Necessity Breeds Creativity…


I’ve been thinking a lot about this phrase lately…it has certainly been true in my life on numerous occasions that where there was a need, creativity sprung to life.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to give a gift, for which purchasing one was not an option, and upon reflection of my resources at hand (yarn stash, paper, pens, watercolors, etc) I’ve been able to give a gift that I enjoyed making and was unique.  Hand made and painted cards, crocheted baby booties, knitted washcloths, felted purses for little girls, etc. etc.)  I’ve even discovered new areas of creativity due to necessity.  Years ago, when my oldest daughter was turning three and I was planning a simple at-home birthday party for her and some friends, I decided to make, instead of purchase, what I would need for a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game.  Being an all-things-Pooh party, I looked at a picture of Eeyore and drew him on a large piece of posterboard then drew a tail separately and cut it out.  My husband, upon seeing the drawing of Eeyore, said, “Jen, you can really draw…you should do more of it.”  It was the first time I ever thought I might be able to draw or paint.  Necessity indeed breeds creativity.  However, I’ve also experienced another reality…

Necessity Chokes Creativity.  There are so  many times when it seems too hard to muster the desire and motivation to engage in creative endeavors when there are SO many things clamoring for our attention.  We tend to relegate creativity to the “unnecessary” and therefore do all the “necessary” things (or those WE THINK are necessary) first, and IF there is any time leftover, then we will paint, knit, draw, crochet, or whatever your creative penchant may be.  I really do try to fight this.  It requires first a shift in my thinking.  Creativity and Necessity are not at odds with each other…they are not even separate things.  To this I propose another phrase we would do well to consider:

Creativity IS a Necessity.  It is an amazing (yet difficult) thing to push all urgent, or seemingly urgent things aside and sit at your easel, drawing board, or chair beside the basket of yarn.  To simply say yes, to being creative, holds incredible value and benefits for us.  I regularly prove this true when after I’ve been knitting or painting, I find I have a greater sense of ease about the clamoring to-do list, as well as more energy to engage with those things and with the people in my life.  It does not mean that I will accomplish all those things on the almighty to-do list, but I will somehow be ok with that if I have spent some time absorbed in making beauty, rather than in managing my life.

It is also my opinion that we need each other in this.  We need to encourage each other to Press On!  Create On!  Make something to give, draw a simple sketch of your world, embark on a lengthier creative project and stick with it.  You need it for your well being, for your family, for your spouse, friends, even for your work-a-day job whatever that may be.  Creativity is certainly bred by necessity…that’s a wonderful thing.  Necessity can threaten to choke out creativity so easily.  Watch out for that.  And remember: creativity is needful, necessary to living, much like food is necessary…it gives energy, strength, fortitude and nutrients to benefit you in all areas of your life.  Create On!

0 thoughts on “Necessity Breeds Creativity…

  1. anntnem says:

    Wonderful post! And absolutely true. I need to be reminded of this myself sometimes. It’s too easy to get caught up in the day to day responsibilities and not take the time, even a few minutes, to reflect and create. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy the EDM group so much, for all that wonderful creative support 🙂

  2. hememd says:

    Lovely juicy watercolor and a very interesting discussion. Some of us really need to feel creative a little of every day and spent a lifetime learning how to save some “me” time. When I was working and raising my 3 children, I set time aside to be creative (for me) while making things for them. The same coninues now with my grandchildren – and they all like the finished projects!

  3. Patsy says:

    Dittoes to all of the above! I was so fortunate to spend the last 20 years of my pre-retired life in a creative job where I learned something new every day, worked with wonderful products, and laughed every single day. The necessities usually got done occsionally in an exhausting one day marathon. Two years into retirement w/children grown and necessities not so urgent, Ive figured out how to make almost everything a bit creative except doing laundry. Any ideas out there ?? Thanks for a great post, Jennifer

  4. jenpedwards says:

    Hmmm…creative ideas for laundry? Well, sorting them according to color would be fun, but no one in my family would be terribly happy about that! I like to have good music wafting through the house while I’m doing laundry and other domestic chores. Thanks for all your comments Patsy! I’d love to know what your 20 year career was in.

  5. Patsy says:

    I majored in Home Ec and minored in Art a very long time ago. At age 41 went back to school and “almost” got a degree in Interior Design.(I didn’t want to take math!) So I guess that makes me “almost’ an Interior Designer ! I worked in the field for 20 great years and had a wonderful time w/some very interesting clients. I miss it, but love retirement, if that’s what this is.

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