Creative Poverty- Is there enough creativity for me?

September 5, 2022

Creative Conversations with Diana Henderson Blog Header

If you held a dandelion in one hand and a Faberge egg in the other, which one would you treasure? Probably the priceless Faberge egg. It would be so treasured it may be put in a glass box on tall shelf where it can be admired, but kept safe. Alternatively it could be of such value that it would be taken to a bank and kept in a lock box where it could be kept even safer. A treasure as singular as a Faberge Egg is of such great value that we go to painstaking measure to care for it.

A dandelion, on the other hand, is so abundant that we can see it as being almost worthless. We might pick them to make tea, mow them over when doing yard work, or pick one to make a wish and blow into the wind.

We often think creativity is as precious as a Faberge Egg. That it is an elusive gift that only a treasured few are bestowed with. Often, we also treat our creativity as if it is as delicate as one of those bejewelled eggs. Because of this we are miserly and painstakingly cautious with our creativity, and overtime become scared of it. Eventually we put it up on a shelf or lock it away in a lock box to keep it safe.

The truth is that creativity is so mundanely common. It is as abundant as dandelions. Creativity is so abundant that to lock it away is as ridiculous as putting a handful of dandelion flowers in a museum display cabinet. Why look at dandelions in a museum, when you can pick them in the park across the street? 

However, it is this mindset that causes us to hoard expensive art supplies that we never use. We get stuck waiting until we are “good enough” to use the “good paint” or we wait for the perfect project worthy of our hoarded treasures. It’s the reason we can never find time to write, play the instrument, read the book, enrol in the class, or book in the retreat. Creativity is seen as so precious, that we never waste it, but in never wasting it, we never interact with our creativity.

There is only one way to start changing your own mindset about creativity, and that is to start treating it like it is abundant. Use the expensive paint. All of it. Every last drop, and then go replace it with cheaper paint, so you have more of it, and use all of that. Sit down and write in the morning. Read the book while drinking your morning coffee. Enrol in the evening class. Take time off work to go to the retreat. Use and consume your creativity. Mow it down. Drink it up. Blow it into the wind. And don’t worry, because there will always be an abundance of creativity for you to pick the next day. 

It is a ridiculous notion that something as mundane as creativity is treated with such a mindset of scarcity. To debunk the creative elite, we need to start seeing and interacting with the abundance of creativity that exist all around us. 

Leave a comment