Creativity in a suitcase

 In Artist

So I guess I always had a bit of a fear. The fear that I could only be creative in one place: the kitchen of my childhood home.

As a child I was always super creative, which thanks to my parents seemed encouraging of this. The philosophy that a kitchen was to be a messy place so long as it was tided away after was the best. It showed me that creativity wasn’t necessarily a fragile or organised thing. Sometimes *POW* the creativity strikes, and normally a trail of chaos forms in it’s path. That’s one of my favourite side-effects.

So it started with finger painting, and potato stamping and then I drew a seal on the wall once which I hadn’t twigged was out of bounds. I soon learnt that drawing on the walls wasn’t what we do. But it was a very good seal. I progressed to dressmaking and ‘costume’ making before I had learnt all of my times tables, and it seemed like the kitchen was the place where everything and anything could happen.

As a teenager I did my college work in the very same kitchen, and as the portfolios grew bigger and the projects advanced it seemed like this was the place for me. I had access to a computer, the radio, a table, a set of drawers full of art materials and my sewing machine was constantly set up. Everything I could possibly need was around me. Then I applied for university.

There was no way I was going to be living at home. After turning down an interview at Wimbledon partly on the basis that the student life of Birmingham had stolen my heart already, a bizarre thought crossed my mind. Could I be creative outside the kitchen? What if I went off to university and I was rubbish? My whole surroundings would be totally different, I wouldn’t have the access to everything I would need and maybe my creativity would just frazzle out.

But it didn’t. I soon realised that my creativity wasn’t linked to an environment or a place, but that creativity is just an integral part of my being. Drop me on an island in the middle of nowhere and I can guarantee finding some way of stitching leaves together so I can sport a fetching bikini with matching headdress. My creativity is like a little internal suitcase I carry around with me, and sometimes I need to remind myself of this. It is still a concept that occasionally freaks me out, maybe my version of performance anxiety?

Sometimes we convince ourselves of silly wonderments as a way to prevent us from taking risks, and we could all do with the occasional helpful nudge from time to time.

Those who dare, win. Right?… ❤


Rocking my Little Mermaid Costume