The Creative Manifesto

THE CREATIVE MANIFESTO

You are creative.

Everyone is creative.

Everyone can create.

Something.

Anything.

Anything they want.

A sentence on a screen.

A line on a piece of paper.

A note on a musical instrument.

Some sticks on the sand.

A photo that captures a moment.

Anyone can be creative.

Anyone can create.

Your creativity is a gift.

A gift for you.

But also,

YOUR GIFT TO THE WORLD.

If your gift is left dormant, unused, your life is poorer for it.

The life of the world is poorer for it.

You are creative.


When you create...

When you create, there are no limits on the effect it might have.

Like dropping a stone in a pond, the effect of what you have created can ripple outwards.

There's no knowing where it might end up, who it might touch, what they might do because of something you created.

Sometimes the only ripple you know about is the one that touches you.

That's OK, because when you create, you look.

You look and then you see.

Really see.

And when you create and look and see, your life is changed and somewhere inside you a voice shouts and cheers and laughs with the delight and wonder of it all.

Just because you created something.

That's what happens when you share a gift.

When you share this gift, you share yourself.

With everyone.


Change the world

What you create is important - but what is most important is its effect.

Its effect on you and on those who see what you have created.

Everything you create has meaning and even if it is only meaningful to you that still counts.

Pay attention to that meaning and it can change you.

It may only change you. Or it might change other people.

It doesn't matter how many people you change.

Even if it is only you then you will have created something that has changed the world.


There is no loaf of bread tree.

Most of the everyday world around us didn't just "happen". Much of our modern world is there because it was created.

The raw materials are out there, but it needed creativity to make it happen. Bread doesn't grow on trees, it needs the raw ingredients to be taken and mixed together correctly to create a loaf.

We were never meant to be passive consumers of the creativity of others, when creativity has been reduced to a mere cog in the wheels of commerce.

How did "making dinner" become the arrangement of various ready food "products" on a plate? How did "playing music" become listening to a collection of music that other people create, on an iPod?

Commerce has reduced our expectations, numbing the beating essence of our being beneath the desire for shiny new toys. You don't have to mindlessly consume. You can create instead.

Creativity is at the essence of our humanity.

Reclaim your creativity.


Creativity often means impermanence.

Don't be afraid of impermanence.

Nothing lasts forever. Journalists write articles that are tomorrow's chip papers.

Do a chalk pavement painting, even though you know the rain will wash it away. Balance some rocks, even though you know gravity works. Arrange some leaves in a ring, even though the wind will blow them away.

Even if your creative work will only last for a moment, that moment is enough.

Impermanent creativity reminds us that it always about the moment. When we lose ourselves in creating we lose ourselves in the moment.

Its all about being in the moment. In the moment is life.

Don't be afraid of impermanence.


Creativity is about enjoyment

Creativity is about enjoyment. Enjoying the process and not just judging the experience on the results.

So many people get hung up on whether what they create is "any good". They focus completely on the outcome of what they create that they can only enjoy it in retrospect.

If they think what they created is "good enough" then they enjoyed creating it. If not, they didn't enjoy it.

How can that be? Surely you're enjoying it at the time or you're not aren't you?

You should always enjoy being creative. The process of being creative. The moment. The outcome is only a part of it. Don't focus on the outcome. Focus on the moment.

Don't compare what you create to others. If you do, you'll lose sight of yourself and your creativity. Admire the work of others. Be inspired by the work of others. But don't compare.

Always remember -

You are the ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD who can CREATE WHAT YOU CREATE.


Encourage others

Creativity isn't academia. It isn't for those who were "good at it in school".

It isn't about elitism or exclusion. Its about participation and inclusion. Its about encouraging others.

Why do we all know how to paint as children, yet we almost all stop doing it by the time we're older?

Our creativity is slowly but surely eroded in school, as less and less time is given to it - unless you happen to be one of those who are "good at it". Even then, the fun of creating can be removed at the same time, buried beneath layers of academia. The pathways to entry become narrower and narrower, jealously guarded by the self-appointed guardians of each particular speciality, those who will decide if you are "good enough". Excellence may be maintained, but where is the fun?

Creativity should never be exclusive. It should always be inclusive. Once you begin to explore your creativity, pass on what you have discovered.

Encourage others to take part too.

Something this good cannot possibly be diminished by being passed on, given away. Instead, it gets better the more you do so.

Encourage others to be creative too.


Cultivate wonder

The world around us - the natural world and that which has been created by man - is full of wonder.

All around us are things incredible and things terrible.

Never take them for granted. Our world is full of wonders, if you take the time to look.

To a small child the world is nothing but wonders, but we lose that as we get older.

Don't.

Cultivate wonder instead.

Really look and think about what you are seeing, or doing, or using and you will find wonder once more.

Wonder becomes infectious. Once you see it in one place you will begin to see it everywhere.

Take that wonder and express it in your creativity.

Cultivate wonder.


If only...

"Beware of any enterprise that requires a new set of clothes." - Henry David Thoreau

Its easy to fall into the belief that you need special "things" to be creative.

If only I had that special pen or notebook, then I could do creative drawings.

If only I had that special camera, then I could take really creative photos.

If only I had that special computer, then I could make really creative films.

If only I had that special instrument, then I could make really creative music.

Things don't make you creative. YOU make you creative, simply by doing creative things.

Don't fall for the tale that is sold to you by advertising, that you need specific "things" to be creative, or to give off a "creative image". Creativity isn't about what you have, or what you buy.

Its about what you do.

Perhaps you will have those special things in the future, but you don't need them to BE creative, or to get started creating.

You may prefer silence and solitude to create, or you may prefer noise and bustle - or any number of desires about the environment around you. But you don't need them to be creative.

Start creating and then you'll be creative.


It only needs you to start creating

Take that first step

Once you start its easy to take the next step.

And the next one.

Before you know it you won't be able to stop.

Creativity will be in your life and your life will be all the richer for it.

You are creative.