The Human Desire to Create
Do humans have an inner desire to create?
Yup, I realize that’s a pretty big question and I’m not sure that I have a big answer, but I’m going to give it a go.
Yes, I truly believe that humans have an inner desire to create. I have seen this in my workshops where participants who come in believing that they don’t have a creative bone in their body, or who haven’t played with paint since kindergarten, are all of a sudden transformed. I can see the joy in their eyes as they spread paint around the page, or search for just the right image or word to add. I can hear the excitement in their voices when they share experiences as the end of the workshop.
Augustin Fuentes, the author of The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional, agrees with me. Fuentes talks about how our ability to imagine something and then make it real is very distinctive about humans (Worrall, 2017). This urge to create runs deep in human history. I saw a small part of this rich history when I visited Pompeii this past summer and saw the thought and planning that went into laying out the city and also in the way that residents decorated and personalized their building. This was all happening somewhere between the seventh century BCE and 70 CE. Fuentes carries this need for creativity even deeper by his example of how half a million years ago humans were making tools that were more beautiful and decorated than they needed to be for their function.
What does that mean for you in your life?
Bringing creativity into your life allows you to move yourself forward. Taking time to focus on our creative needs, whether that means painting, designing motorcycles, or figuring out how to feed your family on a limited budget, provides us the space to develop our imaginations.
Most of us had that sense of imagination and wonder when we were younger and then somewhere along the way we found ourselves removed from our dreams.
And we end up in places that we never imagined and where we don’t want to be. And what do we do? Nothing. We just think, “Oh well, I guess this is where I was meant to be? I guess this is just my life?” And way deep down we know this is absolute bullshit.
Visual journaling allows you to enter the creative process exactly where you are, you don’t need any sort of experience or knowledge. You just need yourself and an open mind. But, the most powerful thing about it is that it does allow you to create the space where you can try things out, where you can make plans, where you can write down goals. And you get to play with paint, and images, and words along the way.
I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite Brene Brown quotes: