Up until now my conversations with Len Metcalf in our podcast, A Creative Affair, have been between just the two of us. Today we released an episode with our first guest, Michael O’Neill, an extremely creative photographic artist and professor at Queen’s University in Charlotte. We had a lovely in-depth conversation about teaching & learning creativity. I loved it!
My basic questions were: Can creativity be learned and, if so, can it be taught and how? See, both Len and I believe that EVERY person is creative in some way and the creativity just needs to be released. I know I struggled with this for quite a while. People would tell me how creative I was but I really didn’t believe them and dismissed the sentiment. It wasn’t until I was WILLING to entertain the possibility of my own inherent creativity that I could begin to be in the belief of “I am a creative person”. As soon as I was in that belief then I could begin to explore learning HOW to be seen more creative.
I should note that this wasn’t a forced thing. Being creative is FUN and I want more of it!
An interesting part of the podcast conversation was that we all agreed that by teaching creativity we have grown creatively at the same time. It’s fascinating that teachers/mentors can learn just as much from their students as students can from them.
Here are some steps(in no particular order) to learning to become more creative:
- Be open and willing to learn
- Be curious
- Get your hands “dirty” through play and experimentation
- Release expectations and judgement
- Create space to practice
I’ll share a way I have been putting this into practice but it deserves it’s own post. So, for now, go listen to the episode and maybe YOU will decide to believe even more in your inherent creativity.
You can check out Michael’s work here: http://www.santafeartphotographer.com/fine-art.html