Are You Creative?

Are you creative? That question has been echoing in my mind for quite some time. Let me tell you how it came about.

In need of new oven mitts, I cycled to a shop and found a pair I liked. Only, they hadn’t been seamed properly and the wadding peeped out in several places. Asking a shop assistant if they had another pair, she asked me in return, ‘Are you creative?’

Am I creative? Uhm………………………

What she meant was, are you skilful enough with needle and thread to repair them? In the end I got the oven mitts at a discount and got ‘creative’ with them at home. I’ve been pondering the question on and off ever since (and that’s been a while as you can see from the state of those mitts).

Are you creative?

Well, basically I just like making things.

I don’t think I’m more creative than most people, and definitely less than some. I like following a pattern and cooking from a recipe. Does that matter? In one sense, not at all. I don’t need to be remembered as that wonderfully creative person. I’m fine with being ordinary. But in a different sense it does, because I have a kind of itch inside. Do you know that feeling? As if there is something inside that wants to get out but you can’t quite grasp it.

Compiling these blog posts scratches that itch a little, but it feels as if there is something more. I’d like to find out what that is. Pondering how to go about that, I’m starting a needle-and-thread project that would count as hugely creative by the shop assistant’s standards and not at all by mine.

Why? Because I urgently need a dose of colour! There are a few pops of colour in the garden –  bright yellow winter aconites, purple and cream crocuses and magenta-pink cyclamen coum.

But on the whole, everything still is mainly brown with some green. I took the picture below in Giethoorn the other day. I long for those hydrangeas to show their blues, pinks and purples again.

Waiting for spring to touch the world with its magical paintbrush, I’ll stitch some colourful stitches, knit a few cosy knits and try to find out what to do about that niggling question.

Are you creative?

4 thoughts on “Are You Creative?”

  1. In my style sessions I use a questionnaire to get to know my client better, because we need to find a style that works with your body architecture, your lifestyle and last but not least, your personality. The style of these questions is yin/yang, so there are no yes/no questions, just more this or more that. One of them is are you mostly creative in ideas or using your hands or in the middle. Creative with ideas, designing, thinking, planning is seen as more yang and creative by doing, using your hands is more yin. There is a third option: both.

    What I like about this way of looking at the matter is that there is no judgement. One way of being creative is not higher or better than the other, it’s just different. For instance, my mum loves to make things, but mostly working with patterns, recipes and other instructions, but she can easily deviate from that. So mostly hands, but a bit head. I like to work with my hands, but I merely love ideas, plans and working out details, and once everything is working out, I’d be happy if someone else finishes it for me. But not always, sometimes life just asks for boring stockinette or peeling potatoes and the repetitive motion is just what I need. And mending clothes is not as exciting as making new ones, but repairing something so it is usable again can make me truly happy.

    Long story short, I agree, we are all creative. And repairing oven mitts does not seem like fine art and higher inspiration. But you still have the art of inspecting them and thinking of the different ways you could repair them. Maybe that’s more skilful than creative, but if you come up with a neat way of doing the job… So is one way of being creative better or more real than the other? Are you more creative when you design a shawl than when you knit it? I’d like to say it doesn’t matter, but I also tend to value one more than the other. Might be time to rethink my own opinions 😉

    • That’s such a kind, gentle and well-balanced way of looking at creativity. Food for thought – how judgemental am I when it comes to creativity? Am I more yin or more yang? Interesting. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this all down!

  2. Interesting thoughts!

    Creative isn’t the first word that comes to mind if I would describe myself but I know others think so. When I was a child I was always drawing, my hands were full of ink spots and my grandfather predicted that I would run off to Paris and become a painter in my teens!

    However, when I reached my teens I stopped drawing quite abruptly and haven’t done it since. More or less at the same time I taught myself first to knit and then to sew. Now as I write this, I realize that the knitting must have replaced the drawing in terms of creative outlet!

    I never follow patterns or recipes (when cooking) in detail, it is almost impossible for me to do. In this I am very different from my husband who cooks and my mother-in-law who knits. My MIL always laments that she is “not creative” in that she always follows patterns to the letter. To me, this is not a question of creativity. Why would I knit or sew something with a feature that I know is uncomfortable or not flattering, of course I change that detail, just as I pick the right size and grade between sizes.

    I can certainly relate to your description of an itch, something that wants to get out, well put! It doesn’t matter if the world won’t see it as long as I get to see it myself. Producing things that are beautiful or practical give me an immense feeling of satisfaction.

    • How lovely to read about your drawing as a child and your granddad’s idea for you to become a painter in Paris. Funny, how others can view you so differently from the way you view yourself. What strikes me is that you do not mention your writing at all! You’re very creative in that sense, too, I’d say. I know that feeling of satisfaction that making things can give, too. Thank you for your story and thoughts!


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