Written by Michaela MacBlake Matthews
What Is Creativity?
Creativity means coming up with new ideas, often by rearranging fragments of things we’ve already seen in a new way, or by filling in the blanks to solve a problem.
How Are Creativity And Self Esteem Linked?
Creating and crafting have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. When you practice a creative skill, it opens up your mind to a meditative state, and this can be very calming. However, there’s another aspect to creativity: Self expression.
Creativity reaches into the deepest and most undefined areas of your memory, and in doing so, leaves a mark on everything you create that is purely you. In this way, each creation is a montage-reel of the maker’s life experience, as it comes together from various inspirations, preferences, and personality traits.
In order to be creative and come up with new ideas, you have to become comfortable with that you-ness. Creation is like a mirror, it shows us what is unique to ourselves, what we focus on naturally, and what we like.
It can be uncomfortable, and even vulnerable to be creative. There’s an intimacy between you and the creation that simply cannot be hidden, or filtered out. Despite the growing pains, though, creative self expression is a phenomenal way to explore yourself, and relearn self-love in a constantly evolving process.
How To Build Creative Skills
Trial and error
Try new things! New methods, materials, colors, patterns… and learn how to make different picks work, as you go along.
Create for the sake of creation! Without the hurdles and pressure of finished projects, whimsy gives us the fuel we need to explore, and simply move on if something doesn’t feel right.
Forget about creating, and just… think about creating. No skills, permissions, or budgets required, and absolutely zero limitations: Go big! How would you knit a cozy for a skyscraper?
Think of the most typical, basic creation in the medium of your choice… and rebel against it. How would you do it differently?
Follow along with an instructional video or blog for a project of your choice, and once the steps are completed, decide that you’re halfway done. Then try to figure out what it needs, and how to make it more you!
Not only does creative growth help you learn how to like yourself, but by taking one project at a time and showing it care, it teaches us to love ourselves…
Because when you like something, you acknowledge that it pleases you in some way, but when you love something, you take care to groom it, grow it, and give it the space it needs to thrive.
"Mac" is on the Lifestyle Team here at Darn Good Yarn, and loves taking a ‘teach a man to fish’ approach to creative therapy. She is certified in neuro-linguistic programming, and is also the surreal artist and author behind Surrealismac.