From the Desk of Nettio Designs Issue No. 2
Hello hello and welcome to Issue No. 2 of From the Desk of Nettio Designs. Last week I shared an overview of what it really means to creatively capture your life adventures by breaking that phrase down into four key parts.
This week I want to dive deeper into part number 1, creatively, by asking the question, what does it mean to be creative?
By definition, creativity means “the use of the imagination or original ideas especially in the production of artistic work.”
Sounds like what we do with our scrapbooking, no?
But I feel like this definition only scratches the surface of what I think of when I talk about creativity. So I wrote out my own list of what creativity means to me when it comes to capturing my life adventures.
Creativity means…making connections. As the age-old saying goes, “There are no new ideas, only new ways of solving existing problems.” Despite common assumptions, no idea exists in a true vacuum. Every seemingly new idea is simply a mashup of existing ideas connected thru the lens of our own thoughts and experiences.
Which in a way makes the creative process seem a little less scary, no?
Because it means the creative process is not about plucking a completely new idea out of thin air – because there are none! It’s simply about taking existing ideas and adding your own spin to them. Seems a bit more doable, right?
Creativity means…challenging assumptions. We all have assumptions about what we are and aren’t capable of:
“I’m not a white space scrapbooker.”
“I can’t use bold colors.”
“I’m not a good storyteller.”
This is why creative constraints, like those you see on a show like Project Runway, often lead to the most creative solutions. Because they force you to push outside your creative comfort zone and challenge what you think you’re capable of doing. And it’s in those moments that you learn what you are actually capable of doing.
I can tell you from experience that every single one of my most creative layouts I’ve done in almost seven years of scrapbooking has been a direct result of a challenge or competition where I had to think outside my normal creative box. And I LOVE them because of it.
Which is why in order to truly embrace your creativity, you have to be willing to get uncomfortable. To push past that little voice that says “this isn’t going to work” or “you don’t know how to do this” and do it anyway. Because that’s where the creative magic happens.
Which brings me to my next point…
Creativity means…not being afraid to fail. The simple truth is the first time we do anything, we’re probably going to suck. Think about a child learning to walk. It’s a process of learning to roll over, crawl, toddle, walk and eventually run. They don’t just jump up one day and run a marathon. And they don’t give up the first time they fall down either – if they did, we’d all still be crawling!
Creativity is the same way – it’s an ongoing process, a journey, of trying new things and seeing what happens. Which is why not being afraid of failure is so key. Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. Because the reality is, the farther you push yourself outside your creative comfort zone, the more likely you are to fail.
But that’s ok.
Because trying and failing is how we learn. It’s how we grow as artists, as memory keepers and as people. Maybe our first attempt at a layout or new technique is going to suck. But by the 3rd or 10th or 100th attempt, it’s going to be a different story.
Don’t believe me? Choose any one of your scrap idols, go back to their very first layout and compare it to their most recent ones. I guarantee you’ll see a difference. Here, I’ll even share mine:
Quite a difference, no? And it’s not because someone dropped a box of scrapbooking talent on my lap one day, haha. It’s because I am constantly pushing myself to try new things in an effort to continue to grow and evolve as a tech-lovin’ memory-keeper.
Dare To Be Different
Creativity means…daring to be different. I’m a firm believer that if you want to stand out from the crowd, you can’t be doing what everyone else is doing. You have to be willing to be the lone Waldo in a sea of people, not the Waldo in a sea of Waldos.
Which means in order to fully embrace the creative process, you have to be willing to think differently than everyone else. Break rules. Challenge assumptions. Get uncomfortable. Push beyond what everyone else is doing and blaze your own path.
This is the attitude I want you to have towards creativity as we move forward on this journey of creatively capturing your life adventures.
An attitude of willingness to push outside your comfort zone, challenge your assumptions of what you think you’re capable, all in order to evolve a style that’s 100% your own. It’s an ongoing process of discovery, play and yes, sometimes failure.
So get ready to leave your comfort zone behind it’s time to embrace creativity.
I mentioned last week that at the end of every one of these emails I’ll have a little challenge for you because I want you to get in the habit of not just reading every week but of taking action. Because action is where the magic happens.
This week’s mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write and share your own version of the phrase: “Creativity means…” because I want to hear what creativity means to YOU.
You can share your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. A huge thank you to all of you who did this last week!
And that’s it for this week’s edition of From the Desk of Nettio Designs! Next week I’ll be chatting more about challenging assumptions and what zip-lining from a 140-foot tree taught me about scrapbooking. See you then!
This post was originally posted as part of my From The Desk of Nettio Designs weekly email. Want to get in on the action? Sign up for Nettio Designs emails here.