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"I am not creative!"

“I wish I was creative, but I am not” – “I can’t draw” – “I was not good at art at school” After hearing this sooooo many times, I just wanted to write my humble opinion about this, spiced with examples.

There are so many people who tell me they would LOVE to be able to make their own jewellery, frames for pictures, presents for relatives but say that they are “not creative”. And each time they do this, I feel it to be my duty to convert their thoughts!

I never had the opportunity to do art studies. I was born in the day and age where your parents decided for you. So I did secretarial work, studied languages BUT had an unbridled passion for Italy, for style, for design, for anything beautifully created.

Now then, here are a few examples of artistic works I loved when I started claying:

Julie Picarello

and Jana Roberts Benzon!

They blew me away and I wanted to know how to do this.

So I made this: (spot the DIFFERENCE with the top pictures)

Made with Jana’s Arabesque video (spot the horrendous centre part!) – This was my very first cane.. why walk when you can run, right?

Then I went for what I thought was “slightly” easier, I got a book by Judy Belcher and created this kaleidoscope,not really paying attention to the useful tips both Jana and Judy had given: keep it crisp, line up the parts of the canes.

I had a LONG way to go.

And no.. I could not do simple shapes, beads, pendants.. I wanted to make an inro. (a little pendant box to hold.. whatever secret you want it to hold)

And then I think I got it: “start with SIMPLE things and move on from there.” So I made a simple flower cane and covered a plastic bowl that comes with washing liquid… and turned it into a mini vase.

But I kept admiring the brilliantly famous Polymer Clay Artists such as Julie, Judy, Jana, Donna, Bettina and so many more whom I have forgotten to mention here.

The more I saw of these famous artists, the more my heart sank that I would never get there, let alone catch up with the latest developments in the clay world.

Which is EXACTLY what you need to do if you want to loose your creativity: compare yourself to others. I felt inadequate and lost my oomph, my drive, my courage to explore… I lost my creativity!

And then I had this “EUREKA” moment. I took one of my Kato books, started with a simple cane and enjoyed the process of making it enormously. And I went on from there.

Now, after 7 years of trial and error, I make things like this:

(click on the picture to take you to the galleries)

(and I have merely skimmed the top of what is possible).

Now, when someone tells me they are not creative, I tell them that everyone is born creative! Being at school being told that a tree has to have GREEN foliage and a BROWN trunk, and that you have to draw BETWEEN the lines, kicks out your creative spirit RIGHT THERE! If you feel like drawing a blue tree with yellow leaves and a purple rabbit on top, go for it! Bring back that creative soul in you!

You can’t draw, well here is little secret.. I am not terribly good at it either but it has not stopped me from claying and no.. I was not good at art at school because I always did things differently from what our tutor wanted me to do. (once a rebel, always a rebel).

So please, get our your clay, metal, pencils, paper, stamps.. whatever you fancy the most and let your mind wander… and let me know what you come up with! I would like to hear stories from other people who have found themselves capable of a lot more than they ever thought possible.

Have a lovely inspiring week! Chris

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