Creativity and Growing Up

“Conventional wisdom frames creativity as the purview of a certain select few — a rare gift that eludes us mere mortals.” Rich Roll

I’ve said in the past that I never grew up a particularly creative kid. Most recently on my own website’s About Page it was a statement that I opened up the dialogue with.

Most recently, during some journaling I got to remembering actually how I was as I kid and how creativity was actually more a part of my childhood than my memories admit to.

Things I remember:

I have fleeting memories of having different creative outlets growing up. I think the first one I have, and I don’t remember at what age this was at, was drawing cartoon strips in notebooks in the back of the family car.

I’ve struggled to dig deeper into this and I don’t know if I was copying stuff from other published works or creating my own work but I have fleeting glimpses of pencils on paper.

I remember making models, airfix planes and boats mostly as well as model railways. That’s not to say they were beautiful works of art, but I recall the process of making, copying things I saw and liked and trying it myself.

Jumping forward a few years, I was part of a group of friends in middle school who were into cartoon drawing. I was never hugely talented at it and could only draw the same character repeatedly with the same bubble style font.

I had a drawing table in my bedroom and for a year or so would spend time drawing and making basic art even though I never particularly thought myself good at ‘art’.

Finding Music:

By my early teens, after finding a new friend who was a drummer, I eagly followed him into a 10 year love of playing the drums. Hours and hours spent, probably driving my parents crazy, I was in love.

Like with my basic cartoons, I never felt like I did more than play along to songs. I wasn’t great at improvisation. But I loved it.

I think here in my life is when I got inadvertently sent down a tangent that took nearly 20 years to resolve itself.

Being in love with drumming and music as I was, I really wanted to go to London to a music school instead of down the traditional route of university. However I was taken aback by my music teacher and my careers advisor at school telling me that I probably wasn’t good enough.

Rather than having the confidence that comes with age and maturity to do it anyway I retreated into the safe option of following my family in to teaching. Leaving nearly all of my creative outlets behind with my childhood.

Looking back on the creative kid:

Hindsight is always 20/20 looking back over the journey.

Creativity always seemed to be there growing up. It manifested itself in lots of different ways in my childhood even if I didn’t specifically excel in any traditional artistic genre. And as I look back now thats ok.

It took a long time to find my creative path and I’m very grateful that all those past creative dabblings lead me here.

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