Saturday 17th March 2018

Everyone IS Creative. 2018.22.

Everyone IS Creative. 2018.22.

Recently I heard Brene Brown say on the CD of her latest book Braving The Wilderness two things that stuck with me about creativity.

One: she was THAT kid told by her teacher that she couldn’t do art. Her art sucked. As a result, Brene never ever tried again. Until this:

Two: her findings were that the best way to embed the learning in her courses was to integrate them with creativity.


I have taken some of her on-line courses over the past two years and each has a component of journal writing, decorating a page of photos, adding some pictures that inspire and so on. In other words, the head learning becomes embedded with the heart learning.

Source: Brene Brown

My Back Story.

I cannot recall doing anything creative at home like drawing or colouring but I recall coveting the brand new Textas (so colourful) around the time I was in Year 6. I loved the geometry lessons which taught me how to make a flower with a set of compasses. That learning comes back to me every time I make a mandala. I went to High School and would have loved to do Art as a subject but I was advised to follow an academic pathway. Never mind. I had fun decorating diaries, school books bags and so on. I could not draw well but I loved patterns. Still do.

My mum was a colourful and stylish dresser and I am pretty sure I learned that from my observations and my innate creativity. Mum was not educated past age 15 but she was a wizz at cooking and baking. Loads of people were delighted to receive her goodies. I saw creativity in the way my parents’ made their gardens and how Mum arranged flowers.

Into my teaching years, particularly with the children under 8, I loved creating colourful and stimulating classroom environments with my ideas and their art. I found teaching in a space like that was great. However, over the years, I learned that some children do not need a lot of visual stimulation to act out so I amended how I did this.

Over The Years.

Teaching probably kept me as creative as I needed to be until it was time to have a break. I was non-teaching for over 20 years so I went to scrapbooking classes, learned how to make Christmas decorations and went to a term of learning how to observe doing drawing with pencil. I did buy a lot of products over the years and my grandchildren who came to us for care each week got their share of use with my paints, paper, scissors, playdoh and so on.

It actually surprised me not long ago to find that after my visual preference as a learner comes kinaesthetic so I guess I got a lot of that with the cutting, placing and pasting I was doing.

Of course, I also cooked and decorated cakes with icing (still do!) but it really wasn’t until I was permanently retired that I saw that my creativity extended to art-type activities, photography, blogging and making memory books. Then as my outer world shrank as I no longer worked nor cared for our grandchildren something needed to happen.

I needed more. I needed something. As it turned out, I needed to make, to practise, to try and to have some fun.


Some famous people said this about creativity:

I asked my friends on Facebook about creativity and was delighted that not one person who responded said “I am not creative…” well, a few may have said “I don’t see myself as creative but I do….”

Here’s the list from those people.

  • Blogging
  • Creative writing
  • Graphic Design
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Doing colouring-in and dot to dots for adults
  • Making my garden
  • Dressing each day and adding accessories to suit
  • Sewing
  • Cooking and Baking
  • Scrapbooking
  • Photography
  • Making Photobooks
  • Journalling
  • Art
  • Drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Planning Family Outings and Events
  • Making costumes for dancers
  • Creating websites
  • Talking on radio
  • Dancing
  • Making Slime
  • Card Making
  • Singing
  • what about you?
  • what are your creative pursuits?
  • there are more than I have here I am sure! 


Thank you all who contributed. Here’s a few pics of my versions of creativity.

So, how are you creative?

And  sorry but “I am not creative” is NOT a reasonable answer!!

Thanks for joining in.



Taking part in Tuesday’s Link of the Day called: I Blog on Tuesdays with Kylie Purtell here.

And on Wednesdays I link with Sue and Leanne here for Midlife Share The Love Party.

Then comes Thursday: Thanks to Leanne we have a beaut linky called Lovin’ Life here.




  1. I have adopted various creative pursuits over the years including pottery, decoupage, card making, photography etc. My current main creative outlet is my blogging and Instagramming which encourages me to be creative in my photography of flatlays of products.


  2. I love Brene Brown. Have either read or have her books on audible. I run to her, listen to her on trips and quote her often.
    My creativity is my course I have designed for helping young people with building an awesome mental health. I’m pretty proud of it.

