P. C. from Bloomfield, Missouri asked, "Many times I begin a project but can't find the exact products I need and I give up. Any suggestions?"

Dear P.C.

There are times when only a specific product will give me the exact vision I have in my mind. But on the other hand, there are times when “making do with what I have” results in a completely different yet exciting creation.

I attended a creativity seminar a few years ago. We played several games to show us the skills necessary for creativity and creative thinking. The instructor began by telling us a story.

A man is at a bar during happy hour and sees a woman across the room who has piqued his interest. After a few happy hours, his buddy challenges him to go over to the fine woman, talk to her for a while and gather her telephone number for a future meeting. The catch was that he could not write her number down with any kind of writing utensil. He was forced to find a way of remembering without it. The guy was very interested so his need to accomplish it was high. Finally, he had the solution. Now, I’m not going to discuss the challenge of convincing her to give the number, but he remembered it by pulling tears into the sides of two napkins representing the numbers of each digit. So if the number was 555-1111, he would tear five times on 3 sides of one napkin and one in each of four sides of another napkin. It may not have been fancy but it was exactly what he needed to accomplish the job in a creative way.

“Making do” may not always give the best results, but I challenge you not to allow the lack of “exactly the right products” to keep you from creating anything. Practice with what you have. Then when you see those results, you’ll know if it can be improved with the “perfect products.”

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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