What is a “Highly Creative” Person, Anyway?

"Crayons Colliding" by Yours Truly

“Crayons Colliding” by Yours Truly

This morning, as I was forcing myself out of sleep fog, I read a great article from Huffington Post titled “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.” Click HERE to read it for yourself. I found myself relating to just about every “habit” or behavior as described in the article. What stuck out to me the most, however, is that scientists have been straying away from the left brain/right brain descriptor, and have, instead, begun to point us towards the creative part of the brain. This makes so much sense to me, particularly because I would argue that I am a creative who uses both sides of her brain.

Lately, I’ve been doing impromptu research on the creative person in general, in hopes of finding some answers for myself. I’ve found myself unleashing my curiosity more and more. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older and really want to ground myself in my self-awareness. Or perhaps it’s because I’m practicing my creative freedom so often these days, that I want to make sure what I create has meaning. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I’ve become apathetic with so many things and wonder why the hell I just don’t care about said things I used to have anxiety over. Yeah, it’s definitely the latter.

Part of unleashing creativity also means letting go of a lot of other things. The past year has been an incredible journey for me as an artist, a writer, and a business owner. I see how so many pieces of that journey connected in order to lead me to the here and now…to this very blog post, even.

As I’ve opened up my mind to this path and to self-discovery, I’ve, at times, felt like a child again: finding things I like and things I don’t. And even being honest about it all. If I don’t like something, I admit it AND I stop doing it. (Within reason, of course. I don’t like paying bills, but ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, huh?) And if I like something, I am making more room for it in my life.

When I think of change, evolution, and style, I’m constantly reminded of Madonna. What has made her such a huge success has been her willingness to reinvent herself–her style, her sound, her very persona. And yet, she has remained an artist throughout; the term “artist” being the most important label for her career. She’s brilliant, she’s genius, she’s creative.

And that’s what I strive to be. Creative. Or, rather, Highly Creative.

Though I readily label myself as creative, I have come to understand that in order to keep such a title, one must constantly re-evaluate, reinvent, and question–ALWAYS, always question. And when you ask so many damn questions, it can very well drive you mad. However, if you keep asking those questions, you eventually learn how to ask the right questions. Not the right questions for your parents, or your partner, or your teacher, but for YOU. It’s a very relative, organic process, I believe. If we stop asking questions, if we stop being curious about life, then we start to stifle our creative brain and resort to right brain/left brain–feeling that there is some piece missing.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” -Albert Einstein

If you are truly a “highly creative” person, then I would bet all money that you can resonate with this. But don’t be too impressed, I don’t have that much money. 😉

Ernest Hemingway once said, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Perhaps that holds some truth to it; even Wisdom Literature says that the more knowledge a person gains, the more she or he will feel burdened. But I do not think this has to be an absolute–especially for the intelligent creative person. Sure, there is the feeling of torment when us creatives cannot be devoted to the activities we prefer (writing, painting, reading, playing an instrument, building, etc.).

However, there is something to be said of the creative person who actively pursues their passions and talents. I am finding that the more time I devote to what I love to do–to write and to create in a variety of ways–the better I feel. The nicer I am to those around me. The quicker my mind is to grasp difficult concepts. I’m expanding the creative part of my brain, finding harmony between the right and left brains.

When I spent the past several years shying away from my true passions, perhaps under the influence of lies such as: “There is no money in being an artist unless one is really amazing,” or “One cannot make a career out of writing if she or he isn’t first properly trained,” I found myself becoming increasingly unhappy. And finally, when I couldn’t take it anymore, I abandoned everything that had to do with my routined and overly-busy life. At first, I was somewhat lost. But then, when I found my own rhythm and gave myself space and time to go through self-discovery, I was happier. Even when the balance of my bank account was something I should have been stressing about.

So now, how does this all connect? Well, I think it’s important to remember that not all us creatives are created equally. There are people like me who have both a penchant for organization and routine, as well as sometimes having a messy workspace and a horrible short-term memory. And there are people like my youngest sister who are amazingly talented in artistry and have no room in their minds for things unrelated to their craft. Creatives must be nurtured, but no one will nurture them until they nurture themselves–and demonstrate just how devoted to their passions they are.

As the Huffington Post article explains, “highly creative” people are those who daydream often, observe just about everything, look for new challenges and experiences, are deep thinkers, and strategize. Without such habits, a highly creative person will begin to deteriorate. I know I did. I decayed for eight years until I couldn’t take it anymore. Either I had to make a choice to accept my lot in life and find some kind of contentment elsewhere, OR make a choice to start from scratch and follow my heart.

Following one’s heart is a very, VERY scary decision sometimes, but not following one’s heart…well, I think that’s even more scary.

If you are a creative person, and you’re already following your dreams and passions, then bravo! That is awesome. But if you’re a creative person who feels stifled and unsure…maybe you know you want a change but feel scared, or don’t know where to start: do some soul-searching and ask yourself: “What do I REALLY want?” Be honest with yourself–it might be surprising. Don’t believe that happiness and creativity are destined for someone else. And stop trying to talk yourself out of taking a risk.

