July 16, 2013

THE CIRCLE: CREATIVITY.

Psst...you should probably read this post before you dive into this one. It'll make more sense, I promise!
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Creativity is a weird word to me. And because it's a little weird for me, I knew that this month's The Circle topic would be a challenge--a good challenge for me. So thanks to all who linked up! I'm inspired by each and every one of you.
 
1. What does creativity mean to you?
To me, the word creativity means being yourself and making something of your life. I used to think that you had to paint murals, make jewelry, or throw pots on a wheel to be considered creative. But now, I define creativity as creating.  Like this wise lady wrote,

create
So to me, creativity isn't about being talented in the arts. It's about being who you were made to be and creating something with your one wild and precious life. So if that means painting, photography, writing, singing, cooking, speaking, or planting, so be it. Create, just as He created you.

2. How do you stay creative? Who do you draw inspiration from?
I stay creative by making time for myself. It sounds selfish, but as an introvert I not only crave alone time, but I thrive off it. So to stay creative, I purposefully set time aside in my day to write, pin (like crazy!), read blogs, listen to music, and take photos. And if I feel dry and unmotivated, I take a break. Sometimes rest is the best way to stay creative.

Aside from the beautiful world that God created (because my goodness, who wouldn't draw inspiration from that?), I draw inspiration from blogs--as I'm sure you could've guessed. For photography inspiration, I look through numerous photography sites for tips and tutorials. For writing, I read blogs and books. But as I'm sure many of you have experienced, there's a fine line between inspiration and envy. To stay true to the person God created me to be, I read and admire art with care. I want to choose happiness and joy, not jealousy and envy.

viola
3. What is a creative part of you that you don't share much on your blog (i.e. a talent, hobby, activity, passion, etc.)?
I talk about it every once and awhile, but one side of my creative life that I don't share much about is my viola. Some of you likely have no idea what a viola is, and that's okay! What I should tell you is that most likely you've seen a violist and thought he/she was a violinist. Yep, violas look similar to violins--just lower pitched and a little larger. And in my opinion, with a much richer tone. But I may be biased.

I started playing the viola in 4th grade and played in orchestras and took private lessons all the way until my senior year of high school. I don't share too much of my viola-playing life because it was a hard part of it. I love and am grateful I learned to play an instrument and can still read music and play on a whim, but there was a lot of competition and cliques during that time in my life that I just didn't enjoy. And yet I still stuck with it. So while it taught me lots of things (including leadership, sight-reading, and perseverance), it was also the time away from playing that let me discover my love for teaching.

Before you go, there's still time to add your thoughts on creativity to The Circle! I can't wait to discover your creative sides of life.

38 comments

  1. I love that you played / play the viola. What playing the viola is for you is what dancing for me is like. I stopped 2 1/2 years ago, but it was absolutely a huge portion of my life (and still something I am very passionate about) - but I dealt with a lot of drama and other problems. I know that me stopping was what was needed for this time... but I definitely am hoping to get back into it with a renewed purpose in mind this time :).

    Again, this is such a wonderful link-up idea! I can't wait to read and be inspired by the others' posts when they link-up as well :)

    PS. I know a girl who attended that summer party from A Beautiful Mess above :). It looks like loads of fun.

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    1. I love that we have that in common! It's crazy how something so artful and creative can quickly turn into something so competitive and well, not fun anymore. Fortunately, I've realized that I can't just blame music and my viola for all of those memories so I still play every now and then. Lately, I've actually taken to playing worship music on my viola which has been pretty calming and therapeutic actually! And it's really helped me fall back in love with it, too. I hope that that gets to happen to you with dancing! :)

      And I'm really loving this link-up. I love getting to know other bloggers better and I love that I get to introduce some of my blogging friends to my other blogging friends, too!

      That's so cool that you knew someone who went to Elsie + Emma's party! I love their blog and all of their DIY projects. :)

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  2. Love this! So fun!

    Got to catch up on your blog..finally..love looking through your photographs and reading your thoughts, girl!

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    1. Thanks girl! It's a really fun link-up and I love learning about other bloggers and such. I'd love it if you would co-host with me someday! :)

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    1. Me, too! I love Shauna's writing. :)

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  4. I know exactly what you mean about being an introvert and thriving off of time for yourself. I'm the same way! And what an awesome, awesome quote that is!

    And I just want to say that I'm so excited for this topic!! I think I'm going to write about it soon! Creativity is one of my favorite things to talk about! I hope you have a great day :)

    xo, gina

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    1. Hooray for fellow introverts! In real life, it seems like I'm surrounded by extroverts so it's always nice to be reminded that there are introverts out there who understand my love for alone time.

      I can't wait to read your post! I've never really thought about posting about creativity before and I love that this post has now only pushed me to do it but it's also opened my eyes into how amazing creativity is. :)

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  5. "I read and admire art with care. I want to choose happiness and joy, not jealousy and envy."
    you my sweet friend are so so so wise.

