tends not to be dominant in one-side of the brain or the other. For example, while mathematic calculation requires use to use our logical thought which is often in the left hemisphere of the brain, it also requires right-brained intuition. Or, a composer may be thought to be right-brained creative, bursting forth with creativity but they also must use logic to create form and structure which are essential to creating comprehensible music. While individuals may be different in skills, talent, or interests, they are not specifically "right-" or "left-brained."
However, I believe that the time has some to acknowledge the essentialness of creativity to EVERYTHING. Without a creative spark, there is no science, there is no reason. Logic without creativity is how our current computers works and why software solutions often fail when implemented. The computer only follows the exact logic of its programming, it lacks the intuition to make choices and occasionally override or alter the it to better suit the circumstances. In this way, whether we are programming a computer, designing a house, composing an opera, or baking bread, we are all engaged in creativity in everything we do. Just like a flower will not blossom without light and rain, we can not bloom without the creative spark..
Because of this, I believe that life is creation. Life requires constant change, constant movement, constant adjustments, constant creation. Without this constant creation, there can not be life, only nothingness.
Considering many of the parts of life and how the creative, I have developed five categories. For now, those are Adornment Creativity, Fine Creativity, Functional Creativity, Physical Creativity, and Ritual Creativity. Many activities may be included in more than category. There are some short examples listed below.
Adornment Creativity: (Self) Fashion styling, accessorizing, skincare, haircare, self-care, health and wellness; (Environment) Gardening, floral arranging, interior design
Fine Creativity: Music-making, visual arts, literature and writing, acting and theater
Functional Creativity: Fashion Design, architecture, industrial design, jewelry-making, cooking, baking, wood craft, metal craft, leather crafts, textiles, scientific invention
Physical Creativity: Dance, yoga, physical training, wellness and health
Ritual Creativity: May include many of above in an intentional sequence (including computer programming or mathematical processes)
Since creativity encapsulates all of life, every activity from walking the dog to cooking dinner to sculpting a masterpiece to designing the space shuttle requires our creative selves. So I invite us all to reexamine our daily lives and see how we can better focus in and learn how to see the potential of ourselves and our planet.
All of Life Is Creation.
Let us create our world for the good of all.
Janae J. Almen is a professional music instructor, composer/sound artist, and published writer for both in-print and online media. She is the founder of Perennial Music and Arts and is passionate about sharing her love of music and arts as well as tea, coffee, baking, cooking, and culture.
All photos, Janae J. Almen