    • Brene is wonderful because she never sets herself up as ‘the expert’. She is learning how to do life like the rest of us. Glad you are finding your creativity in helping others. Teaching was like that for me too. Denyse x

  3. I’ve always written. I wrote when I was a kid, scared in a storm. I assume it’s why blogging is probably the most consistent thing I’ve ever done in my life.

    • Isn’t that cool that you turned to writing to help you. Writing and blogging are great spaces for creativity. I never really enjoyed writing because in my workplace it was bound up with being for an audience e.g. parents=newsletters, staff = policies, department of ed = correspondence in a formal manner. Blogging has much more freedom for me! Glad you find it that way too. Denyse x

  4. Better late than never, huh? Glad you got there.
    Gosh that Maya Angelou quote is brilliant!
    I think I might have also said “thinking of ways not to lose my mind” (when kids fight etc :/ )

  5. I definitely think everyone is creative. People tend to think creative means art or music but like you included and your list shows things like baking and gardening or even being an out of the box thinker are all creative expressions.

    I was the artist and writer all through primary and won many awards, but in high school I was steered towards art history instead of being allowed to continue with art class in the last years. The not good enough message killed my artist side and I stopped creating ANYTHING until I was 40 and let myself dip a toe back in. I will fiercely guard my two creative daughters (art, writing and music between them) if anyone so much as tries to tell them to stop or says they are not “enough”. Everyone should be encouraged to do creative activities that they feel called to no matter the outcomes. Xx

    • Wow Deb. Till you were 40. I can imagine that you might have been wondering what you were ‘missing’ for all those years…and there it was, a chance to be your own person and create. I am glad in many ways now I did not get to do the art option as a formal subject when I saw the workload and the talent of those who did. One was my friend from Primary School who went to the same High School as me and she went on to be an architect in the early 70s…hard for a female in a very male driven workplace. We caught up via FB only a year before we left Sydney for good and it turned out we had been living in the same general area of Sydney for the same 30+years.
      I am glad you nurture your girls and their creative side too. We so need this!
      Denyse x

  6. I blog, take photos, write, draw, crochet, knit, cook, sing sometimes, do gardening, arrange flowers, decorate my home seasonally, plan my travel itinerary…These are some creative activities that come to my mind.

  7. You have certainly proven your creativity Denyse and have given me hope. I remember years ago,my sister-in-law told me I wasn’t creative and that thought stuck in my head. Now that you have prompted me to think about it I am creative. I make birthday cakes with themes for my grandchildren although I haven’t moved to art yet and I would love to do it. I used to have a ballet studio so the choreography I did for our recitals was also creative. I had completely forgotten about that! Thanks for sharing with us at Midlife Share the Love Party and have a beautiful week. #MLSTL

    • Sue I do think you are creative and words from SIL can go “jump”. Have you considered how you put your outfits together as creative? They are!

      A blogging friend in Brisbane went to “Art in the Pub” last year and had a ball! Do think a little about what you would like to do, and whatever it is do it for you. I do not even bother showing much of my stuff as it is the process that is important. Chat to someone at a good art supply place about starting if that is the way you choose to go.

      Of course your ballet studio, choreography and dance at creative…along with your blogging!!
      Denyse x

  8. I love how being creative is considered so much more than just artistic skills these days. I may not be a great artist or drawer but I love blogging, writing, taking photos, baking, sewing, crocheting and making handmade cards. Lovely blog post Denyse.

    • I am so glad you can see how creative you are too! Leave the art there, of course, but add in so much more!

      Kids teach us more about creativity too if we just observe rather than ask questions!

      Denyse x

  9. I was lucky enough to be supported in the many and various and NUMEROUS ways I decided to express my creativity over the years. Many of those endeavours would never be considered ‘GOOD’ but I’m glad I was given the chance to explore them freely. Creating freely is a gift and a privilege, I’ll never forget that.

    • So so true!! I do not think of product nearly as much these days as I do about process. Art/craft has aided my mindfulness by keeping me focussed on one thing not the million worries that buzz around your head as a worrier.

      The blank mandala circles I had pre-drawn in my book before my stay in hospital were so helpful to my finding some relaxation and peace.

      Thanks for reminding me about the gift and privilege too.

      Denyse x

  10. I had art teachers that never inspired me either Denyse and I would have always claimed to be completely uncreative (I wrote a post on being the Anti-Craft because I was so useless in that area). BUT Midlife has opened my eyes to the fact that creativity means different things to different people (just like you said in your post).

