The following post was written by a guest blogger. It's views do not necessarily reflect the views of P.O.V.
By Sarah Evans
Hey there, people. My name is Sarah and I blog over at A Cat-Like Curiosity. I blog about all kinds of things really – DIY projects, Monday Mantras, Etsy Lustings and many, many more things. Basically whatever pops into my curious mind.
I am so pleased to be able to do a guest post here for you here on P.O.V.
I wanted to talk with you about a subject which is close to my heart and never really far from my mind. The power of creativity, in particular in the context of the creative arts.
Let me preface this with the fact that I have worked in schools since graduating from university with a degree in music. I have worked (and currently work) in student support and have also worked as a music teacher.
Over the years I have had a varied relationship with all things creative. I have felt at times overjoyed, excited by, intrigued by and overwhelmed by the business of being creative. It is a real passion of mine – whether I find myself writing and working on my novel, creating new items for my Etsy store or just daydreaming away a good deal of my time thinking of new things.
Creativity has a big part to play in my life. So much so I believe it is vital for me to be able to function properly. Without it as an outlet and a lifeline I would be completely lost.
Which is why it saddens me so when I read of more and more budget cuts for arts programmes and less and less students being able to afford to access the arts. As a child, if it hadn’t been for the fact that music tuition was free in my local area through my school, I would never have learned to play. The option simply would not have been available to me.
It also saddens me when I see well meaning and good intentioned parents steering their children away from the arts subjects in favour of more employment friendly traditional staples such as English, maths, humanities and the sciences. Not that there’s anything wrong with those subjects either – they are exceptionally relevant, extremely valuable choices for any student.
I believe though, that there are some things that a person can learn only through creativity. And that without those things being learnt, we are less than we could be – all of us.
Here are my key reasons why it pays to be creative (even when it doesn’t pay the rent):
1. It unlocks your inner child from the tiny little box it has hidden in for so long.
2. It opens your mind. How many times have you heard someone with a job in a bank or a shop or works in any kind of traditional way to make a living say things like “Yes, but what do you really want to do with your life?” after you’ve just disclosed your innermost desires to be a writer/artist/blogger? With a more open mind you are able to see past the sensible, the everyday, the expected and glimpse a little of the possible, the unlikely, the unexpected. A creative person’s response to someone’s heartfelt and innermost desires? Probably, “Good luck to you with that. I really hope it works out for you.”
3. It frees you from your workaday worries and cares. So what if you have debts to repay that are stifling your life socially at the moment? You just created an awesome new piece of digital artwork and you can’t wait to share it with the world.
4. It expands your skill set. If all of your skills lie in just the one area, how can you stand out from the crowd in a difficult world and job market?
5. IT’S FUN! It’s so much fun to do. Even if no one ever sees what you create – if it’s a sparkly little journal full of writings sketches and all kinds of mementoes made only for your own eyes. That doesn’t matter. You are creating this little slice of loveliness for you and you alone. Rejoice in the happiness it brings to you.
If you still don’t believe it’s important to be creative, watch this video.
If you are with me on this, I thought you might be curious about where exactly I get my inspiration from. Here are my top five inspiration sites at the moment:
1. This is Colossal – for all things art. Beautiful web log full to the brim with the latest artists and intriguing ideas.
2. A Beautiful Mess – a haven for all things DIY and craft related in and around your home.
3. Kyla Roma – a site which extols the virtue of setting up a small business and following your creative dreams.
4. Yes and Yes – this blog covers almost everything you can think of – to do lists, travel ideas and tips and extraordinary life stories.
5. The Sketchbook Challenge – encouraging me (and many like me) to get out our sketchbooks more and more often during our day to day lives.
I guess the message I am trying to spread here with all of this is one of open-mindedness. Don’t dismiss creativity as a luxury in your life or your child’s life. It’s a necessity. A bare essential of life itself. In embracing creativity we are connecting to a power that has been accessible by only the creators since the dawn of time. Creativity is a human instinct – don’t let your instincts go to waste.