27th February 2019

The importance of having a creative outlet

We are all artists. Whether we realise it or not, we demonstrate our creative instincts in things that we do every day. Convinced? Let Theo Bennett explain
The importance of having a creative outlet
Photo: Marco Verch @ Flickr

We are all artists. Whether we realise it or not, we demonstrate our creative instincts in things that we do every day. Be it in the way we choose to arrange our living spaces, the pictures we upload to Instagram, or even the mental processes that determine why we decide to write certain letters in certain ways, based on a kind of unfathomable personal preference that few of us would be able to explain if asked.

Mostly saliently, all of us not wearing a uniform shows our creative instincts in the clothes we choose to wear. Those of us wearing a uniform still find ways to channel our innate creativity, through the choices we make in relation to our hairstyles, our makeup, our accessories, and maybe even our socks (for this author in particular, this is most definitely the case). We even exhibit creativity in the words we decide (however subconsciously) to adopt into our idiolect. It’s why we might favour bamboozle over confuse, or fucking sick over really fantastic.

Some readers at this point might think I’m using this term creative extremely broadly. Perhaps I am. My understanding of ‘creativity’ incorporates any choice we make, consciously or unconsciously, that is not for a purely functional reason. As you might have gathered, there are a lot of activities that can fall within the scope of this far-reaching term.

For those still unconvinced, let’s return to my examples from above and I’ll demonstrate how these seemingly trivial activities are unquestionably the driving thought processes behind legitimate forms of art. The desire to choose the way we organise our living space is the basis for architecture.

Anyone who has uploaded a photograph to Instagram is an amateur photographer — they’re not just my words, but those of world-renowned photographer Martin Parr. The aesthetic preferences we display in the way we write are crucial to the art of graphic design. The choices we make in the way we present ourselves are obviously those on which fashion is predicated. The creative force that causes us to select certain words in the way we do underpins the whole of literature. Yep, that’s right, I’m drawing a parallel between the impulse one might have to use the expression fucking sick to the spirit of creativity flowing through every great work of literature ever conceived.

What I hope this illuminates is that creativity, and by extension, artistry, is fundamental to human nature. Entertaining your intrinsic creative inclination is by no means an indulgence, but essential to achieving genuine fulfilment and becoming a well-rounded human being in general. It is unscientific to maintain the view that humans would have evolved this instinct if it did not serve a purpose. Sadly, however, our creativity is still too often discouraged from letting itself be known to the world.

This is why I will end this article with a plea: find yourself a creative outlet. Art is an inseparable component of what it means to be human, and it’s vital that we make sure to find time to take part in creative activities, whether it’s painting, singing, dancing, acting, gymnastics, pottery, playing a musical instrument, skating, writing, debating, making textiles, taking photos, modelling, doodling, computer programming, playing with LEGO, cooking, or something entirely different. I think it is really, really, really important.

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