These are just a few of the words commonly used to describe some of my favorite people: creatives.
I’ve been accused of being most of those words myself. And at one point or another, most of them have indeed been true of me.
When I was a very young child I lived in a house that had a large open porch with a concrete floor. I recall my mother telling me that they were going to paint it. I had lots of ideas about that, including ones that involved polka dots and stripes. The porch was eventually painted white with a dark green concrete floor. I considered it a waste of a perfectly good canvas, though I had the sense to not say as much.
Not every creative enjoys applying their creativity to traditional art. There are creative problem-solvers, inventing all kinds of objects, systems, and methods. There are musicians and writers and chefs and shoemakers and architects and fingernail painters and flower arrangers and computer programmers and choreographers and stitchers of tiny costumes for teacup poodles.
I suspect most creatives would tell you they “can’t draw”.
I also suspect that most creatives don’t actually know they’re creative because they’ve always been told that to be creative is to be an artist– you know, someone who draws pictures. And so they go through life feeling a little off-kilter and out of place because that unidentified creative spark in them refuses to be silenced. They find themselves rewiring household appliances to “improve” them, pimping their cars, wearing two different colored socks on purpose, recreating grandma’s chili recipe. They are driven by the vague vision of unrealized potential.
I believe that everyone is born creative in one way or another. Some people are better and letting it out, and some folks have personalities that make it difficult for them to really embrace creative processes. However, the whole idea of making something new and beautiful is a reflection of the image of God in us. The first thing the scriptures tell us about Him is that “In the beginning, God created…” and within 26 verses He’d made us, too, in His own image.
Creative people made in the image of a creative God.
Not every person with the ability to create becomes a creative, just as not every creative becomes a traditional artist. What we’re not doesn’t lessen what we are. But I believe God has a very special place in His heart for the people who are often described with that list of words.
What the world sees as “crazy” in them, He sees as Himself.