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    1. Aw, thank you! Remembering to choose happiness and joy is a constant struggle for me--especially when I'm surrounded by so many talented artists like you!--but remembering that life is all about perspective has really helped me as of late (and has really kicked me in the seat, too!). :)

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  6. I love this! We are creative creatures by nature and I love seeing how you create! :) Thanks for letting me co-host, deary!

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    1. Thanks for co-hosting with me, girl! I cannot wait to read your post. We're going to have to co-host again sometime! :)

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  7. "there's a fine line between inspiration and envy" - TRUTH!

    Also i think you should totally make a video of you playing the viola! :)
    I personally would love to hear it!
    Does the link-up go through the end of July?! I need to get a post together!

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    1. So glad you agree! It's so easy for me to lean on the side of envy but I have to remember that inspiration is a choice--and a better one at that!

      Oh my goodness. Me playing the viola? I'm pretty sure I would embarrass all of my former private (as in private lessons) teachers. Maybe someday? We shall see when I get the guts to do it (and the song to play!). :)

      And yes! This link-up goes through the end of this month. So there's plenty of time to write yours! :)

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  8. Love this! I second the video of you playing. :) Maybe one day... I forgot about this link-up I will have to do it!

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    1. Haha, someday. Someday I'll post one. It'll likely end up on something like instagram though because then it wouldn't have to be as long! :)

      And yes! The link-up is open until the end of the month so there's plenty of time fto link up. Can't wait to read your post! :)

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  9. I love this post. And that you played the viola, wow. Must have been a nice instrument to play. Maybe one day you will find an instrument you enjoy playing just as much as the viola, since I am getting this vibe you probably won't start again anytime soon (correct me if I am wrong). It would be a shame if you stopped making music all together, since 'music is an outburst of the soul' (a quote I found somewhere and made a painting for)

    I wrote my post and I am going to post it... probably tomorrow.

    xxSusanne

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    1. It was/is a really nice instrument to play! It's kind of a shame that no one really knows about it, but I love being able to introduce people to new instruments, too.

      And I actually still do play, but it's all for fun, not competitively or in an orchestra or something like I used to. And it wasn't until just recently that I realized that the not-so-great memories and experiences that I had with my viola had nothing to do with it or music, it was just drama that came with it at the time. Since then, I've fallen in love with just being able to play for fun and without having other people judge me or critique my playing!

      And I can't wait to read your post! Thanks for linking up with me every month! :)

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  10. I love that quote about creativity! This link up is so great! Definitely allows everyone to share a deeper part of themselves. :-)

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    1. Me, too! Shauna is an amazing author and I cannot wait to get my hands on her other books. :) And I so agree, The Circle really does let everyone share more about themselves AND get to know other bloggers, too. :)

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  11. I also love that quote. I am totally an introvert and I super charge my creativity from time spent alone or at God's feet. Some of my best photo work or food has been produce after those times of quiet and rest. I think it's cool that you play the viola, I am not musical at all. I will totally check out this link up it sounds like fun.

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    1. Me, too! Shauna is a brilliant writer and I'm in love with the things she has to say.

      And I love finding other introverts! Quiet time is not only needed for me to recharge but for me to spend time with Him and keep me calm and collected, too! Now that you mention it, I would have to agree with you on my best work. It's when I'm refreshed and energized that I find I create some of my best work, too.

      For awhile I took my ability to play an instrument for granted--and to be honest, I still do every now and then. So thank you for reminding me that it really is a blessing in my life!

      And I would love it if you linked up! :)

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  12. That quote is absolutely brilliant! And so true :) Creativity is definitely not limited to just the arts--it's about using your dreams and ideas, finding inspiration in life; even scientists are creative people! Honestly, I think everyone is, or has the potential for it if they're willing to explore. I think it's awesome that you play the viola! What a beautiful and unique instrument :)

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    1. I completely agree. Shauna's writing is always a breath of fresh air and that one quote has stuck with me ever since I finished that book.

      I also have to agree with you on creativity--everyone has the potential to be creative if they allow themselves. If only everyone let that side of themselves shine every now and then!

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  13. How fun is this! I love this idea! And I LOVE the viola! I played violin for many years and always loved the lower harmonizing pitch of the viola.

    Elena

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    1. That's so cool! I love that you played the violin. I think you might be the first blogger I've met that plays a stringed instrument. Did you play in an orchestra or anything? I agree, the harmonizing lower pitch of the viola is beautiful. And all this talk about it makes me want to go play now! :)

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    2. I played violin in the church orchestra for 12 years. One of my big life regrets (I don't have many) is not putting more energy in improving my skills when I was younger. My heart wasn't in it and I didn't practice too much. I ended up making up for it once I graduated my undergrad and took 2 years of private lessons, which was so fun. Then I moved to Seattle for grad school and haven't played it for about 3 years! :( the case is in my room looking lonely and cast aside :( I need to pick it up again!!

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    3. Wow, that's a long time! I played informally around Christmas-time at my church, but we never had a church orchestra per se. That sounds like a great experience!

