21 Jul 2012

Nurturing the creative

This is a bit of a different post than the usual, but I thought it would be relevant to bloggers/readers of blogs, as they are ordinarily very creative and talented people. Saying that, most people are creative, or have the ability to be so. This post is about unleashing creativity and what that means to me, and what it means to anybody who wants to read this. I know a visually appealing post is important to most people, so I've included photographs of three of my creative outlets, that travel everywhere with me: my scrapbook, my art journal, and my writing notebook. 

I started my scrapbook about three years ago, and fill with any inspiration possible, and also memories I want to treasure. I suppose I would liken it to Pinterest, but a whole lot better because you get to use images you love to enhance others, and it's so much more personal. When I'm feeling low I turn over every page of my scrapbook and allows me to see beauty that I don't think I can find over the internet which I find too large, it swallows things up. I use everything from magazines and newspapers to tickets, postcards, arty scraps, anything and everything you can find. Anyone who wants to unleash some creativity, but doesn't feel confident enough to draw or paint or write, should find a simple scrapbook (this one is from Paperchase) and begin ripping up all their Vogues which they're hoarding!

So many of my favourite blogs showcase beautiful illustrations and paintings (Ella Masters is amazing, I love her work so much), so I feel a little nervous putting my own work on the internet. I have never claimed, nor ever will, to be a particularly talented drawer/painter/arty being, but I enjoy it nonetheless. I think it's important sometimes with creativity to accept that you are not the best, that your work doesn't come out like it does in your head, but that you continue with it because it is healthy to create and make to counteract all the other tasks in your life that require you to take. You will notice that all of these books are ring-bound, and that's because I'm endlessly ripping out pages, please don't think I'm trying to say my work is perfect, nor that I'm the perfect 'creative' person, I am a terrible perfectionist (I use the word terrible because perfectionism sounds good.. but seriously isn't). I am never quite satisfied with what I create, but have to say that since starting university I have learnt to let go a little bit, which I believe is important, create something because you enjoy doing it, not because it will be the best, or win you a prize, or even bring in the paycheck. 

Leading on from that paycheck statement, meet my writing notebook (yes, I want to be a writer). This one doesn't represent happy creativity for me, but endless anxiety (I told you I wasn't perfect at this). I went to university to study english literature with creative writing, managing to get into one of the best uni's for this course in the country. When I was studying for my A-levels, all I cared about was getting the grades to attend this course, and didn't really think about what I was going to do when I got there. But when I started last september I was in for a creative shock, my writing wasn't personal anymore, it was graded, read aloud and judged. And suddenly I wasn't the best anymore, coming from a school where creative writing made you 'gay' to be surrounded by creative people didn't make me feel happy, it made me feel scared and small. I have only completed my first year, and am sure that this is something I will battle with for the rest of my life, but hopefully I will be able to use it to create something that is worth me being put on this planet. 

Sorry for the downgrade in positivity, but I think these three books represent a lot for me creatively, they show the highs and lows associated with success and failure and trying to create when you don't think you have it in you. 

Does anyone else struggle with being creative, or feel like they couldn't function without some creativity in their life?
p.s. I got the idea for this post after watching this fantastic video where Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the creative genius, I recommend it for all struggling creative beings!


  1. I love being creative and try to be constantly, I have alittle notebook full of little phrases that I've heard being said and i keep all letters, birthday cards and notes/reminders that my friends and family have written for me. I also have a scrapbook full of fashiony stuff that I love to flick through.
    One of the notes that I've kept is from my god mother and it says "keep smiling chloe and hold your head up high. Do whatever keeps you smiling and find someone who loves you being happy",
    Love Chloe x x x

    1. Your comment has made my day, such a nice response to my grumpy ramblings haha! Nice to hear someone else is scrapbooking and documenting just like me and such a lovely note from your godmother :)

  2. I love your scrapbook (or what I've seen of it anyway). I always keep a sketchbook on me and a notebook - more like a journal really though. And I am trying to start a scrapbook/art journal type thing. I think it can be difficult being creative, because like you, I struggle trying to feel positive about anything I draw/write/assemble (?). But I think that you just have to hold your head up high, and leave the mistakes, so you can see how you've grown.

    I'm sure you're an amazing writer, and I hope that one day I'll be able to pick up your book and read it cover to cover in one day because it's so brilliant!

    Pip x

    1. I knew bloggers were creative beings, so good to hear you keep similar books to me! I understand about the positivity thing, I think a lot of people suffer from that, I find it difficult to keep the mistakes, I just rip them out instead, which is really not helpful!
      I hope one day you'll be reading my book too, but until then I'll just ramble on a blog!
      Thanks for the great comment pip! :)

  3. I keep a scrapbook too, although yours are way prettier than mine! It's filled with everything from old cinema tickets and birthday cards to pictures from Vogue. Things like writing and art work are SO personal, so it can be scary putting them out there for everyone to see because you can almost feel like you're totally exposing yourself and it can make you feel quite vulnerable. I think it's important to keep doing your work for you over anything else, even though you are doing a course and getting graded. I don't think it's fair that writing and artwork should be graded, it's all down to personal taste I think. But anyway, from what you've shown here I think you're super talented! So sorry for the big fat ramble haha xxx

    1. Great comment, good to know someone understands that whole putting your stuff on the internet thing, but don't worry I'm not 'super' anything haha, thanks for the ramble, loved it :)