Are You Creative? How Creative are You? How Creative can You Get?

You’re always believing ahead of your evidence. What was the evidence that I could write a poem? I just believed it. The most creative thing in us is to believe. Robert Frost

When beginning a new painting I often ask myself, "how creative can I make it?"

Donna Zagotta, Avery Tracy

I’m really interested in how our unconscious beliefs, assumptions, and what we tell ourselves impacts our creativity. For years I told myself that I was not creative. And of course, I proved myself right. However, at one point, I decided to find out if my assumption was indeed true, so I did some research on creativity and what it means to be creative.

What I discovered changed my thinking, my attitude, and my self-image. It turns out that we are all innately creative and that we all have more creativity within us than we can ever use in a lifetime. 

Over and over again, I read that the major obstacle to feeling and being creative is our belief that we are not creative. And the best way to feel and to be more creative is to simply tell yourself that you are creative; to exchange the negative words, I’m not creative for the more powerful and positive words, I am creative. One researcher suggested that a good place to start is to look into the mirror each morning and tell yourself, I am creative. I was pretty skeptical that a lifetime of beliefs and assumptions concerning my creativity could be changed that easily, but I tried it anyway (and that was over 10 years ago). I am happy to report that it absolutely works! I began by telling myself that I am creative, which gradually led to my believing that I was creative (I was also bolstered by the research stating that most of us, because we believe that we aren’t creative, never get in touch with our creativity at all). Pretty soon I found myself acting “as if” I was creative, and eventually I saw myself feeling more and more creative. These days, I’m totally comfortable with the idea that I’m a pretty creative gal! 

Challenging my automatic beliefs and assumptions about myself and my creativity totally changed my life and my relationship to my painting. Often, at the start of a new painting, I’ll ask myself, “How creative can I make this?”

Bye for now…..Donna

6 thoughts on “Are You Creative? How Creative are You? How Creative can You Get?

  1. Laurie

    What a wonderful post! I am going to borrow that Robert Frost quote and put it on my studio wall. I absolutely believe you are right.

    1. Donna Post author

      Hi Laurie,
      Thanks for commenting! I agree – that Robert Frost post is worth seeing everyday in the studio.

  2. Robin Avery

    we can be our worse critic… I loved several years ago when you quit thinking about entering shows and just painted for YOU.. and how much more creative you became….
    An artist I read about and admired changed her whole way of thinking and painting when she was faced with morality.. and those were her best paintings..
    I have that painting up in my studio and look at it each day..
    thanks Donna! You too are an inspiration to me.!

    1. Donna Post author

      Hi Robin,
      So nice to hear from you! I love your comment about mortality – realizing that it’s up to us to live the best life we can is a truly awesome discovery.

  3. Nita Leland

    What a wonderful affirmation, Donna. I couldn’t agree more. I believe people are born with creative potential that may be ignited by a supportive environment or, lacking that, by simply believing in yourself and choosing to be creative. But one is still going to need hours of practice to achieve the necessary skills. In 1989 I learned a lot when I researched my book, The Creative Artist. Back then , Creatives were considered to be a chosen few. That isn’t so prevalent now. The revised version of my book is being republished in Dec., nearly 30 years after the original. My motto is still “Choose to be creative.”

    1. Donna Post author

      Hi Nita,
      Thank you so much for offering your wisdom and insights! I didn’t feel creative because no one ever recognized or acknowledged it, although both my parents were creative people. It wasn’t until I started researching creativity that I realized that I could nurture it in myself. And I totally agree that those hours of deliberate practice have to be put in as well. It’s a major key to nurturing our creative self.

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