As soon as we could ask “why,” we were curious. Everything we saw, heard, tasted, touched, smelled, and experienced led us to wonder and ask “why.” After we asked “why,” we wanted to know “how,” “where,” “when,” “what,” and “who.” The most creative of us have never stopped asking these questions and have never stopped being curious.
I remember when I decided to enter the ManneqART wearable art competition in 2016. I envisioned creating a dress out of fake hair. Sounds weird, right? It might seem that the idea just came to me and spilled out in the form of a dress. But, it really didn’t. I’m Always Being Creative, always connecting. As a result, for quite awhile, I had already been thinking about the connection between beautiful, well-tended gardens to beautiful, well-tended hair. I had already been thinking about the beauty of brown girls’ hair and how much pride Black folk take in caring for their hair and in using adornments to make their hair beautiful—just like a well-tended garden. So, the idea didn’t spill out from nowhere. I just needed a vehicle for the idea to ride on. That vehicle was the wearable art dress. In the next of many steps in the process of making the dress come to life, I sketched my vision; bought materials; manipulated the materials; and cut up printer paper to try out my ideas on the dress form before I committed the vision to the materials purchased. I’m inclined to complain that I don’t have time to be creative, but somehow, for that dress, I stole time, and the entire experience was magical. It confirmed for me that I want to come to every creation with that same intensity and focus. I don’t know that it’s always about finishing. I do know that it’s about letting creativity take over you, consume you, and come through you.
Creativity is not just for the supposed, naturally imaginative and inventive. Creativity is inborn. We just need to re-awaken and develop the inborn creativity that we have allowed to go to sleep.
Here’s my best, most powerful strategy that can help us all to Always Be Creating/Connecting. I keep a journal, and I carry it with me everywhere. What goes in it? Anything. Everything. As you’re doing your life, simply open yourself up to observing everything around you.
In all of these activities, be playful. No one will see what’s in your journal, unless you want them to. Make a pact with yourself to commit to an everyday practice of observing, connecting, and journaling your thoughts and ideas. Before you know it, whether it’s in your personal life or on the job, creative ideas will spill out of you too!