Creativity doesn’t stop when there’s no brief
I’m a freelance copywriter.
I come up with concepts and write words to solve creative briefs.
But, I’ve been creative one way or another all of my life.
As a nipper, I doodled, made up stories and wrote poems. I created fantasy worlds in the infinite space of my mind. I read books and comics, watched TV programmes and listened to stories – from the Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle to the story of The Good Samaritan. All the while, absorbing, sifting and recolouring to make the input fit into the blank pages of my own mental scrapbook.
I was a daydreamer. Staring at rivulets of rain as they streamed down the window. Watching as the shadows of dancing branches played on my bedroom wall.
I loved music. My first drum kit was made of Turkish Delight boxes and margarine tubs. My drumsticks were felt tips with their caps sellotaped on.
I was encouraged to bake and taught to cook. Even the most mundane tasks became an opportunity to be creative. Peeling an apple was a challenge to make one continuous spiral. Plates of food were canvases to be arranged into colours and shapes.
There was no such thing as boredom in my childhood. Frustration occasionally perhaps, but who could be bored when there were fringes on armchairs to plait, dominoes to stack and button boxes full of ‘precious jewels’ to play with.
In a previous post I talked about where creative ideas come from. In the post, I proffer that, ‘Everything is a manifestation of what was already there. Whether we like it or not, we are all rediscovering and recycling. It’s not a case of inventing, but re-inventing.’
This idea still holds water for me.
In the same post, I go on to say, (creative people) are basically the same as everyone else, but they are spongier. They soak up everything they come into contact with and they have an innate ability to create ‘new’ ideas by filtering and mixing everything in their memory banks.
Again, this still rings true, but now I might add that creative people have somehow managed to hang onto the love of playing. They’ve not allowed the sophistication of adulthood to pollute the simple joy of sploshing around with colours or letting mumbo jumbo spill out of the end of their pens.
Keep calm and do something daft
At this period of enforced downtime (I’m writing this post on 11th May 2020), I’ve had the opportunity to take one foot off the pedal of earning a living.
But the urge to create doesn’t fade when the briefs start to dry up.
Even in those idle moments when you might imagine I’d be doing absolutely nothing, I find myself re-ordering my surroundings to amuse the great God of Imagination.
Say hello to my latest creation, The Many Faces of Pedro.
Not sure he’ll win the Turner Prize, but it’s always nice to make new friends.
The point is, creativity is good for the soul. It doesn’t have to serve an obvious purpose in the grown up world. It’s play time. And no matter how old you are, you’re never too old to play.
So, if your work has taken a bit of a downturn, get your old paint set, sewing box or colouring books out, and have a bit of creative fun.
Love and patience.