Creativity Comes in So Many Fabulous Flavors

Peppermint. As in Peppermint Pink water lilies:

Freeman-Zachery water lily

photo by Earl Zachery

The photo above was taken at the International Waterlily Collection in San Angelo, Texas. It’s a drive of about two hours from where we live, so it makes the perfect road trip: my husband, the photographer, drives; I ride and stitch. He loves to drive. I love to stitch. In San Angelo, I shop for used clothes I can alter, and he goes to the waterlily pond and takes photos. What could be a better way to spend a Saturday?


One time he’ll focus on the bees that visit the flowers, and another time he’ll work with the shadows of the lilies and their reflections in the water. Recently he’s met a couple of the guys who create new lilies, like the Peppermint Pink one in the photo above. (Alas, the man didn’t have a card, and we can’t find his name.)


Although we know creativity comes in all forms, many of us in the mixed media community tend to get tunnel vision after a while, narrowing our idea of what’s creative to only the things we make in the studio or take as a workshop. Maybe we’ll include cooking and gardening. It’s not that we don’t believe math and science and biology can be creative; it’s just that we don’t really have time to think about it. I recently interviewed an artist whose work I’ve admired for years who holds a PhD. in biology. I asked her about shifting back and forth between those passions, and she said she doesn’t have to integrate them. For her, creativity is about coming up with ideas and then implementing them in whatever way works. It’s not about left brain vs. right brain or about logic vs. creativity; it’s about approaching everything creatively, as a problem you can solve with the skills and talents and tools and techniques you have.


I know nothing about the man who created the Peppermint Pink water lily. I don’t know if he paints or sculpts or does anything that people would think of as traditionally creative, but of course, he is creative, bringing into being something that didn’t exist before. It’s good for all of us who spend time in the studio to remember not to get so involved in the things we make there that we look at everything else as “other,” as in “other than creative.” Creativity is large enough to encompass entire lives, and when we forget to think of it that way, we miss out on so many things.

Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.

W8060_creative_thursday_CM1.inddFor more thoughts about creativity, take a look at Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne.







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