food for creative thought: local potter David Lawson, on creativity

In a creativity conference I attended an artist practicing fiction writing and pottery shared his thoughts on creativity:

Everyone is creative. Certain people are not just born with creativity. You went home, opened the fridge door and made something. So let loose the judgments of others, or self,” says David Lawson.

He’s got a point. Everyone finds a way to make food they enjoy and eat. Even if they’re trying turns of cracked pepper on their Kraft Dinner or hot pepper sauce in their chicken noodle soup. These are signs of creativity at play in everyone’s worlds.

There are the creative organizers. Oh, how I love pinning their ideas on Pinterest. Organization is the fuel for increased activity. When you know where stuff is, you can access that stuff more quickly. Some people have a skill in creating zones for everything we own and use.

There are the creative cooks. I believe most anyone can cook from a recipe. Not as many play in the kitchen. As I write, my girl is recreating last night’s chicken tacos into chicken meatballs. Repurposing food is her latest thing. She’s also got a signature spice: turmeric. Excellent in soups, she declares. I remember trying turmeric in a recipe as a child. Don’t remember what it was, but it wasn’t edible and I still had to eat what I made.

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(Tagliatelle with repurposed chicken meatballs, eggplant parmagiana & stuffed Greek salad in a cucumber!)

There are creative creatives. Like the pinners who actually do something with their pins, like the embroiderers and stamping pinners. And the classic artistics endeavours that most people think of when one uses the word creative: oil or watercolour painting, scrapbookers, furniture chalk painters (you fill in the blank).

A very long time ago, I was sitting around the kindergarten table with a half dozen other neighbourhood kiddos. My teacher asked us to draw something, anything. “Draw? I can’t draw, I am not creative”, I told myself at the age of 4 1/2! I told myself that then. I drew the only thing straight enough for me to draw: AGT towers. In our part of the world, AGT was the company that owned the electrical poles. Yes, I essentially drew the letter ‘t’ a dozen times with my fat red pencil.

As an adult, I decided I wanted to learn to draw. I took a class and discovered that skill was in fact a learned skill to some extent. I learned that drawing wasn’t out of the realm of my potential, not marketable potential, but possible.

That drawing class and practicing a few drawing books with my kids means that I’ve got the cube down now. I can draw an old version of my face too…I guess if I wait enough years, it’ll likely resemble the present me. I can draw my kitty cat though he looks more like a tiny pig. My kids too, but they resemble Van Gogh’s potato eaters. I’m pretty good at drawing furniture, anything linear. Trees are a challenge. Mouths are particularly tricky. I write declaratively that I can draw, but by no means will you see anything I draw in a gallery one day.

Whatever aspect of creativity we practice, we all are creative. We’ve just got to tap into it. And if we’re interested in something out of our perceived skill set, we should let loose the self-judgments and allow ourselves to practice creative play.

What’s your creativity at play?