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Who’s Your “Creativity Role Model?”

Do you have a role model for creativity? You should. Creativity fuels every profession, from business to education to the arts. It helps us work better and smarter; to find solutions where there seemed to be none; to nurture passions. We should all strive to be more creative, and every striver needs a role model for inspiration.

I have two. One is my deceased grandmother, whom I’ve referenced as an influence on my writing. But she only considered herself a writer (of fiction, nonfiction and poetry) for the last couple of decades of her long life. Before that, Grandma was a painter, a sculptor, a mixed-media artist, a seamstress… the list goes on and on. Creativity flowed through her veins, and she channeled and redirected it at her will.

My other role model is an inheritor of my grandmother’s gifts: my sister, Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn seems able to accomplish any creative project she puts her mind to. In the last couple of years, she’s written both fiction and nonfiction, taught herself to sew, and began making personalized cards and jewelry. She’s not even thirty, and she’s created enough for a lifetime.

I think I’m a creative person, but I don’t believe I have the kind of borderless creativity my role models have. I am fortunate to spend my days in three highly creative occupations: teaching, parenting, and writing. Among other things, all require on-the-spot thinking and innovative solutions to meet the needs of children (teaching, parenting) and characters (writing). I feel so much more fulfilled now than I did a few years ago, when teaching was (basically) my only creative outlet. I needed to increase my writing, and become a parent, in order to fill my creative cup.

However, my creativity ends with those three channels. As evidence: I am terrible at DIY projects; I keep home-decorating simple because I can’t think of other ways to arrange things; I’m not a cook, only a recipe-follower; I can’t improvise on my instrument to save my life; and I only have interesting, flattering outfits in my closet because I like shopping, and I make a big effort to figure out what looks good. (Stitch Fix helps.)

I’m guessing most people are like me: channeling creativity in some areas but lacking it in others. Think of the stories of CEOs who eat the same thing for breakfast, or inventors who wear the same thing every day. I understand those people- they put so much creative energy into their work, there’s none to spare for less important matters. But that’s exactly why I admire people like my grandmother and sister so much: because they seem able to spin a boundless world of creativity. Their creative energy is untethered and free.

Who is your “creative role model?”

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