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“I am not a creative person”

14 May 2021

4 mins

By Louis de Rul

“I am not a creative person”.

Recently,  many of the people I know have been saying similar affirmations to me: I can’t dance, I can’t draw, I’m not someone who thinks creatively, etc… and every time I hear that, it makes me incredibly sad. I do believe that everyone is able to create, and I hope to maybe make more people think similarly through this article.

In my opinion, when people deny their creative side, they often do so on the pretext that they cannot do it well, and it seems to me that this is a result of living under capitalism: we are encouraged to take our hobbies to the next level to be able to monetise them; children who practise a sport or play an instrument are often encouraged to join competitions, or pursue these activities at a professional level. This might create the idea that if we cannot do something well, then we shouldn’t do it at all. I believe this idea is completely wrong, and not to mention harmful as it discourages people from engaging in creative activities that have been, and still are, essential to people throughout history. Human beings have a natural instinct for creation, innovation and invention, and expressing these through drawing, painting, singing, dancing, sculpting, etc… is a healthy and human thing – especially in this era of Covid and successions of lockdowns where creative activities offer an outlet, a relief from the stress and frustration of our confined daily lives. When we can not go outside, turning to the inside, to our creative sides, is a source of enrichment.

Original illustration by Louis de Rul

Jean-Paul Sartre calls the act of not trying because we are “not good” a form of hypocrisy. We idealise the work of others, and we idolise them by giving them in our mind, Talent. The Talent of others is, to Sartre, a convenient thing keeping us from even trying: “Someone else is already so good at this, what business do I have even trying ? They are Talented, gifted by nature, and I am not, therefore I cannot be good.” However, to me, this is a complete fallacy. It conveniently ignores the hard work of the people we idolise: no one gets “good” without working, and we cannot do the same if we don’t start under pretext that we aren’t Talented. All it takes is to start.

We must be aware of our own tendencies to back out, and not let ourselves be intimidated by the possibility of “not being good”. We must realise that at their core, creative activities, of any kind, have the joy of creating, the stimulation of using our abilities of imagination and reason, the satisfaction of using our bodies to make something more, the Joy of Creation. It does not matter whether we possess, or not, the abilities needed. So please, sing off key, dance like you’re crazy, draw with a shaky hand, paint what you would call a terrible portrait of the people you love. The most important thing is that it is fun, that it brings you joy, that it offers you some relief, an outlet.

Which is why, please, if there is anything to take away from this article, put some music on, and go create something. Go wild. Be unafraid. Have fun.

Hi, my name is Louis de Rul. I am a first year student in Graphic Communication and Illustration. I am interested in philosophy, sociology, but most of all I enjoy making things- particularly painting. I am really interested in art both as a mean for personal expression, and as a social and political tool. In my work I usually try to explore the link between body and feelings.

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