What is the first creative moment you remember?

by Kaija on Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Posted in: Art, inspiration, writing
2 Comments on What is the first creative moment you remember?
One of the weirdest and most entertaining Christmas presents I've ever gotten. I'm loving it!

One of the weirdest and most entertaining Christmas presents I’ve ever gotten. I’m loving it!

So, it’s almost Christmas for everyone else, but we’ve already had our celebrations with friends, we bought our Christmas tree about two weeks ago and we’ve torn through every last one of our presents. Spreading the festivities over a dozen days, ending with some more Christmas food on the 24th, has been a nice ending to the year.

One of my Christmas presents from Silver was Twyla Tharp’s book “The creative habit: Learn it and use it for life”. I’m reading it now and I’m enjoying it immensely. It’s my kind of a book. Not only it portrays a creative person’s worldview, but it also involves self exploration and breaking down and evaluating her habits and tendencies. I love that she isn’t giving a 1, 2, 3-guidelines to being creative. Anything you can boil down to couple of bullet points is bound to be simplistic. Instead, she takes a more philosophical approach to a multitude of aspects of creativity that she has found important. The ideas she’s put forward so far (I’m not even halfway through the book) are interesting and a great jumpboard for further thought and interpretation.


In the name of taking the time to understand your own “creative DNA”, as she calls it, Twyla Tharp came up with 33 questions that could help in unearthing some answers. I tend to not think much of questionnaires, but she had earned my respect by then, so I gave it a go. The very first one gave me an interesting conclusion: “What is the first creative moment you remember?” I had to pause for a moment to sift through my brain, but I did come up with an answer. I must have been around four years old. I remember sitting at a corner table in kindergarten. In front of me is a messy pile of drawings, next to me sits an older kindergarten teacher. I always thought of her as the grandma of the teachers and I liked her a lot. She was calm and unobtrusive. (The overly lively ones always made me a little uncomfortable.) We sat at that corner table together, in silence and drew or did some crafty stuff for hours.


So that’s the first memory I can recall, but what struck me as surprising was that I can’t remember what I was doing, apart from the vague notion of it including a pen and a paper. The drawing didn’t seem to be very important. The strongest element of that memory was the total feeling of calm. Calm from solitude, calm from concentration – calm from just being allowed to be in my head. It’s the same feeling I have now when I draw or write and it’s the same feeling I had as a kid while drawing.


From as early as I remember I was encouraged to draw, and was left to myself while doing so. Not only was this an acceptable kind of antisocial behavior and consequently a lifesaver back then, but what I take out of this is that drawing was, and is just the means to an end. It provides a place where I can tune out the outside world and tune in all the stories I want to be able to tell, put feelings into words and break down experiences. The actual process of putting down a line is not as mesmerising to me as taking my thoughts and getting them out of my head and feel them materialize in front of me. Whether it’s drawing or writing or something else in the future, it shouldn’t matter that much. Or, I hope it won’t.

What is the first creative moment you remember?