I wish there was a magic formula for risk-taking that always ended in success, but there’s not. However, if you’re doing something that makes you happy, then that’s success in its own right. Nurture yourself, nurture your craft, and reach out to those who support what you want to do. Beautiful and lasting creations take time to build, so build carefully and passionately.

Is it February Yet?

Hello, lovely readers!

I have missed you all SO much! It’s been an insane month and I am ready for February! I’ve been somewhat silent on this blog for a few weeks because my life has been crazy. What have I been up to? Well, give me a minute, and I’ll show you!

1. I entered a blogging contest.

Yep, I sure did. It’s for my new blog at my business website, helawrite.com. I am participating in HubSpot’s 30-Day Blog Challenge, and I REALLY hope I win because it would definitely give my business a little boost. You can visit my site and read my latest posts on business. There are some great tips (at least, I think so) that are relevant to anyone. Except babies and children, I guess.

My business website with the new blog front and center.

My business website with the new blog front and center.

2. I was a production assistant on a movie set!

Ah, four days of being a glorified coffee/errand girl. Actually, it was more than that and I did have fun. I got to meet some cool actors and the crew was really nice. I made dinner for everyone one night (aka put frozen lasagnas from Costco in the oven for 2 hours) and that was fun (except for the Costco part–most of you know how I feel about Costco). Everyone remembers you when you feed them, and you’re no longer: “Hey, you!”

photo 1

Day 1 on the set of Whipping Boy, in San Jose, CA.

As a writer, I gained some great perspective on the film industry, and was able to talk to some of the actors about screenwriting ideas I have. They were very encouraging and liked what I had to say. All in all, a wonderful experience. The movie is called “Whipping Boy” and it’s in the Sci-Fi genre. It was filmed in San Jose and San Francisco, and it’s a short film being entered into a contest. I will let you all know how it does when I receive an update from my producer friend. And I may be blogging about it, too.

To the left of me: Chris Ely, Co-producer for Whipping Boy. To my right: The famous Jon Talbert, founder of Beautiful Day, a compassion innovator, and well-known speaker. He played a cracked out hobo in the film!

To the left of me: Chris Ely, Co-producer for Whipping Boy. To my right: The famous Jon Talbert, founder of Beautiful Day, a compassion innovator, and well-known speaker. He played a cracked out hobo in the film! (Which is why his eyes are very red.)

(To find out more about Chris Ely, click HERE. To find out more about Jon Talbert, click HERE. Jon happens to be one of my clients through HelaWrite and he’s awesome!)

3. My little sis bought a house!

Okay, she’s not “little,” but she is my younger sister. My sister, Julia, bought her first house. I am so proud of her, especially because she’s a single mom and works her butt off to provide for her son. All her hard work is paying off and now she owns some real estate. Therefore, like any good sister, I’ve been at her place every few days for the past 3 weeks to help her with the move.

My nephew and I, a year ago, on his 6th birthday. He's grown since then, and my hair is all gone. :)

My nephew and I, a year ago, on his 6th birthday. He’s grown since then, and my hair is all gone. 🙂

As a special treat for my adorable nephew, I painted his room with a custom “Tron-themed” runner, and he loves it. My sister bought a Tron rug for his room, so I was inspired by that, but kind of made up the design as I went. At one point in my college career, I was an interior design major, so I had a lot of fun coming up with the design for his room. I also put chalkboard paint on one wall and am building a sort of art center for him. He is quite the artist and I wanted to give him a special space.

Blank canvas.

Blank canvas.

Chalkboard paint.

Chalkboard paint.

The layout.

The layout. (If you squint, you can see the pencil lines.)

Phase 1: Dark blue.

Phase 1: Dark blue.

Phase 2: Black glitter paint added.

Phase 2: Black glitter paint added.

Phase 3: Silver paint added.

Phase 3: Silver paint added.

Phases 4 & 5: Blue glitter and glow-in-the-dark paint added.

Phases 4 & 5: Blue glitter and glow-in-the-dark paint added.

Room complete!

Room complete!

And, of course, I put up his Tron decals from his old room.

And, of course, I put up his Tron decals from his old room.

4. And speaking of art…

I DID take some time for myself during the chaos. I found these awesome ideas for a calendar journal and made one for myself. I recycled old maps I had from traveling in Spain 6 years ago, and used them as part of the calendar decor. I have finally admitted to myself that I am never going to scrapbook and decided to put those papers and stickers to good use. I’m pretty pleased with the results!

Gluing on pieces of the map to make squares for each day.

Gluing on pieces of the map to make squares for each day.

A blank canvas, ready to be filled with thoughts and events.

A blank canvas, ready to be filled with thoughts and events.

Really liking February. :)

Really liking February. 🙂

I will be blogging more regularly in the weeks to come, so thanks for bearing with me. And next month, I plan on revealing the cover for my 2nd book, The Wrong Fairy Tale! I can’t wait to share it with you all. It is awesome!

Oh yeah, I did read Beautiful Creatures and Warm Bodies and will be doing a movie/book comparison in the weeks to come. And I took some time to enjoy good wine, too. 😉

Enjoyed this red while I was painting into the night.

Enjoyed this red while I was painting into the night.

Until next time,

Tamar xoxo