By Jessica Johnson
Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” I know many of us have found this to be true. Remember the days of finger paint and play-doh? Or lying on the floor for hours coloring, playing with Legos or Tinker Toys?
When was the last time you whiled away an afternoon in the waning sunlight with nothing on your mind but a creative project? Some of us do just that – knit or needlepoint; journal or doodle, sketch or paint – but many more of us gave all that up a long time ago.
Creativity is inherent to the human experience; it’s what makes us well, human. Humans are dreamers and makers by nature. We bring ideas to life through creativity. Diseases are cured, monuments are built, and great novels are written thanks to the spark of creativity.
Have you ever thought perhaps it was time you added some creativity to your life again? The new year is a great time to start, while there is so much emphasis on new beginnings and starting new habits. Besides, you have a new guide to tapping into this hidden resource: this column.
Welcome to The Creative Life, where we will explore all of the inspiration available to us as residents of Santa Cruz County. Local artists will share with us the habits that help them stay inspired, motivated and productive. Together we will explore the science of creativity and learn how to stoke our personal creativity on a daily basis.
One of the best places to begin is to simply open our eyes and ears to all of the free art, music and poetry available to us. Santa Cruz County is home to hundreds of artists and creatives – from poets to painters, jewelry designers to songwriters, photographers to painters and, quite literally, everything in between. If you like your creativity served on a traditional platter or an experimental one, our hometown is the place to find it!
For example, this month you could go to one of the First Friday Art Tour exhibits. Held the first Friday of every month, First Friday Art Tours offer free access to art shows and artists. This month’s event features painters, printmakers and photographers. Visit www.firstfridaysantacruz.com for more information on specific artists, venues and to check out upcoming exhibits as well.
Another great way to begin to tap into your creativity is to go to one of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s author events. Most events are free and feature bestselling authors of both fiction and non-fiction.
If you can’t manage to get out to an event, that’s okay too. Did you know that doodling could get your creative juices flowing? Listening to music? Reading poetry? Taking a walk? Or try my favorite — daydreaming.
I hope you will try one small thing to get your creative juices flowing, because living a creative life is of benefit to the individual, of course, but to the greater humanity as well. Next time we will talk about the science behind being creative. Until then, try something new!
Raised in Aptos, Jessica Johnson is a poet, author and blogger dedicated to helping others live brave, creative lives. Read more about her creative journey at www.vinegarandvanilla.com. Email your questions, comments and creative suggestions to her at email@example.com