      And I'm with you, at the time my heart was definitely not into music or my viola--so I dreaded practicing after school.

      But that's so cool that you took private lessons after undergrad! I wish I was brave enough to pick it up again and take it seriously! Although, I think I'm content with just playing for fun right now and not having to pay for lessons. :)

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  14. LOVE this post, Kiki! I couldn't agree more!! I've always felt that God's Creator role is reflected in our image of Him! How cool is it that you play the viola! That is majorly neat. I tried my hand at the violin growing up, but never toughed it out (due to teacher issues and getting busy with other pursuits). I still miss it. I need to restring my violin and get a new bow, though...

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    1. Thanks, Leah! I completely agree, God's role as Creator is definitely reflected in and through us. :)

      And I know what you mean. Playing a musical instrument (or any hobby) takes a lot of time. And I also know what you mean about private lessons/teachers. I never was dedicated enough to practice and improve my music theory skills. :)

      You should look into re-stringing your violin and getting a new bow; I highly recommend it. When I first started playing up again (after I took a break from it senior year in high school), I discovered how much more I loved it. It's funny how time works wonders sometimes.

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  15. Love your thoughts! Yes, envy can creep in so easily... I saw a couple of your collage images were from "A Beautiful Mess" blog, & for me it is easy to fall into the trap of envying those uber-talented, uber-cute sisters, Elsie & Emma... their photos make life look so sunny & rose-colored-glasses-y, &, of course, beautiful - but they've got their gifts & I've got mine {& you most definitely have yours}, & then again they've got their problems {which we don't know about} & we've got ours. We've got to pray & list our blessings to try & avoid the 'compare snare'! =)

    Oh, you play the viola! My sister plays the viola {& shares your pain - everybody that sees her play assumes it's a violin}, & I played the violin {5th grade-12th}, but never had the talent or drive she did {but, alas, I did have the same teachers - talk about comparing - she told me they would ask her, "Is that really your sister?"} So so sad. I guess I can look back now & laugh & recall how I sat in the very back in 5th grade & pretended to play... & then, of course, there was the time when everybody got a laugh out of my bending my knees at every rest in the music, as I stood in front of my music stand & attempted to play.
    Blessings to a very creative you!
    -Bess-

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    1. I agree, it's easy for me to be envious of the brilliant projects, photos, and words by other bloggers--especially if I let myself compare myself to other successful and well-known bloggers like Elsie and Emma (those girls are truly brilliant + uber creative in my book!). But like you said, we all have our own gifts and talents and living in a world where we're all created differently is so much more fun than if we lived in a world where we're all the same. :)

      And I love that you know what a viola is! Too many people have never heard of them. I can definitely relate to your sister. It used to be really annoying, but I've learned that I can expose people to new things with it. I can also relate to your violin experience. I was terrible with music theory (still am, I'm afraid!) growing up and it just didn't click and I felt like I was constantly being compared by my older sister (who played violin) my younger sister who played piano, as well as my friends who played viola and cello. All of that comparing and competing is part of the reason why I started to hate the viola. But it was after I took a break from it that I learned those were all experiences and the viola itself (and music) had nothing to do with it. :)

      Okay, that was a novel of a reply to you, whoops! :)

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  16. "the beautiful world that God created (because my goodness, who wouldn't draw inspiration from that?)" His world is so inspirational... the nature, the people, the inventions, the words, the languages, the foods.

    Thanks for posting about this weird, challenging word (and sharing your viola history). Hoping to link up soon. =)

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    1. YES. His world is definitely beautiful. And I never thought to include languages, foods, and inventions in that list. I am personally in love with different languages (I wish I knew more, honestly!). :)

      Can't wait to read your post!

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  17. I'm afraid that I'm not a very creative person AT ALL and I can't really think of anything to reveal! Oh dear...I like to imagine that I have a creative mind but I fear I lack that gene sadly!

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    1. Ummm, I beg to differ your photog-genius! Seriously, you're creative. You not only take beautiful photos but your writing is amazing and always a good read.

      What are you saying you lack that gene, girl? You most definitely do not. :)

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  18. oh my goodness!!! You play the viola!? That is awesome!!! Many many years ago I played the clarinet, but only for about 6 months (it was too expensive to keep the instrument, I think my parents rented it and couldn't afford to continue...??) I have always wanted to learn how to play the cello though! It is one of my favorite instruments!! I'm sure I've heard a viola, but I can't pinpoint it specificly, I really do love their (the violin/viola/cello) sounds though!!! Do you have any video of you playing?! You should TOTALLY post it, if you haven't already! :)

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  19. I do! I'm sooo surprised to hear that you know that or are familiar with violas. A lot of people have NO idea what they are so I love it when people have at least heard of it before!


    That's so cool that you played clarinet! I've always wanted to play another instrument but didn't get to because orchestra wasn't really my thing growing up! :)


    And I actually have an old video on Instagram, I think? I haven't recorded anything recently, but maybe I will again? :)

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