I love to do creative things – write, draw, paint, dance, sew, crochet, etc. I may not be any good at some of them, but I love doing them. The other day I was wondering where my creative need comes from, because I’ve never thought of myself as particularly artistic.
It suddenly hit me the other day that I come from a long line of creative people. Something I knew, but never really considered until recently. My paternal grandfather was an extremely good artist. Unfortunately, a mental breakdown and electric shock treatment seemed to burn that creative spark out of him. I treasure the few pieces I have of his.
My maternal grandmother was creative, too. When I was small, she was always painting ceramics. In the 70’s, she owned her own kiln and we would buy bisque ware, clean it, and then fire them in her kiln before we would paint them. She was a poet. She wrote poetry for herself, but also for other people. She was often asked to write poems for birthdays, retirements, and obituaries. In her later years, she took up oil painting. I still have some of her work.
My mother was also very creative. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so she sewed most of our clothes when we were little. She could create a pattern for anything out of thin air. She once helped me create (from scratch, no pattern) Star Trek uniforms for my brother and I to wear to a convention. (Yes, we’re those nerds.)
My mom taught me all kinds of creative skills. She was a troop leader at one point for my sister, and they were always making something. They had one project where they transferred designs from coloring pages onto wood, carved them out, and then painted them.
She taught me to knit, to crochet, and to latchhook. (Does anyone do latchhook anymore?) I learned how to cross-stitch, crewel, and embroider with her. We even did macramé at one point. (Jute plant holder, anyone?)
It’s funny how for all these years I’ve resisted labeling myself as artistic. I was surrounded by all these creative people, which I recognized, but I never thought of myself the same way.
Over the past several years, I’ve come to realize that most people are artists – although in many different ways. So, though I still often suffer from that dreaded imposter syndrome, these days I consider myself an artist.