Starting this course wasn’t the easiest and the most comfortable decision I’ve ever made. But I knew it was necessary for me to explore new areas of the creative industries and challenge myself in new ways.
I have never considered myself to be a very creative person, or not in the traditional understanding of the word, anyway. I have been surrounded by creative people my whole professional life, I work within a very creative environment, and some might even say, that I am creative in my processes and in finding solutions to problems.
But I am not a person, who feels comfortable in coming up with ideas.
I execute. When there is an idea, I make it come to life, I make it happen. But they are never my own ideas.
That’s why I answered NO, when Janja asked us whether we thought we were creative. Little did I know that was all about to change as I emerged on this Master journey.
The brief for our design thinking for startups module scared – excuse my French – the absolute crap out of me. How am I meant to come up with and idea that makes sense and turn it into a business – in 5 months?!
I cried myself to sleep that evening – I was so uncomfortable, so anxious and so determined, that this wasn’t going to happen.
The next day I started reading the “Creative Confidence” book by the Kelly brothers given to us the first day we came to Kingston.
As if Janja knew that there were people who desperately needed some encouragement. This book changed my life.
First 50 pages blew my mind for several reasons:
- They were describing me. It was almost surreal to turn page by page and read more and more about myself. It explained how creativity tends to be suppressed in us since a young age and how the fear of failure, judgment and venturing into new experiences out of our comfort zone stop us from taking on creative challenges. Fear of failure? Check. Fear of Judgment? Check! Being uncomfortable in trying new things? Check!
As if they knew! It crept me out, not going to lie.
- They gave me a slight sense of peace, because all of a sudden I wasn’t the only one, who felt uninspired, not creative and a bit out of place.
- It assured me that it was going to be OK. If other people went through the process and came out of it alive, so could I.
The encouragement was just what I needed to realise that creativity isn’t something you have or you don’t have. It’s something that’s within all of us, some of us just know how to tap into it better than others. And the skill to reach for it is absolutely something you can learn. Through practice and experience.
The context we grow up in is extremely important. From a very young age, we are taught a systematic and analytical ways of thinking and processing. Everything needs to be linear, there are rights and wrongs and somewhere in this process, we loose the ability to think creatively, it’s pushed back, because we no longer see it as a priority.
So, I decided to trust the process and simply go through it.
It doesn’t make me less uncomfortable or anxious, I still want to cry on some days. But now I understand that I need to feel uncomfortable in order to grow. I came here to get inspired and to grow as a practitioner, but I can’t do that if I won’t try new things and push myself into uncomfortable situations.
Looking back, knowing what I know now, I think my answer to Janja’s question would be “I am, but I don’t know how to use my full creative potential, yet. ”.
I am hopeful though, that at the end of this journey, I’m not only going to be able to say that I am creative, but that I am comfortable and confidently creative.