    I’ve always loved colouring-in and find it so restful and there is no agenda – just the joy of creating a pretty picture. I’ve made my stained glass stair rail, I like to wear colourful clothes and do fun things with my hair – all creative. I even remembered then that my daughter’s Yr teacher asked me to draw the pictures to go with the alphabet letters because she said I was “artistic” – very simple pics but it was such a nice affirmation. And lets not forget blogging and the images we create – visual and mental . Great post – Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx

    • Thanks Leanne, that sounds like you are creative in many spheres and I envy those skills in stained glass. My friend (who was my daughter’s MIL) used to do a lot of stained glass and also painted in oils.

      We met up this week and I asked her what she was up to with her painting and she sadly said she had not painted in 4 years. I could see that she missed it. In her previous house she had a place devoted to it and now she does not. I suspect she might go back to it. I hope so.

      Yes, it is good to remember every blog post is a creation by an individual.

      I hope you are feeling better soon.

      Denyse x

  11. I love Brene Brown, and I hate when children are told they’re not good at something! If nurtured and encouraged, children will find their strengths. It sounds like you incorporated creativity and art into your life from an early age. Sometimes, I think we take too narrow of a definition of creativity. If we can’t draw or write poetry, we’re not creative, but as you noted, laying out patterns is creative. Finding unique solutions to problems is creative. Arranging a drawer or a closet can be creative. Thanks for sharing your story Denyse.

    • Christie if only all people viewed creativity from your broad perspective I think everyone would be contented. The narrow view, the ‘art,music,write’ one can be widened to include so many. As you rightly say, everyone can be creative in one thing or many. Opens the eyes and ears to see and hear differently too! Thank you so much. Denyse x

  12. Awesome post! I believe that living creatively, everyday in all manner of ways is what makes a joyful life. At least for me it does. I am pursuing a whole career devoted to it! Helping women creative a life they don’t need a vacation from! I even invented a new word – which is the practice of creativity in a spa-like, retreat setting. Could be self directed or with a group. In person or online.
    -CW at

    • That is just great Christine! Thank you for sharing what you are doing in this field. I like to create something every day and it is not always tangible, just to find a creative response to a problem or issue.

      I wish you well in your Creative ventures and I hope many benefit from your innovation.

      Denyse x

  13. I always say I am not creative. I do cook and love to bake and if there is a pattern I can usually follow it. I have crocheted afghans, they are the only thing I like to make. lol

    • Dear Victoria:

      This first line : “I always say I am not creative” needs to have USED added between always and say.

      You are indeed creative and I hope you continue with your afghans. I tried crochet once and my mixed dominance of left and right did not help me. I have not felt like I have failed though, I know I gave it a go and it wasn’t for me!

      Denyse x

  14. There are so many ways to be creative in our everyday lives. The garden is creative for me, as is decorating, writing, making cards for friends and even food sometimes.

    • Oh yes, the garden. My parents did this and probably never realised how much creativity they were using. I draw large mandalas and frame them in cheap frames and each time I visit Dad (he is in an apartment now) I take some new ones for add to the frames he has to give his views a change of colour and pattern. Love your list!
      Denyse x

  15. Writing. Always writing. And just discovering the amazing world of photography. Wow! Who knew?!!

    • That is so cool that you are adding photography to writing as a creative pursuit. I love making scenes from my view with both my iphone and the DSLR. Love this discovery of yours!

      Denyse x

  16. This is a great reminder Denyse, we all have craetivity within us. I have used this explanation when trying to explain to someone about blogging, by comparing it to sewing or painting, I blog (write/photography/share my thoughts) instead. I love all yout examples of your creativity – so talented! It’s also about being observant in our everyday pursuits, we tend to miss so much when we rush around. I love the quote by Lily Tomlin I saw recently that said – for fast acting relief, you should try slowing down (something along those lines). Great read and sharing for #mlstl

    • Thanks Debbie, the facebook friends providing me with their responses helped me too. There are things I am so not ‘able to do’ or am even interested in but I do know that I try giving some new things a try out of curiosity. I probably have more time too now I am retired.

      Too many of the people who say they are not creative have an unfortunate or negative comment from someone who mattered in their lives (teacher, parent, sibling etc) and they down tools and never give it a go.

      My goal is to encourage others to see that creativity enlarges us in terms of contentment and life experiences. It has helped me through some very hard times in recent years.

