I am a creator. I have been an actor most of my life and yet it took me until 20 minutes ago listening to a Ted Talk (Brene Brown) to finally know that I am a creator. I have been a professional actor for almost 20 years and I have never identified myself as being creative.
I have written dozens and dozens of essays, painted hundreds of things (walls, tables, canvases, picture frames, floors, windows, chairs, and on and on), been in TV shows and movies, started a blog, been in plays, written a play, made a baby, and made hundreds and hundreds of meals (and beds) and still after all of that I have never identified with being creative.
Here is why.
In my mind in order for me to be creative my creation has to be good. It has to be meaningful. It has to make money. It has to be accepted and acceptable. It has to be liked. It has to be booked. It has to be unique. It has to be chosen. It has to be mine. It has to be new. It has be profound.
Yet the actual measure of creativity or creation is not to make something good or beautiful or profound. It is simply “to make something that never existed before”.
There is a canvas and then the canvas gets paint on it. By me. And then more paint. And then after a lot of paint and then sometimes some tears/crying it is done.
Somewhere I learned that creativity was ONLY an adjective. “Oh look at that painting it is so creative” “That actress, her choices are so creative”. “What a creative use of color” .
I would argue that creativity is a verb. It is something we do.
Being creative (aka making stuff) is my default position. I am a shark that has to move to breathe. I have to make stuff. Paint stuff. To breathe. To be alive.
I am no creative genius. But I am an artist. Although I have a very hard time identifying myself as such. Maybe in my next blog I will come to terms with or at least stand toe to toe with the term ARTIST. And I also have this “brain thing” that can very accurately be described as an ARTISTIC TEMPERAMENT.
Wikipedia has a pretty good section on temperament. One of the popular usages of temperament (and what I am talking about too) is “It is a popular conception that those who are highly artistic – painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, etc. – often show dramatic swings in emotion, often elevated to extremes: the so-called “artistic temperament”.
The reason I bring up the “brain thing” is because REALLY it is about time I tell my story and also because I believe it connects to creativity. I think artists and actors and musicians and writers and TV Execs all fall under the umbrella of Creative People. And some of us have shrinks or therapists or meds to kind of manage the need/ability to create. That is just the G-d’s honest truth.
We just love making stuff. We have to. We are like Sharks. Especially the TV Execs. Ha.
I am a painter of many many many many things. They may be good. But whether they are good or not has no relevance to creativity. I like to think of creativity as productivity. What matters is that I create things. I make things. I make things that without me would not exist. Not in this way.
I really wanted to lead this post with “I have a brain thing”. Just so you know.