When I began this journey to explore what it means to be creative, I wasn’t sure what I’d discover.
I felt magnetised to the thought that creativity is more than an ‘idea’. It lives in everyone. Innate. Biological. A network of receptors waiting for stimulation to fire blindingly bright sparks of colour, texture, language and emotion through our minds to produce the closest thing to ‘magic’ we will ever experience.
Creation is “the action or process of bringing something into existence”. To be human is to create – a predisposition incidentally defined in our creation. So why do most of us initially fail to harness the physical and emotional power of creativity? Instead, resigning it to a one-dimensional notion: Creativity = art.
This blind approach to creativity isn’t uncommon. Most of us subconsciously require ‘weight’ for creativity to exist, and existence itself takes up physical space – people, products, and the planet. But what about emotion and opinion? The idea that creativity is the product of our thoughts is blithely mistaken. They are one of the same, and therein lies the barrier to a truly creative mindset.
In my discussion with Ëpha, he recounted his years turning to photography as a way to question the expectations posed upon him, specifically in his youth. What’s unique about his approach to scrutinising the perceptions of others was to be found in the creativity of his thoughts:
“I started to explore how people felt about me through photographic form… I was interested in the nuances of what makes the shift in people perceiving me in a certain way, and I was exploring that through photographs and using myself as the vessel for that”.
Being ‘creative’ in its most elemental form is all about curiosity. What do we think? What will we discover? Creativity is the exploration and expression of everything on our terms… The irony is that we all possess this way of thinking. It’s our birthright. Often, however, we don’t know how to use it. The magic comes when creativity takes it upon itself to help.
“The creative process is access to the subconscious. I was probably working through things I didn’t have a language for, but I was giving voice to it through images rather than speaking it. I’ve just realised that now”.
Before talking to Ëpha, I would have vehemently protested that everyone needs to understand their creative power and harness it every day. Whilst I still believe everyone would benefit from understanding what their creative mind is capable of, I’d also propose that, perhaps, we don’t, as I suggested, ‘fail’ to harness the power of creativity. Rather that we are all born with a time to discover and unlock our creativity… Just when it’s right for us.
Creativity is existential. It is, in essence, both an act and a feeling. The latter, often unnoticed, will always seek to bring about new versions of self-discovery, small but substantial fireworks of experience. The former is a physical manifestation of those cosmic embers erupting around us.
So, next time inspiration strikes in one of its many forms, look up and remember how it felt when you discovered how it felt to be truly alive. You might learn something new about yourself.