The benefits of creativity in every day life. 

creative photographer elena sullivan

Creativity is a realm of life to which I’ve always had a strong connection, and due to my artistic work in the photography business, I practice it daily. I love to create; I love the feeling of freedom that creativity presents. The process of creating makes me happy, whether it’s writing an article, styling a brand photoshoot, doing flying dress photography, painting, which is my hobby, designing my websites, or combining clothes to fit my mood and goals for a day.

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Creativity is the ability to create something new. Anything that allows to create beyond the borders of the known is what I associate with creativity. Have I always been creative? No, in fact, until I was 15, I didn’t appreciate creativity; I perceived it as something strange. That was the time of life when I wanted to be like the majority of cool kids, you know, that feeling of wanting to be accepted when you strive to be like everyone else. It took me many years to finally appreciate creativity and see it as a privilege; that coincided with starting my own photography business and later traveling halfway around the world with one red suitcase and a one-way ticket to Cancun. 

creative thinking

When I moved to a new country where I didn’t know anyone and spoke a little Spanish, my creativity started blooming in every possible way. I was 31 when I made my adventurous trip, and I had to change my perceptions and lifestyle to adjust to a new culture, city, and country I which I will call home nine years. Being creative was what allowed me to stay there, start and grow a business, and enjoy living in an uncomfortable zone. In fact, personal growth happens when you step outside your comfort zone, do things and experience something completely new, challenge yourself. Creativity is one of the key elements in personal growth and an amazing process that unfolds your potential in a gentle way. 

happiness is smiling
how to be creative colors

There are 5 benefits of creativity that are worth mentioning, but before I write about them, I want to share with you a story from my childhood that, until today, remains a great example of how I was exposed to creativity from an early age. It all started with my mom; she is the one who was always creative, and even nowadays, she keeps being creative as her health allows her to do that. The story I’m about to share happened when I was ten years old.

One day we came to visit my grandmom and stayed with her until late. We lived within walking distance of her apartment, but it was too dark to go back home, so my mom decided that it was better for us to stay and spend a night at my grandma’s apartment. And right before going to sleep, I remembered that I had one home task to do, and it was a painting. It didn’t have to be very elaborate; it could have been a simple painting on A4-size paper. But still, I had to present it, or else I would get a bad grade. I don’t know how it skipped my mind; it’s hard to remember now. But the fact is, it was around 10 PM, and I surprised my mom with the fact that I needed to present a painting for one of my classes at school tomorrow morning. As you might guess, we had to act immediately. There was a moment for us to get emotional and wonder how that happened, but the situation was there to stay until somebody found a solution. And it was my mom who did that. 

If only things would be easier, right? But no, life is life, and sometimes it gives us lemons, and it’s up to us whether to make a lemonade or complain about lemons being lemons and not oranges. So, in my story, I had to have a painting in 9 hours, and we didn’t have any tools to paint. Neither did I have colored pencils, not watercolors or oils, nothing. Absolutely nothing. I had a backpack with all the books I needed for my classes in school the next day, but I didn’t need painting supplies, so I didn’t have them in my backpack. So, my mom, being a creative person, although she loves to deny it, found the most creative solution.

life gives lemon make a lemonade
creativity is color

She walked around her mom’s apartment and found two colored pencils, several bottles of nail polish of different colors, and white A4-size paper. She put it all on the table and started drawing. She is not a professional painter, but she can draw really well. It took her 2 hours to finish painting, and the result was absolutely gorgeous. She drew a beautiful swan using nail polish and added some clouds around it. Can you guess how she created clouds?

She sharpened a blue pencil with a simple razor and then rubbed that colorful dust on the paper with a cotton pad. That’s how she got impressionist-style clouds around a swan; then, she used a blue pencil to paint some waves, making the illusion of a swan swimming in the water. I still remember that picture; it got imprinted in my mind. I was asleep when she did that; it was in the morning, when I was getting ready to go to school, that she explained how she did it. 

colorful pencils photos

 Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of that creative painting. I wish I could, cause I’m sure even nowadays it would still amaze me. But when I was ten years old, there were no cell phones with cameras; in fact, I got my first Olympus camera when I was 15; it was my grandma’s birthday gift. So, I didn’t have any means to capture my mom’s creative painting, which saved me from getting a bad grade at school and being emotionally overwhelmed by not completing homework. 

photo me and my mom
With my beautiful mom in 2017

My mom did that to help me, her daughter. This story lives with me as an example of the creativity that emerged in an instant under circumstances that required immediate action.

She created a beautiful painting with nail polish and two colored pencils. This proves that creativity is not about the quantity of something but rather about how you use what you have at your disposal. The abundance of materials is not a prerequisite for creativity; on the contrary, sometimes, the absence of something can fire up creative thinking. And the story I just shared is a good example of that. 

