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  • Writer's pictureSophia Dunkin-Hubby

How Can I Call Myself Creative?

A rainbow question mark painted in watercolor. The curved end of the question mark is dark pink. It fade to light pink, to orange, to green, and then blue by the dot a t the bottom. A light blue watercolor brush sits on the paper at the bottom left of the picture. On the top left is a water color palette and on the top right are four circular dots with dabs of water color paint in green, orange, pink, and blue.

What's gone on this week

The week was a bit of a roller coaster. It started out kind of meh, by Wednesday I felt better and then by Friday I was in an awful mood. The question that came up over and over this week was - how can I consider myself someone who lives a creative life when so little of my time is spent that way?

I know I'm not alone in wondering this. For any creative person who has to work full time (or more) to support themselves in a field that is either not creative or not driven by their own creativity (which is most of us) or is a full time caretaker (including moms), creativity is relegated to the time that is our own along with tons of other priorities. It has to compete with our families, faith (for those who participate in organized religion), community service, pets, reading, sleep, laundry, etc. The amount of time actually spent doing creative things is small. Frustratingly, maddeningly small.

Creativity takes time and energy, just like everything else. It takes practice and luck to be able to save enough energy so I can write when I get home at the end of the day. If I go to an exercise class after work instead of going straight home I have less time and energy to spend on my writing. If work requires more energy one day I don't have energy to write when I get home. Some times I have the discipline to make myself sit down and grit out some words, but it sometimes costs me more than it's worth.

It takes a lot of courage to call yourself a creative person if you don't make any money from your creativity. The judgement you get from other people if you use a title that describes something in your soul rather than your profession is intimidating. (I actually don't think this is unique to creatives. There's a lot of judgement around how we label ourselves generally. But that's another conversation.) Not being able to devote much time to that part of you makes it even more difficult.

Most of the time I'm able to hold onto my identity as a creative person regardless of how much time I spend on it. And then every so often, like this week, I wonder if I am just kidding myself.

I'm not. I am a creative person. I am living a creative life. I am under no illusions that the fact that I am able to is a privileged position. But it's still hard. Harder some times than others. It doesn't change who I am.

Garden update

Nothing much to report this week. I'm really craving a larger space with more sun to play with these days. I just don't have enough sun to grow the things I long for on my balcony.

What I'm loving lately

I recently bought some Hydra Colour paints and finally got around to playing with them. They are water color paints made by hand in Florida. A few of the artists I follow on Instagram use them regularly. They look so deliciously yummy to play with I had to get myself some and they did not disappoint. The question mark photo at the top was painted, by me, with them. If you are in the market for some paints these are lovely to play with. They regularly sell out so if you don't see something you like check back in a week or so. The maker often restocks on Fridays.

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