My husband and I spent the day sharing our creative skills at the John C. Campbell Folk School. It was Friends and Family Day. All across the campus artists were creating and sharing their expertise with future patrons on the school. I demonstrated basic calligraphy by making bookmarks with children and their parents. Kevin demonstrated Gyotaku, which is japanese fish printing.
It was great sharing ideas and skills that some people had never seen. The ‘OOOs’ and ‘Ahhhhs’ were very invigorating. I was reminded that not everyone has the ability to exercise their creative side or may not have tapped into it yet. Being able to see all sorts of different creative things opens people up and allows their imagination to soar. It frees them to think differently and explore possibilities. It also means someone needs to have developed the skills in order to share them with others.
Creating an environment where people feel free to explore and develop their own unique creative gifts is important work. It means allowing people to try and fail and try again. It means allowing them to use up valuable resources as part of the learning process. It means being able to admit that someone else may be better or differently skilled than yourself. It means allowing time to try and learn and do and fail and try and learn and do and fail.
When was the last time you created a creative environment for someone else? When unique and ugly ideas were both welcome as part of the inventive cycle? When you let time pass without wondering if the goal would be reached or measured for achieved? If you want people to be creative and come up with new ideas then you have to provide a space and time to nurture their inner selves. Bring in people and experts and other creatives to a new and unexpected space then let go. After having spent the day playing and showing others, believe me, you will be amazed and encouraged by what people can conceive and achieve.