If you have been on social media or watched the news recently, you will know that yet again the powers have shown little regard for creativity and the arts. With many people around the UK being furloughed or losing their jobs, the government attempted to encourage people to retrain, which lead to a rather amusing backlash from many in the creative community.
The thing is, human beings are creative by nature. When we are born, it is that creativity that allows us to survive. When we are young and don't succeed straight away at learning new skills, we find ways to help us. Give a child a cardboard box and it will become a spaceship, a car, a shop... whatever their imagination will allow it to become.
So many of us will start drawing, reading, writing or painting and suddenly the 15 minutes you gave yourself has turned into hours, as the minutes seem to speed up and fly by.
Just as the powers that be are devaluing creativity, we found ourselves realising yet again just how essential creativity is. During lockdown, access to our online tutorials, painting kits
and Pinterest boards
rocketed as people turned to painting and art as a way to cope with the new situation we found ourselves in.
Not only that, but as we head into another lockdown this week in the UK, we are thinking about the gifts we can create for Christmas, the projects that will help us stay sane as so many of us are working from home, socialising at home, crafting at home.... even with the help of Zoom and other technologies that help us stay connected, creativity will once again become a lifeline for so many of us.
Painting is mindful at any time but we found ourselves picking up our paintbrushes more; to pass the time, to fulfil our creative side, to give ourselves time to think through the situations we were struggling with. The need for creativity is so ingrained within us all because it encourages problem solving, it increases our confidence and self-esteem and it quietens our mind to allow thoughts and ideas to come to the forefront that often get drowned out by the fast pace of every day life that we have become accustomed to.
We don't agree that creativity should be overlooked for logic. We don't agree that creative jobs should be seen as less than or that creative people should give up on their chosen path in favour of something (in the words of others) 'more reliable'. We should acknowledge the importance of all these people, without whom we would not be moved, inspired and encouraged by their work. We should thank them for keeping us entertained with music, films, theatre shows.
To think about a world without creativity, for us, is impossible. It is everywhere and it is inextinguishable, but we must continue to nurture it and foster the attitude that it is ok to play, experiment, make mistakes and fail. A creative journey is not a perfect journey, but it is so worth it.
So here's to creativity, to finding your passion and to getting through the uncertainty of the future!
How have you used creativity to survive the challenges of this year? We would love to hear from you about your experiences.