Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. ~Steve Jobs
Who am I?
For the past twenty years, I have been a teacher, but really what I am is a learner. Inherently curious, my teaching is rooted in discovery. Learning is about finding out, but not just through others' experiences, indeed it is best done through our own experiences, getting messy, making mistakes, asking questions and acting to find the answers.
The above is the foundation of who I am, but for the more easily classified "who" answers:
mother to a back-to-nature 20 year-old, who distills essential oils, loves farming and lives outdoors
partner of 21 years to a Structural Engineer, who has a keen sense of humour and a practical nature
200 hr. registered yoga teacher
self taught artist and photographer
teacher of grades K through college - focusing the last seven years on grades 3-8
What do I believe about creativity?
Creativity is a natural activity. It is inherently a part of each and every human being. Creativity is not defined by being able to draw or paint, rather it lies in the ability to wonder and act on that wonderment. Creativity is expressed in a myriad of ways - cooking, decorating, collecting, singing, acting, gardening - imagining the world in new ways, big or small. Every person acts creatively in life - we are uniquely creative.
Why creativity, not art?
The word art immediately conjurs up an ideal. (See, we are creative types - a word brings to mind an imaginary reality, each one different from the next.) Some people will think of painting, some sculpture, some drawing - and all of these are rightfully associated with art. But, the word art also, for most, brings up negative self-doubt - "I don't paint." "I can't draw a stick figure." etc...
Creativity on the other hand is doable and encompasses so much more than the limited definitions art might bring to mind. Creativity, by all counts, allows for integration between all areas of life as we sit down to make something. For instance:
My walk in the park and the ten sticks I bring home, along with: the formula for the circumference of a circle, the spontaneous mixing of paints, and a poem by Mary Oliver that has been running around in my head, all come together into an inspired, experimental mandala. It does not look anything like a Frida Kahlo painting. Because by allowing myself to be creative, I do not get stuck in a set of expectations: "I must paint like Frida Kahlo", but rather I create what springs from deep inside of me.
This freedom is what I hope to instill in my co-conspirators. The freedom to unleash the creativity that lies inside of them. Perhaps at some point for some students, a focus on the academics of art will become a path, but here at The Bowerbird and The Bee we start with what is inside of each of us and allow art to unfold from exploration.