Maker Story: 4 Ways To Stir Up Your Creativity
Let’s take a moment to reverse the clock and go back in time. It’s 2009. I’m 17 years old, a senior in high school, the editor of the yearbook. It’s nearing the end of the school day and I’m busily typing up the responses my fellow seniors provided me with about their future plans to be included in the yearbook. I finish typing all of the hopes and dreams of my classmates to find that I’ve forgotten to include one. Mine. I look at the computer screen and stare at the boldfaced words next to my senior picture “Future Plans: ” and then I look at the open space next to it. I sit and think. And think. I simply can’t find the words to fill up the empty space.
That space speaks volumes to me. It is patiently waiting to be filled with my career plans, my hopes, my dreams. What do I want to do with my life? What path do I want to take? I can’t find the answers to these questions, so I turn the computer off, gather my belongings, and go home.
These questions had been haunting me my entire senior year.
Rather than heading straight to college after graduation, I seriously considered taking a year off to figure out what I wanted my life to look like, to find my calling. I didn’t do that. I decided to go to a university twenty minutes away from my home and majored in “undecided” with a minor in “I have no idea what I’m doing.”
I eventually filled that blank space after “Future Plans” in my yearbook after a lot of thought. I ended up writing “I’m uncertain as to what I would like to do for a career, but I know I want to go to college and see as much of the world as I can in my lifetime.” Fast forward 7 years to the present and my 24 year old self couldn’t have summed up my future plans much better than my 17 year old self did. I would add one thing however. I would write: “I’m uncertain as to what I would like to do for a career, but I know I want to see as much of the world as I can in my lifetime and work endlessly to purse a creative life. “
I’m 24 years old with a master’s degree in business administration. Once I started my classes in the autumn of 2009 at that college near my hometown, I considered various career paths. I took a few elementary education classes, I considered pursuing a career in psychology, but I eventually settled on a business degree. Why did I pick this? Did I love the business world? Did I have a passion for it? In short, no, I didn’t. The idea of financial stability is ultimately what pushed me to follow this path. I chose financial stability over my passions, over pursuing the things that I love.
It wasn’t until I started applying for full time jobs in the business world that an overwhelming fear washed over me. I secretly hoped I wouldn’t hear back from the employers that I sent my resume to. I was scared to death at the mere thought of spending my life in an office crunching numbers day in and day out. To me, that wasn’t really living at all. I was terrified I would end up living an un-lived life. I wanted to run away from this career path that I had dedicated the past five years of my life to. I was worried people would think I was out of my mind if I just threw it all away. It was during this time of fear and confusion that I became inspired.
I read countless stories about creatives doing the things they loved and discovered they were making a living doing it. I slowly began to realize that creativity is something I have loved with my whole heart for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I would dress up and create videos of myself singing and dancing along to Shirley Temple songs. I painted and completely redecorated my childhood room more times than I can count when I was growing up. Art and English were my favorite classes throughout school. I’ve often caught myself focused more on the cinematography and lighting in movies than on what’s actually happening in the film.
It’s these little things I’ve looked back on that have helped me to realize creativity is my passion, it’s what makes me feel alive. Over the past year, I’ve really submerged myself in the world of watercolors. I get lost in it. Watching the colors blend and bleed together and carve their own paths across the paper mesmerizes me. I always find myself thinking about what Rachel McAdams’ character in The Notebook says about painting, “When I pick up my paintbrush, the world just gets quiet.” This pretty much sums it up for me. I start painting and before I know it three hours have gone by. Getting lost in something you love is such a beautiful thing.
My dream for my future is to never stop creating and making. To never give up. To pursue a creative life no matter what. Life is too short to follow a path that doesn’t bring you joy. It’s definitely scary to toss aside the business career path I worked so hard for, but I think it’s infinitely more frightening to spend my life pursuing something I don’t love with my whole heart. I have no interest in living an un-lived life. I have more creative dreams than I can count and I can’t wait to spend my years chasing them and finding boundless joy in every single step I take on this beautiful, creative path through life. Here's the 4 ways I stay inspired to #waketomake:
Seeing how others engage in their creative side has been very helpful for me when it comes to exercising my own creative muscle. There are so many incredible artists and makers out there creating such beautiful things. Seeking out inspiration helps to get my creative juices flowing and it’s also encouraging to read about the success stories of the other makers out there.
Engage Your Creativity Every Single Day:
You don’t have to complete an entire project every single day to engage your creative side. There are so many little things you can do each day to keep the creative fire burning. You can add some new brushstrokes to a painting you’ve been working on, try out a Pinterest craft, add your own flair to your favorite recipe, write a new blog or journal entry, and the list goes on. One little thing I do each day that always seems to engage my creative side is watching the sunlight. It seems like some of my best ideas have popped into my mind while watching the sun shine through my lace curtains and dance along the floors and walls. Nature holds so much inspiration and creative energy.
Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things:
Don’t feel like you need to lock yourself into one certain art form. For the last few years I have mostly focused on creating with watercolors. Lately I’ve been trying to branch out beyond just paintings. I am really interested in herbalism and I’ve been brainstorming ideas for creating all natural beauty products. I’m also interested in sewing and I recently added organic flax seed heat packs to my Etsy shop. There are so many creative paths out there, don’t be afraid to try out a new one.
Never Give Up:
It’s so easy to get down on yourself and feel like your work doesn’t matter. But trust me, it does. Every single thing you create reflects the special and unique person you are. Your work is beautiful, it matters, and it’s unlike anything else out there. It is uniquely yours. So keep on creating and dreaming. You’re doing amazing things.
Ready to take your creativity to the next level?
My name is Elizabeth (better known as Lizzy) Tweedie. I am 24 years old and I live as close as one can to Canada without actually being in Canada. I am married to the love of my life and I love to paint. Adventures, golden hour, nature, traveling, movies, and trying new things are a few of my favorite things.