When I was working on this article, I remembered a quote about creativity from Marca Antonio de la Parra, who is a Chilean playwright: “Creating means giving life, and this implies an uninterrupted series of changes, a permanent renewal that tends to perpetuate it. Human creativity emerges as a survival mechanism. It is activated in the face of danger and emergency and is a way of resisting the unforeseen. It emerges from a crisis. From the moment in which a tear is recorded. From the limited experience.”

nail polish colorful

 The way my mom acted perfectly illustrates this quote. And I agree with what Marco said; I experienced it in my creative photography work many times. Whenever I did a photo session in a limited space, I had to push myself to activate my imagination because I wanted to take beautiful photos. After some struggling moments, I always felt relief through emotional satisfaction. And later, seeing the results while retouching photos, I thought: “Well, although it was hard initially, I’m happy I didn’t give up, gently pushed myself, and allowed my creative impulses to guide me.”

flowers creative tulips

I like to think of creativity in daily life as flowers you give yourself. It’s not that you have to have flowers, they are not crucial for survival, but they definitely add to the pleasure of life; they help to feel life. They make me smile, stop for a while, and slowly inhale – exhale and appreciate the beauty of simple things, like flowers. I always have flowers on the kitchen table and in my studio. Just the fact that they make me smile is enough to make me want to have them. Flowers are beautiful, inspirational, and a great example of creativity in nature. They are different and beautiful in their own way.

 The same as creativity. It’s beautiful in its own way. And you don’t have to be creative to survive; it’s not a matter of life and death; you can live without getting involved in creativity, but when you do, it adds so much flavor to life, adds colors, adds emotions, and feelings, it allows you to open for new experiences. No matter how you engage in creativity (whether you are cooking, writing, painting, sewing, a being a mom of highly inquisitive kids ), if it’s something you create with your hands, applying your own skills, generating new thoughts, you can call yourself a creative person and enjoy the process and then the result of your creativity. 

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5 benefits of creativity in every day life  

1.It simplifies the perception of mistakes.

From my personal experiences in creative endeavors, I feel like very often, creativity invites you to make a mistake and savor it and learn from it. Creativity is exploration, experimenting, and learning. It’s a constant, moving process. It’s a desire to learn and create something new. And when you create something from nothing, from zero, you can’t know everything, and you are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them and have fun doing that because mistakes are part of life. Recently, while reading a book about “Aesthetic Intelligence” by Pauline Brown, I realized that there is a different, elegant way to look at mistakes and what if we perceive our mistakes not as mistakes but as historical chapters of our story. What will you say about such a description of mistakes? It makes them more important and adds some flavorful, creative sparkles, and shows a recipe for a cheerful lifestyle. 

colorful creative flowers

2. It’s freedom from the steel cages of perfection and other unrealistic standards.

In fact, creativity has no standards, and that’s one of its sweet and pleasing qualities. Creativity is not a mathematical equation or some chemical reaction. So you don’t have to follow directions to get a result. Like Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun” I love this quote. It’s short but up to the point. When intelligence is having fun creating, there is no place for perfection and other unrealistic standards. Think about a standard or perfection as a top or the bottom; either way, it’s some kind of a barrier in your life. Trying to fit some standards mean you are walking a road that’s already exists instead of creating your own; when you allow creativity to guide you and feel open to the uncertainty and discomfort of a creative process, then you free yourself from unrealistic standards and someone else’s expectations. 

3. It nourishes your mind, spirit, heart, and, thus, body.

The process of creating is pure and genuine. When you create, it feels like you give away something, but you receive it at the same time. Whether you give away your time, supplies, information, or something else, it’s mutual. You receive knowledge, pleasure, whether it’s emotional or aesthetic, experience, and sometimes monetary benefits, but you always get something back. It’s the law of the Universe; you receive what you give. 

happy creative mood

4. It can elevate your confidence.

You can automatically raise your confidence when you learn new things, receive new knowledge, and expand your wisdom. In our world filled with superficial standards and obsessed with results, it might be hard to believe that just knowledge, wisdom, and experiences can lift up your confidence. But it certainly can; the only way to prove it is to experience it. Nor is confidence passed in DNA, neither it automatically inherited from parents. We are all in charge of growing our confidence, which comes NOT from owning bigger houses and more cars but from versatile experiences, overcoming challenges, learning from mistakes, not giving up, and continuing despite storms and circumstances. And creativity helps to see challenges from a more cheerful perspective.  

peaceful mindset creative inspiration photos

5. It helps to maintain the balance in life.

I think you’ll agree that it feels good to have a nicely decorated home, nice clothing, a car, and stay at nice hotels when you travel, but life is not only about consuming. The energy of consumption is the opposite of creative energy. Consuming and creative energy are like two different poles, like cold and hot, rain and sunshine, and thought both of these energies have to be present in life; to feel happy, we have to balance them. And thus, creativity needs to be present to maintain that balance. 

creative blogs

There’re two books about creativity that I highly recommend for all of you who want to learn more about creativity.

First is “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert, an easy read and extremely inspirational. I read it several times, and reread certain pages from time to time to relax and let my creative juices flow.

 The second book gives a broader understanding of creativity from a scientific perspective. It’s “Creativity, the Psychology of Discovery and Invention” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I’m still in the process of reading it, and I’m on page 85. I take it easy because the language he uses to talk about creativity is more complex, making the context of the book very rich, and it takes time to process it, but nonetheless, it is very interesting and insightful.


Have you experienced the benefits of creativity in your life? Share it in comments.

All images in this article are by ArsVie photo studio.

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