      Good quote from Lily Tomlin too!! Denyse x

  17. I firmly believe that everyone is creative or can be creative. I also think that those who don’t believe that they are, have had someone tell them so. I think it’s why so many people come back to a creative life later in life when they’re no longer damaged by those early opinions.

    • Nailed it.Someone is the past (of significance such as a teacher, parent, peer) has made a remark about something creative and then we abandon it. It needs to be seen as a healthy brain and well-being state that we need even more to pursue in the 24/7 of ‘work’ on-line. You know that well.

      Denyse x

  18. I think running a blog is in itself very creative! There’s the writing, the blog design, the images and more! I used to paint and draw a lot when I was younger. These days I struggle to fit everything in that I want to do. I also used to do mosaics and loved it! Many probably don’t know but I used to sing too. I was in a group. I loved it. These days most of my creativity is my blog and photography I think. 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Mosaics really sound awesome. I see so much fun in the tiles in some of the older buildings in Sydney and I am mesmerised by them. I am glad to know more about you from this too. I was in a couple of choirs and enjoyed the camaraderie. I did find another one in retirement but it was too formal and not enough fun! You show so much of your creative side via the blog and photos.
      Always a pleasure to see them.
      Denyse x

  19. Have you read Big Magic by Liz Gilbert?

    You would LOVE it if you love Brene.

    I thought I was non-creative for many years but now I have two blogs, freelance writing, and I’m learning to Crochet (albeit terribly.) Once you flex the muscle it won’t stop!

    • Yes indeed I have. It was ground-breaking in the messages that being creative does not have to pay or be a career but it can be for its own sake. Really helpful to me too. So pleased you are going well creatively and thank you for your comment! Denyse x

  20. Oh yes, I think everyone is creative in some way. In their cooking, dressing, thinking and so forth. I know people who can problem-solve engine problems by thinking how things fit and work together whereas I’d have no idea.

    Similarly I can’t draw and am too impatient to colour or paint or anything but love words. Also I think I know when something looks pretty, but might not know how to make it so. (If that makes sense!)

    • Yes! Good one, problem-solving. Thanks for that reminder. I am glad you find words creative. That fits you for sure! I see the creativity in colours from you in your clothing and in the way you have decorated your house. It IS all around us! Sometimes we need to pay more attention. That’s me anyway!

      Denyse x

  21. I write, dabble in design, cook, decorate and garden 🙂

    • That sounds so lovely. I like the word ‘dabble’. It must be great to finally be in your own place where you can do things without anyone’s permission too. Denyse x

  22. I think it’s no secret that I’m a creative person, I don’t think you can be a photographer and not be a creative person in some way. What people don’t really get though is that it’s not something I do for a job, it’s something that I NEED to do. I’ve been photographing things & people for as long as I can remember and there is nothing I love more than getting out with my camera, or sitting at my computer with my editing programs open and experimenting and doing different things. For me, photography is equal parts documenting my life & every day and equal parts fuelling my heart & soul. I’m very lucky to have come from a creative family and to have married into an extremely creative family. I love seeing the girls passion for art & creativity and the way the discipline they use for drawing or colouring can then transfer to other parts of their life as well, and just makes them much happier & relaxed.

    • It is a gift you HAVE to use and I am so glad you are not only encouraged but supported as you do. It is clear that when we are creating from within a passion that is ours, it is even moreso!

      Your girls definitely have many advantages growing up in a household which promotes creativity.

      It is interesting, however, that schools or so called experts in the fields can, with a sentence or an off-hand remark completely freeze a person’s passion to create. So many people have had this happen and do not bother to even try.

      It is wrong but it still happens….it’s got to be that process is also fun and the outcome may differ from the original idea. Hey, that IS creative.

      Bit of a boast time now. My 21 yo GD who is 3rd year at Australian Film Television and Radio School got there, initially, on her many drama performances and her place in top 10 in HCS in 2014 but as time has gone on film-making has become her passion. Now, as she needs to have some dollars coming in because her crohns disease makes it difficult for her to work in a shop or business, she has set up FilmsBy Jess. From words of mouth she got two gigs. She took a mate from AFTRS as second shooter and she has done an engagement party and a wedding. She now has two more booked. I put the vid up on my FB page as a proud grandma does! So good that she can follow her passion with a degree and hopefully find more work as time passes.

      Denyse x

Denyse values & reads every comment written, thank you. There is always a reply.