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!