There is something inherently amazing about the human ability to create.
I have always been obsessed with creating things. Whether it’s art, clothes, custom shoes, content or even a home movie, I love to conceptualize something in my mind and make it come to life.
When I was young I spent hours upon hours learning to draw. I would buy (or rather my parents would buy for me) drawing tutorial books from the toy section of the grocery store and I would try to memorize how to draw people like Batman and Joker. Most often this meant I would tear out the pages and trace over them on the back window, but either way, I was still creating something.
Soon after I got into painting and would enter every art competition I could find as a kid wanting to showcase the mystical creatures and figures I would come up with. I still have a painting of a pegasus that won a ribbon at the local fairgrounds (I know right? Big artist guy… what can I say.)
Then I wanted to create a custom shoe business. I would clean and paint and dye any friend that trusted me with their sneakers for a week. And “trust” it was because most of those friends never got their shoes back. Sorry bout that Collin, I still have your Kobes.
And now, I spend hours working on creating clothing concepts with my friends and developing content each and every day. I try to dedicate as much time as I can to be creative. And whether you were an artistic driven kid or not, I think most people have this inherent desire to create.
At some point or another you loved drawing, coloring or building. Or maybe you loved making games, movies and music. Perhaps you loved customizing your walls, clothing or sneakers. I have to assume that if you think deep enough, somewhere along the way, you loved to create.
I think the ability to create is part of what makes us human.
I also think it’s part of what makes us more than human.
I believe that the ability to create is actually “magic” if you will.
Last year I was sitting in a coffee shop with a long time friend and amazing influence in my life. I hadn’t talked to the guy in like a year probably, but every conversation leaves me amazed not only with what he’s doing in the world, but the way he views the world.
Many people might refer to this guy as “woke” or sometimes even insane, I just call him genius.
And the most genius thing he has ever laid out for me I call “The Bridge Idea.”
Sitting over a coffee he began to example that the ability to create amazes him because humans have created just about every non natural occurring thing in the whole world. The things that have been created could be deemed magical and miraculous by a different generation, but yet since change and creation is so slow, we normalize what we see and forget the intrinsic magic in it.
The genius across from me at the coffee table begins to tell me a story (now hang with me because this is where it gets weird).
“I am walking across the bridge in Tacoma one day and as I’m about halfway across, I look down at the rocky beach on the other side. Now as I am walking, I begin to think about what it would look like if I was a previous version of myself, say like 300 years ago, standing on that rocky beach looking up. Now both people exist but in different times. And if I was on the beach looking up, technically there would be no bridge there because it wasn’t built yet, and probably seemed impossible to ever build at that time. This would mean that my different generation self, the 300 year ago version, would be looking at my current self, the one on the bridge, walking across a body of water in mid air because the bridge wouldn’t exist. That’s magic, that’s fairytale, that’s otherworldly. Yet we go across bridges all the time without ever thinking twice about it.”
I got to thinking more and more about this idea and as we asked questions back and forth we broke the idea of a “bridge” down to where it actually came from.
Yes, it’s metal and material but there’s a deeper start than that.
Yes, it came from a blue print but it didn’t start there.
Yes, it was an idea but it’s more than that.
Where did the idea come from?
Obviously this is backed by research and physics and a whole lot of other hard facts to make it come to life, but the very root of that bridge, every bridge for that matter, is human creativity.
And if the bridge in the example of the current self and earlier generation self can appear as magic, since it allows human beings to walk over massive bodies of water in mid air, is all rooted in human creativity. Then I have to believe that human creativity is actually… magic.
Think about all different and seemingly “magical” things we do every day because of human creativity and creation that we take for granted.
We can soar across bodies of water at like 80 mph… boats.
We can move down paved roadways safely at 65 mph… cars.
We can fly thousands of feet into the air moving around 500 mph… planes.
All things that if we were looking at ourselves doing 300 years ago would seem impossible, would seem insane, would seem magical. Are all now done as a normal part of the day all because of human creativity.
I think the human ability to create is magical, so why don’t we use it more?
I think it’s because just as much as we celebrate and idealize creativity, society taught us to value and therefore devalue creativity and creations as well.
We have art competitions to tell people their creation is cool or that it’s not good enough.
We give away awards for music to say that people like it or it’s kinda trash.
We hand out trophies for movies to say people enjoyed watching it or it’s not worth much.
All things which are not inherently bad because we should be able to value the manifestation of creativity and deem it’s worth to us, the problem is, we allow this to stop us from creating.
If people don’t like my drawing… I’ll just stop drawing.
If I can’t sell my artwork… I won’t make any more art.
If my music doesn’t get enough streams… I won’t record any more music.
If no one likes what I create… I just won’t create anything anymore.
And all of sudden we unintentionally disconnect the source of magic we were given because of what others have to say about it. We become scared to create out of fear of judgement from others. The scariest part of it is, this actually just ends up hurting us.
I think part of the reason the human ability to create is so magical is because it connects us with some power higher than ourselves (I know this sounds kinda crazy but hear me out.)
Regardless of what you believe put you on the planet, whether you think you were created from God, Buddha or maybe even Harry Styles, or perhaps you believe you popped up out of thin air, we know that somewhere, somehow, we were created.
Something or someone had to create us in their image.
Therefore, when we take the time to create, we are actually finding a source of connection to our creator because we are demonstrating that we now hold a piece of that power. The ability for us as human beings to create connects us with the idea that we were created and therefore can give us a sense of power and purpose in the world.
So I guess what I am trying to say in a long worded way here is, when we choose not to create (in whatever capacity that may be) out of fear of judgement, we are only hurting ourselves by diminishing our ability to connect with our “creator.”
We hold magic as human beings to create. Why not use it even if it’s in the smallest ways?
Buy a coloring book.
Pull out a sketchbook.
Start a blog even if you never post it.
Paint your old shoes.
Stitch together some old shirts.
Find ways to create and tap back into the magic you were given.
I don’t know for sure, but I have a sneaking suspicion that as you do you will become a lot a happier and a lot more purpose driven.