“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” –Albert Einstein
This little Einstein quote touches on a big subject for me: What is creativity?
I’ve never seen my work as creative. Mostly because it feels like I’m just problem solving. When I make a piece of jewelry it goes something like this:
- “I love ombré.”
- “I wonder if the Fibonacci sequence could be used to create an ombre pattern on a beaded necklace.”
- “Maybe if I use two sequences running in opposite directions?”
- “What if I used these seed beads? I have them in three colors. Can I make it work with three colors?”
- Write out pattern on paper.
- “That seems doable.”
- Gather supplies and string beads on wire according to the pattern.
- Add a silver key charm at one end and a silver lock charm at the other. (Why? Because I like keys and locks.)
That’s it. To me I’m just problem solving, figuring out the pieces of the puzzle along the way. My approach to making is logical, systematic, and patterned.
I’ve always seen creativity as something free-form, unconstrained, and inspired. An expression of a concept, a feeling, or the creator’s soul.
To me, my approach to making jewelry is the opposite of creativity. It’s left-brain vs. right. It’s logical vs. artistic.
However, what I’m starting to realize is that no matter my process, the finished work is perceived as something creative. At shows people have said to me the exact same thing I’ve said to others, “I wish I was creative like you.” My instant reaction is to start explaining how I’m just solving a problem. To discount the fact that they’ve just called my work creative or me an artist. It makes me uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel like the truth. But after hearing the same thing from so many over the last few months, I’m starting to wonder. Is my work creative? Am I an artist?
According to this little Einstein quote, the answer may be yes.