Beryl Ayn Young » Photographic teachings for the mind, body, & soul

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Published! (+ my views on creativity)

I’m thrilled to share that I had the opportunity this month to write an article for online magazine Sprout, Issue #5: Creativity (get your hands on the beautiful full color PDF magazine HERE). This issue is filled to the brim with amazing people, thoughts, and inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. In my piece I share a bit about Bella Rose and how her story fueled my need to CREATE.

How timely was it then, when one of my Illuminate students left me an all too familiar message about our current lesson:

I am trying my best here, but I am not creative, this assignment might be hard for me.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this exact statement. I hear creative woes an awful lot while I’m teaching. And believe or not, sometimes I feel the exact same way. Even I struggle with my own journey as a creative being.

But truly, what is creativity? What does it mean to be creative? What is the magical threshold we must cross over to earn the title of ‘creative being’?

Surely I am not creative when it takes me hours upon hours to write a compelling blog post, or when I repeat the same poses behind the camera lens all the time, or when I use Pinterest to springboard my design inspirations. Right?

Or could it just be that I am confusing creativity with originality?

Is there a difference?

Let’s begin by ask our trusty friend the Dictionary what being creative truly means, shall we?

creative  (kriːˈeɪtɪv)   — adj 1. having the ability to create 2. characterized by originality of thought; having or showing imagination: 3. designed to or tending to stimulate the imagination.

According to this reliable source, being creative simply involves the ability to create. Originality of thought is part of creativity, but do I have to be original and imaginative 100% of the time in order to be considered creative?

My personal answer is a resounding: NO!

We need inspiration and struggle to feed our creative souls. This is the vehicle that activates imagination and can open the road to original thought, vision, and innovation.

Next time you are feeling less than creative my advice is: just create. Place camera in hand and start snapping, put pen to paper and write what’s on your mind, turn on that editing software and just play. You never know where the process will lead.

We all have it in us to be creative. Because we are all able to create.

What will you create today? I’d love it if you’d share in the comments below.


  • Kelly - You know how much I struggle with calling myself “creative”. I don’t think I’ve ever done an “original”… :). I definitely think the act of creating something can identify you as creative…ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Fall - Beryl, it was an absolute joy to include you and Bella in this last issue of Sprout. I love how we all explored the idea of expanding creativity–busting its traditional definitions wide open. Creativity is the way WE see the world–each of us, individually. Creativity can be expressed in something as simple as the way we arrange food on a plate or pair jewelry with an outfit. It’s just a peek at our inner world, coming out in the outerworld.

    And you, my dear, are most CERTAINLY creative. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing Sprout here!ReplyCancel

  • darrah parker - Now I’m REALLY surprised our paths haven’t crossed sooner! I wrote a piece for that very same issue of Sprout. I blame mommy brain. I have a new little one of my own, so most of March is a blur. 🙂 Anyway, I look forward to getting to know you and your work more. It seems we have a lot in common and share a lot of the same ideas about photography/creativity.ReplyCancel

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