At a recent play date, my friend Eva announced that she has no hobbies. I felt sad for her, although her lack of interest in a non-essential endeavor did not seem to bother her at all. In fact, my sympathy irritated her more than anything else because it made her a bit self-conscious. I had to remind Eva that I am Rachel and Rachel doesn’t judge, and eventually she understood that my creative outlets are so vital to my existence that I have trouble understanding how not everyone has an outlet to nurture her creative side. That exchange had me thinking. Are the folks who think that they do not possess a single creative bone doomed to a boring existence? Surely not! Countless options exist for these people. Here are five to use as a springboard:
1. Make Some Music – anyone can. Even tapping on a cup can be musical. In this video, a young lady, by the name of Sarah Stone shows how enjoyable (and perhaps frustrating) musical cup-tapping can be. The iconic “When I’m Gone” from Pitch Perfect, performed by Anna Kendrick, has been mimicked and covered by little girls everywhere, proving that anyone can make music. I try to play guitar every day. I am not really good at it (yet), and it annoys my family, often to tears, but I am exercising my creativity, which is therapeutic for me, which inadvertently helps them. (If Mama ain’t happy…) So be a behind-the-shower-curtain rockstar. If nothing else, it will get those creative juices flowing. I’m not judging.
2. Snap Some Shots – channel your inner photojournalist. Do you have a camera function on your phone? Use it to document those Kodak moments in your life, mundane or monumental. That gorgeous shot of my daughter above? Taken with a handy-dandy disposable camera. No filter, no fancy equipment, no experience. Even more unbelievable is that this photo was snapped by her five-year-old brother! Further proof that you don’t necessarily need any special skills to take a decent picture. Granted, his camera was also replete with pictures of his thumb and the crook of his arm looking suspiciously like a butt-crack, but this one shot made the purchase of fifteen disposable cameras worthwhile.
3. Create Some Art – we all have an inner Picasso that needs nurturing. I had not touched a paintbrush since pre-school, when, last year, the inspiration hit me like a ton of bricks. I was incredibly thankful for youtube, which rendered me unstopable. These days, all you need are a couple of cheap paintbrushes, some small half priced canvases from Michaels and a few tubes of primary colored acrylic paints, and in a few hours you will have a masterpiece. I am a huge advocate of education by youtube. This guy, Ben Saber, taught me how to paint with acrylics. Here is an hour long lesson to get you started. There are plenty more on his channel. You won’t regret it!
4. Yummify Your Life – and gain the love and respect of your housemates. I am the farthest thing from a cupcake artist, but my princess deserved pink and purple sparkly cupcakes for her birthday, and dagnabbit, I was going to deliver. My secret? A box of duncan hines cake mix and a few cans of pre-made frosting. They were not the most even or the most aesthetically pleasing pieces of culinary brilliance, but DG and her friends loved them! They were pink and purple and sparkly and tasted great. I was a proud Mama because I made them.
5. Get Crafty – extra points for repurposing. Pinterest is chock-full-of ideas for using those rolls of crepe paper left over from your last birthday party. The flower above was created easily in just that way. Check this out for ideas to help beautify your home with flowers that you never have to water. Want to upcycle old worn-out household items? No need to reinvent that wheel.
Granted, not everyone is Martha Stewart. But you don’t need to have any special talent, equipment or expertise to nurture that creative child that lives within each of us. It will be the best thing that you can do for your body, mind and spirit. I promise. Regardless, no judging, OK?