Sunday, August 25, 2013

Are You Creative?

Recently, while conversing with a friend on Twitter, the friend said, "I am not the least bit creative!" I immediately scratched my head in amazement. You see, I have watched this person write amazing reviews of books and interact with dozens of people....THAT involves/shows creativity. Creativity doesn't require watercolors, using words can be creative.

So, just what is 'creative'. . . . says,


  [kree-ey-tiv]  Show IPA
having the quality or power of creating.
resulting from originality of thought, expressionetc.;imaginative: creative writing.
originative; productive (usually followed by of  )"

Seems like a pretty broad definition having the quality or power of creating...we ALL create. Why is such narrow characterization used by many adults? My friend, Peter H. Reynolds likes to ask adults, "how many of you are great artists?" When he asks young kids, every hand goes up, the older the crowd, the less hands you see. Who told you that you weren't an artist....or creative???

I used to think I couldn't draw. I listened to Peter speak and I grew tiny little wings. I started drawing things during class while I was teaching elementary...then a few tiny dots appeared on my Facebook timeline...Now there are quite a few things out there for the world to see. Did I suddenly become a great artist?? Not really, I just grew brave and realized that no one expected perfection, just my contribution to the world. The power of "Ish," the follow up book to "The Dot."

I will never be on the level of the masters. I marvel at the colorful work of Peter H. Reynolds, the complexity and beauty of Wendell Minor's work, and the sweet, soft style of Lauren Castillo. BUT, to say I can't draw is not accurate. I can draw. . . I can also appreciate and highlight the work of the people I have mentioned. . . and so many others. Perhaps my creation to the world of art will be sharing the work of others. I know I get great joy from learning about the process that those masters share.

To highlight my point, I would like to share the work of The Celebridots! You will find the greatest authors/illustrators of our time. I love when an illustrator accepts the challenge. I greatly admire when an author does. The entire site was inspired by Sharon Creech, the Newbery Medal winning author who bravely sent me a dot on Dot Day 2011. I had long admired her writing, I was moved by her artwork. I was greatly saddened once when I got a reply from an author that said, "I don't draw, sorry." However, it made me appreciate the ones who bravely made their mark all the more.

The inspiration behind Dot Day was to get kids to be creative. Perhaps the best thing that can come from that is that kids will KNOW they can create....that they are creative. Oh, what a great world it will be when that happens. The fact that Dot Day grew from a few schools, to the International event it has become (celebrated on all continents), is because people see the value of Creativity and want to share that with kids. Speaking of creativity, check out all the different ways schools are celebrating!

YOU are creative....YOU are brave.....YOU will help change the world.

Start here: let your creativity soar!