Why Is Creativity so Fascinating?

Partridge Point in Lake Superior, 2017.

My geology professor from college, Dr Palmquist (who I have written about before HERE) signed up as a subscriber to my weekly Studio Notes after I gave him one of my first EcoMemory prototypes as a gift. My EcoMemory is based on a rocky island in Lake Superior where I did field work with Dr. Palmquist for my senior project.  

He recently emailed me saying, "How did this interest in creativity start?"

The rocks on Partridge Point. How cool are they?!

It got me thinking because when he knew me as a college student, I was all about the math and science. I wanted to be an environmentalist and geology, the study of the earth, seemed to be the closest major I could find. Later I realized I like knowing how things were formed. That’s what a lot of geology is about; how the earth formed, how rocks were formed.  You tell a story based on the available science at the time of what happened, just like the volcanic action going on in Hawaii right now. Every geological event tells the story of what is happening in the earth.

What I really like the most about geology are the minerals, the colors and the shapes of igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks. It really was the starting point of me noticing color and shapes. I had told myself I wasn’t creative because I was a scientist and good at math. My creative friends were the real artists who could draw. Now I know this is a ridiculous statement. Everyone is creative in their own way. The definition of what creativity looks like is expanding. I am not the only one fascinated by creativity. More and more people are seeing themselves as creative. Even though I was fascinated by colors and shapes and would spend hours looking at the mineralogy specimens in our large drawers at my college and local rock shop and gem store, I didn’t put it all together until much later.

I started quilting 10 years after college as it was an activity that needed precise measurements and accurate sewing. It seems like a natural fit for me. Once I learned the basics, I started doing my own thing using color and shapes. This progressed to my current custom EcoMemory process where I help people reconnect to how they feel in nature through my art. To learn more, click HERE.

Like a lot of things that people become super interested in, my interest in creativity was a nagging feeling of trying to answer a question I have been pondering for years, "Why did I think I wasn’t creative when I was younger? Why did I think I needed to go to art school to be an artist?" So I decided I would just teach myself about creativity and it never ceases to fascinate me still 20 years later.

I’ve had the good fortune to be living in a time when other people are just as fascinated in creativity. Lessons about creativity are not specific to one media. This was the biggest surprise to me. I have learned from authors, painters and musicians. There are many books, TED Talks, and podcasts to listen to. I recently found a new book I just started to read. The book is called Creative Quest and is written by Questlove, the band director for the Roots band on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I already read the first chapter and can't wait to read the rest.

Why do I continue to learn about creativity? Creativity can be elusive. The more you try to force it, the more it skitters away from you just out of reach. It can be a mental minefield out there looking for creative inspiration and deciding which lead to follow. Learning from other generous souls who have written about their experiences makes you realize you are not alone. These writers/speakers provide markers on the trail of where to go and how to navigate the hazards along the trail. I am grateful for the support and keep reading/listening to people who are fascinated with creativity in all its forms.