E. B. from St. Jacob, Illinois asked, "I've never been creative. How do I begin?"

Dear E,

Rather than beginning with the question, I want to address your first statement. Everyone is creative in some way. You are confusing creativity with artistic, I think. You may not be an artist, but there is some area of your life where you excel creatively. Perhaps you have a beautiful garden. Perhaps you cook a fantastic roast, unlike any other. Perhaps you design computer programs. Or perhaps you can sell better than anyone in your company or teach better than anyone in the school. All of these are ways in which your mind had to think creatively.

For example, a good salesman is a creative person. Let’s just suppose you sell widgets. Every customer you meet is unique with a unique set of objections. Your job is to address his objections in a way that overcomes the objection, right? It’s the way in which you address them, that sells the widget. Since each customer is unique, the exact approach will not work universally. So you creatively combine the solutions to the objections in a unique way to fit that customer. Voila! You’re using creative thinking. If instead, you had recited the same spiel verbatim each time, chances are your sales technique will not be a winning one!

In the same way, creative teachers are required to use a variety of teaching methods. If the child doesn’t catch on from the first way it is said, saying it louder but exactly the same will not make it clear. Teachers are required to use any and all means of showing the same information in different ways so that children who learn visually, verbally, aurally, kinesthetically, or tactilely have equal opportunity for learning. That’s creative thinking!

So think about it…creatively. You have some area where you ARE a creative person!

Thanks for asking!  Lynnette Schuepbach

Lynnette is an author/illustrator who sees creativity in every aspect of life. To find out more about her and creativity, visit her Web site KidsDoRead.com.  Her children’s books create curiosity in children and speak to sibling rivalry and bullying.

Lynnette serves as chair of Art in the Park on the second weekend of October at the Lindendale Park in Highland. Many local artists will be exhibiting there. It’s her pleasure to be a part of this opportunity for you to experience “World Class Art in a Hometown Atmosphere.” More info at www.highlandartscouncil.org.

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