I have always been odd. Weird. When I was younger, I stuck out like a sore thumb in a time when it was extremely cool to fit in. I have had an overwhelming desire to be more than just the mould that society had cast for me even before I was born. My life was set in stone but I wanted that stone to be one I could write on my own story. A stone I could chisel and create something different than what was expected of me.
I was one of those kids that would be described as “those that colour outside the lines.” I was incurably curious and constantly inquisitive and hungry for information. I wanted to create something new. I wanted discover things that hadn’t been discovered. This actually led me to once claim that I had discovered the ant that usually lives in sugar bins and I started to imagine all the fame and glory that would come to me because of that. I was precocious.
I started to write poetry when I was ten. It was really bad poetry too, but I was excited about it. When I was 14 years old, I found a book in the school library that was being used by the A-level students for their poetry classes. I studied that book by myself and decided to write an entire book of poetry based on what I had learned.
What dimmed my light was what was expected of me. Not to brag, but my intelligence is slightly above average. And because of this, I was expected to drop the Arts and take up sciences, with the aim of becoming a doctor. These expectations were heavy but I couldn’t ignore them. And it was soul-crushing having to leave behind something that I found exciting for something that was more straight-laced.
Merriam-Webster defines a creative as a person who is marked with the power or ability to create : given to creating. I am a creative. I am an artist, a creator. A creative can be a painter, a musician, a writer, an architect, even a scientist. I know I am someone who sees the world a differently than others. Creatives see colour where others would see grey. There are concepts about this current world that baffle me. I don’t get jealousy to the point of hurting someone, but I digress.
Creatives refuse to fit any box, they are unique in that way. We are thought leaders who influence conversations and people through their personality and gifts. They are the original influencers. Most of the the time, what we do, we do because of passion and to make a difference, money is usually the least of our worries. Conventional society will go one way and we will go the other way. We break rules and as a result, set standards that others follow.
But the world tends to beat down on what it doesn’t know. There is a YouTube short animated film about a child who who slowly lost his colour because the world around him was so grey and his dad kept telling him to shut it down. This is what the world does to creatives.
And yet, if there’s anything going through 2020 and all it’s wahala has shown us is that creatives are a vital part of humanity. There is no way we could have gone through lockdown without things to stimulate our minds. Books, television, blogs and art. This is what creatives bring to the table, stimulation of the mind and body. A simple image becomes art in the hands of a creative.
As a believer in Christ, I always say that God is the Meta Creator. He created beings that create things. So, we need to stop listening to conventional societal rules. We need to stop trying to fit in and actually stand out. History remembers those who refused to conform. Those who brought beauty and influenced lives. So paint! Write that blog post! Write that book! Sing! Create! See! Feel!
Are you a creative? What’s your definition for a creative?