In our society ‘artists’ seem to be somewhat separated from the ‘normal’ population. For some reason, artists are a distinct breed, fortunately imbued with this incredible ability to be ‘creative’. We are unusual, unique, and a little bit ‘out there’. And your ‘average’ person finds it hard to relate to this other sub species of human. Are we really that different? What does creativity actually mean?
I have just done some training with the Arts Council of Wales. I am part of a Wales wide project called Lead Creative Schools, which along with funding from the Welsh Assembly Government is working alongside schools and embedding ‘creative teaching practices’ into the curriculum. It’s a new way of working for mainstream schools, though it’s not new to Waldorf Schools.
What the Lead Creative Schools scheme is doing is seeking ways to facilitate the emergence of each individuals innate creativity. Much as the Waldorf school curriculum recognises the spirit in each person, and works to help the individual to realise their potential, the Creative Schools scheme recognises that each individual is in fact creative, has some unique perspective that they can share with the world.
Of course, this is nothing new. Anyone that teaches children will know they are each unique, they each are creative, and can share this if they are empowered to do so.
As I am privileged to teach children using my creative skills in willow and wool, I can probably see this more clearly than many. Unlike trained school teachers, I don’t have the targets to meet, forms to fill in, inspections to undergo. I can create a project which engages and inspires those children that are often hard to reach. They find that the love making 3D shapes – although they hate maths. They find they love the texture and colours of wool, and how they combine, even if they have never been keen in art classes. There is always something that can engage them, reaching into their imagination and encouraging it to manifest.
I feel privileged, and happy to have found a way to support the creative growth of others.
The group of us present at the training last week was so diverse. Actors, robot builders, circus performers, glass artists, film makers; all of us having found our creative spark and followed it through to become ‘professional’ creatives.
I would argue that anyone can do this, anyone can find their creative outlet for personal growth – their light to shine into the world.
Here is an image of a workshop I ran through Arts Care Gofal Celf with people with mental health problems. It is so beautiful! And they worked together to create it.
So be bold! Manifest your creativity, have confidence, use your imagination, be curious, work with others, and definitely keep on trying. Didn’t it take JK Rowling many attempts to get published? And look where she is now! So we may not all have a Harry Potter up our sleeve, but each little step towards your own fulfillment helps us all.
‘Creativity is the expression of Spirit’.