I have a confession to make.
I was googling about the interweb, as one does, and I weakened and had a good long look around on Pinterest. Oops. Now I'm addicted. (I institutionalise easily. Who knew?)
So now I have boards to which I can pin all sorts of interesting things, and other people can look at them, and I've been sort of surprised that others have similar interests and tastes and like or re-pin my pins. And I can look at other people's stuff too. I can highly recommend it as a way to find and exchange cool new ideas, and avoid doing housework.
I was explaining this to a non-Pinterest friend, which led us to a really interesting discussion about creativity as we hurtled about the burg looking for garage sales and tip shop bargains in this week's hideous heat and humidity.
People say to me that I'm really creative, but I think mine is just a visual creativity, in that I make things which people can see. I think that others are just as creative, but express it in different ways, and don't give themselves the credit they deserve. There's creativity in making a home, whether it's minimalist or eclective, like mine. There's certainly creativity in raising children, cooking, and gardening, let alone doing all that and working 9-5 at the same time. Clever people are creative in whatever work they do, because of the way they approach it. If you let yourself accept that whatever you're doing is in it's own way creative, because you're expressing yourself, you can perhaps look at yourself differently and give yourself the credit you deserve.
If you aren't being creative on some level, then you're just going through the motions of living.
That's not to say that creating isn't difficult. Art is hard. I spend lots of time (and I do mean LOTS) looking, researching, planning, and recording ideas, themes, thoughts, and inklings.
Brainpickings (a truly excellent source of interesting things)quoted artist Chuck Close: "Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Maybe some people think that ideas show up fully formed, and because they wait for that to happen, they don't start? If you wait for something to inspire you, you'll just keep waiting. Go out and inspire yourself. Look, experience, experiment, feel, touch, think. Write. Work out how it's done. Find things that make you smile.
My fave quote is from Einstein: "Creativity is the residue of time wasted." Certainly, for me, the time I 'waste' looking around, reading, combing through other peoples' junk, informs what I do when I try to make or draw something. I keep scrapbooks and photos and notebooks (and now virtual pinboards) as memory joggers, planners, idea generators - I suppose I immerse myself fairly constantly in the 'creative process'. Someone asked me what an item was when I bought it at the tip shop. My response was that I didn't know - I didn't - but I could see what it was going to be. I said it without really thinking but having said it I thought some more about it. Sometimes I pick things up because I have a plan. Sometimes, the plan comes later, but it's informed by something I have. Sometimes, I knock things over and they fall in a way I could never have planned.
Which is why I love my books - and magazines and bits of paper and ribbon and string and fishing lures and all the other stuff that I have about me. The colours in a magazine's photo shoot can be the inspiration for something completely unrelated to fashion or travel. Stuff is stuck on the fridge (no, not the dust)because it's an interesting shape or there's something interesting in the colour or the composition. I would die in a minimalist environment, I'm a visual person.
So much as I'm loving Pinterest, I'm not giving up on my visual diaries, corkboards, and things affixed with clothes pegs to other things about me. The Pinterest stuff is accessible and tidy, and very very neat, but I need my stuff about me so that I can waste time being residually creative.