I read an article last month which said the bestselling title on Amazon in the US right now is not Harper Lee’s hugely anticipated second novel, or George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. Instead, a Scottish illustrator called Johanna Basford is topping the charts, with her colouring books for adults taking top spots.
My 5 year old boy has just recently started to take an interest in colouring in. And he loves me to help him. Which is just as well, or he’d be in serious danger of me pushing him out of the way to get to the pink Faber felt-tip pen first.
As a child I loved to draw and colour, and as I grew older I became engrossed in Spirograph – a geometric drawing set that allows you to create the most amazing mathematical based patterns – remember that?!
At high school I took a keen interest in the art classes, and studied it till age 16 when, to get the grades I needed for University I had to drop it. Although I loved it, I was very much a “B” student, and I needed A’s to get a place studying law.
Although I was never destined to be an artist, I’ll never forget the thrill of drawing a still life, or painting my own interpretation of the sky, and seeing it turn out really well. It was fulfilling and rewarding.
I work with professional women and men, every day who insist they are “just not creative”. Yet it would appear that Amazon’s bestseller list tells a different story. Perhaps each of us has lost or suppressed the inner creativity we were born with, and explored as children, before our education system wrestled it out of us (as talked about by Sir Ken Robinson in his renowned TED talk “How Schools Kill Creativity”).
I believe that each of us, as adults, still has an opportunity to be creative – our OWN KIND of creative. You may not have a book in you, but maybe there is a blog, or an article or two. Maybe you can’t cook, but you can bake. Maybe you can’t draw or paint, but you can strip back the engine of a car and put it back together again. And maybe you can’t devise, write and deliver a whole new training project for your organisation, but you can create the processes needed to make sure it gets rolled out successfully.
Don’t fall for the lies you tell yourself about your lack of creativity. You have, and always have had, the ability to be creative. You just need to uncover the desire again, dust off the right side of your brain, rediscover your innate creativity and go forth and create something new, better, inspiring, innovative or that’s just plain fun. Enjoy!