The other day, while driving, I was completely silent just staring out. Jessica saw this & asked, "What are you thinking about?" I said, "Oh nothing. I have an idea for this leather piece I want to make & I'm conceptualizing it in my head." She replied, "It's so good you're always being creative."
I almost teared up ya'll.
I'm an affirmation kind of guy & my whole life- as many creatives know- sometimes people don't understand when we space out. They don't understand why we're always up late. They don't understand why we tinker on things to no end. They don't understand our thought process.
In fact, I used to get in trouble in school & once almost got fired from my job because during lectures or board room meetings, I would be using my notepad to doodle instead of writing notes. Both teachers & my bosses didn't understand that I actually think BETTER when my hand is aimlessly sketching things out. It's soothing & helps me concentrate.
STORY 1: In high school I had a photography teacher Brett Klement (who I finally found on FB after over 20 years btw!) who had the most unorthodox class ever. He had no tables and no chairs and everyone sat on the floor on a mat. And even if it was photography he was supposed to be teaching, we were told that he doesn't care what we did as long as it was something creative. Photography, painting, sculpting, drawing, it didn't matter. You just had to be moving. And when I was at risk of dropping out of school, he told me that he would give me an "A" if I at least showed up to his class & spend the semester painting a mural on the wall of his class. I have never felt so validated for being creative.
STORY 2: Growing up, random ideas would just pop into my head and if I didn't do something about it, it would eat me up. But sometimes these ideas required materials I didn't have (like when I went through a phase of building board games and another time I wanted to build a kite). So all day I would think about what materials I needed and would eagerly wait for my dad to come home from work. Soon as he stepped into that door, I would beg him to take me to the art supply store and despite how tired he was, he never said no. Ever.
STORY 3: My mom still reminds me to this day that when I was a kid I ruined all of her watercolor sets. She was going to design school & so she would have really expensive professional equipment. I remember it too- I would take her watercolors & I would just start mixing and painting & when she went to do her work, she would find her watercolors all mixed up & every color turned to brown from all the mixing I did.
I say all this because if you're a creative person- the kind that can't rest or sleep until you express what you need to express- don't be ashamed of it. Nurture it. Feed it. Let it continue to grow. It's a fulfilling life...one that births limitless possibilities. Anyone who tries to stifle that- whether it's a teacher or a boss- screw them. Their lives are probably boring and lacks color.