EXPAND CREATIVE TALENTS
I have a dear friend who worked at the health department for years. Although she made a pretty good wage and enjoyed excellent benefits, she longed for something more. When a coworker invited her to attend a jewelry-making class, she discovered a creative streak that none of us knew existed. Within five short years, my friend has expanded her creative talents from beautiful earrings and bracelets to handmade clothing and leatherwork. After much success at summer craft fairs, she left her job at the health department, opened a small shop and studio downtown, and she couldn’t be happier.
There’s a creator in all of us just waiting to get out. And as my friend confirms, creativity takes many forms. Actors, writers, musicians, hairdressers, landscapers, and interior designers are all different types of creators, and they all show off their talents in different ways. Like a painter displays artwork in a gallery, other creators might share their work through a film, a song, a hairstyle, or a beautifully-appointed living room. Creating allows us to express ideas, emotions, thoughts, and dreams, and when we share them, we connect with other people and with the world in general.
PASSION THROUGH HOBBIES
While creating what you love can turn into a rewarding job, not all creators need to make a living with their art. Many people find their passion through hobbies. For instance, on the weekends, my husband retreats to his workshop to tie flies, which makes him a popular fly-fishing companion in the summertime. My sister takes beautiful photos of her hundred-acre farm, which she happily shares on social media. And my next-door neighbor spends hours working in his garden. His manicured lawn and colorful flower beds are not only beautiful to look at, but also they likely bring up the property value for the whole block.
"I'm in my happy place when I'm chopping, stirring, mixing, rolling, or kneading."
Although I have a day job that I enjoy, I feel truly authentic when I’m preparing food. While many of my girlfriends consider cooking a chore, I’m in my happy place when I’m chopping, stirring, mixing, rolling, or kneading. I treasure tools of the trade like my tortilla press, my collection of omelet pans, my KitchenAid mixer, and my hand-cranked pasta maker. And when I’m not in the kitchen, I love shopping at my local farmer’s market for fresh fruits and veggies. Like other creators, I delight in the results of my favorite passion, and I share my craft with others by way of big Sunday breakfasts, fresh-baked breads, comforting casseroles, and party platters.
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF CREATING
Whether it’s a pair of earrings, a watercolor, a screenplay, or a batch of cookies, making things offers a myriad of mental and emotional benefits. These include stress relief, better self-awareness, more confidence, improved hand-eye coordination, and enhanced problem-solving skills. As illustrated by the story of my creative friend, making can also help spark the imagination even further. In the words of poet, singer, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” In other words, just one creative act can open up a world of possibilities.