Creativity is nearly always someone’s desire to express their emotions and be an outlet for their passions. Way too many people say, “I’m not creative.” You are, we all are. It’s simply that from a very young age, the modern education system of the developed world seems to do everything it can to suppress that creativity in the quest for a mythical SATS test result that will make everyone in the ‘job’ of teaching feel better by looking at a graph and a spreadsheet.
I hate spreadsheets, Excel is the work of the devil.
You are creative, if you simply let yourself be. And that doesn’t mean you have to be a starving artist or a photographer living in a jungle for a month to catch that rare bird of prey photograph. You don’t even need to shut yourself away in a monastery in your quest to be a sensational writer. You can be creative in your daily life.
Ask someone if they can draw and it brings a chill to their spine. Visions of Salvador Dali, Renoir and above all, memories of the disapproving feedback from that art teacher at school.
But expressing your creativity isn’t always about painting and art. For many people, their expression of creativity is something they do most days without realising it. While for others, it’s an uncanny skill they have developed to an almost autistic level. If you wish you were a more creative person and think that you’re not artistic or creative, you’re wrong. We all have it within us somewhere, to varying degrees.
Some have developed it to a passion that consumes them and marks them out as a master of their craft. While for the rest of us, we can choose whether to be creative or not in our daily lives.
We can even do it in secret.
So here’s some of my favourite creative people that came to mind when I began to think about this blog post. Some of them, you may not think are creative at all a first glance. And yet they are, in my view, either the Cezannes of their field or simply the street artists of their daily work.
Luca Bertossio – Unlimited Glider Pilot
An Italian glider pilot, one of the Red Bull athletes and someone who’s paint brush is a carbon fiber glider. Watching his on board videos of unlimited glider aerobatics and after a few seconds you simply forget that the aircraft has no engine. His ability to use natures forces and the simple rules of physics to great effect is uncanny.
When I was at school, physics was a bit of a boring subject and hard work on a Friday afternoon. Luca demonstrates how to bring great art to the use of those two elements I know from my physics teacher. Potential energy and kinetic energy.
McKenna – Racing Driver Coach
The fist time I ever sat alongside my friend Andy, it was a deeply unnerving experience. And indeed, it took some time to become accustomed to the idea that we weren’t about to crash, the car wasn’t totally out of control and in fact, Andy was simply expressing his creative passion in the only way he knows how. From behind the steering wheel.
And he also has an uncanny ability to impart some of those skills to others. As a driver coach able to teach others how to develop that feel to a higher level they have previously managed, he is one of the best. I reckon that I am a pretty good driver coach, yet McKenna is way higher than me. He’s the person that taught me everything I know about in car driver coaching.
Anyone who has sat alongside him for a demonstration of his control skills, either on a track or on a frozen lake, steps out of the car afterwards saying much the same thing. His almost autistic ability to carry speed so deep into a corner that you’re convinced that you’re crashing is uncanny. Add in an artistic streak that means he is happiest when the car is at or slightly over the limits of adhesion and you have an example of someone creating art with a steering wheel.
Sébastien Foucan – Free Runner
His Instagram bio simply says “The Guy From Casino Royale”. Yes, you know who I mean. And yes, he really did do those jumps. This French athlete is one of the masters of Free Running and watching him is like watching Fred Astaire in action. He has an incredible skill to be able to flow from one obstacle to the next. Except that to him, they aren’t obstacles, they’re the tools of his trade. Concrete blocks and vertical drops that would have us reaching for a step ladder, he simply uses as pivot points and as outlets for his amazing ability to use momentum as an art form.
The Guard on the Train – I Will Never Know His Name
I was on a train last year and it was a typical British train ride. A hot muggy day with the ventilation not working, too many people, not enough seats. Everyone was that little bit too grumpy. The guard was working his way along the train, the usual “Tickets, please!”. He had his work cut out, people staring out of the window, others reluctantly pulling a single Apple Earpod out to engage with him the bare minimum.
He reached me, I handed over my ticket, he did the usual check, then a scribble with the ballpoint pen, before moving on down the carriage. As I was slipping the ticket back into my wallet, I looked down and smiled. Across the carriage, others were doing the same thing and nudging their companions. And smiling. On each ticket, instead of the usual slash or scribble to deface it and mark it as checked, he had drawn a smiley face, complete with nose.
That small creative gesture, which he knew wouldn’t be noticed until after he had moved on down the carriage, was brightening everyone’s journey just that little bit.
OK, so he may never become a published artist, he may never gain any recognition from what he was doing.
But he was enjoying his work, each ticket’s smiley face was slightly different to the last one and each person who noticed it paused and smiled.
The tickets will never be framed and hung on a wall. In fact, they were probably discarded as soon as each person left the station at their destination. And yet that guard was probably making more people smile each day with his tiny little bit of creativity than many writers and artists will achieve in a season’s exhibition..
And Finally, Nature.
I love carrying my iPhone and seeing something that inspires me. As I write this, the summer time has seen an explosion of butterflies, apparently something that happens once a decade. The result is something truly amazing that even people so deeply involved in their daily work have noticed.
And you have to think, when you see the intricate details of one of these natural flying machines, that nature is probably the greatest artist of all.
Too deep an meaningful for you? Fair enough. Take a look at the details of this Peacock butterfly, taken on the iPhone 7 Plus. Do you know anyone who could create one of these?
You Can Create Art Too.
Being artistic or creative isn’t something you’re ‘blessed’ with. We all have it. It’s simply that for some, genetically it flows more strongly or they lived from an early age in a more creative environment. While others have lived or have grown up in a place where art and creativity weren’t subjects to be discussed that often. The chances are that there is an artist inside of you waiting to be discovered and released.
So the next time that you see something you consider as great art and you say to yourself, “I wish I were artistic,” stop thinking that way. Instead think about your own little bubble of creativity and take a little time to enjoy it.