Creativity is not just for Artists



Brad and Joyce, my in-laws, would never call themselves artists, but they are two of the most creative people I know.

Give Joyce the high school play title along with yards of fabric and accessories, and she’ll whip out a bevy of fantastic stage-ready costumes that will leave you breathless.

Give her five random ingredients, and she’ll have a delicious supper ready in an hour.


Frankly, I’d be at a loss to do either of those things.

She’s also very creative in stretching a shoestring budget. In the family’s lean years, when my husband Tim was little, she could make a tree branch feel like Christmas.

Brad is an educator and business man. He also wore the hats of youth group leader and home renovator. Give him a problem and and he’ll solve it, whether it requires convincing a school board or toting a tool belt.

He once wanted to divide his property and build a second house on it to rent. Across town in a re-zoned area stood an abandoned house, soon to be demolished. Perfect! Except it was five miles away.

But the price was right. He bought that house for $100 and paid $3000 to have it moved next door onto a new foundation he’d built. He renovated it over the next few months. The following summer, Tim and his grandpa built a deck for it.

No doubt this is where Tim’s own creative problem-solving ability comes from. And he’s had plenty of experience with our 1883 Victorian house.

In the 1970s, Wendy’s advertised that they could make hamburgers 256 ways. Brad, in his businessman hat, decided to do a promotion for them.

He lined up 256 students from Fort Wayne Bible college and sent them through Wendy’s one at a time, each with a designated order, to see how fast Wendy’s could make and serve 256 unique burgers.

Though he’d hoped that Wendy’s all over the country would pick up on it and try to beat their time, only a few in Fort Wayne took up the challenge. Even so, it took quite a bit of ingenuity to try this and get 256 kids on board!

Then there’s my dad. Give him a 30 x 30 plot of land, gardening tools, and a gift certificate to Stein’s Garden Center, and within a week, he’ll create a sight for sore eyes. A garden fit for a king. As a Master Gardener, he knows shrubs and flowers the way some people know ice cream flavors.

My mom, just like her mother, crocheted and knitted the most beautiful sweaters and afghans. Give Mom a skein of yarn and knitting needles, and she’d whip out a flawless baby bonnet, booties, or blanket.

The only thing rivaling her ability was her patience in fixing my mistakes. She tried to help my clumsy fingers knit without dropping stitches. I couldn’t get the knack, even with her patient guidance.

No, the Muses of cooking, sewing, renovating, gardening, or knitting never smiled on me. Never even paid me a visit.

Fortunately, we don’t all have the same Muses. But we benefit from each other’s endeavors.

Creativity is not just for certain special people. Though it might be repressed, we’re all imbued with ingenuity as created beings in God’s image. Imago Dei. Like Disney’s Imagineers, we all are “imagineers” of a different kind, whether artist, inventor, researcher, chef, gardener, or business CEO.

If you think you’re not creative, stick with me over the next few weeks. I believe you’ll discover otherwise.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were,
but without it we go nowhere.” 
 ―Carl Sagan, astronomer,
from interview May 1996

Imagine that . . . God created space, and we are fascinated by the world out there. And it’s our God-given ingenuity that helps us explore it, makes us curious, always seeking more.

Sometimes the “worlds that never were” are Story Worlds, novels peopled with characters we grow to love and care about. Or worlds found in paintings, plays, and movies. More on Story Worlds later . . . I’ll be featuring guest authors who create them.

We all have some area we’re familiar with, curious about, or immersed in. Whether cooking, gardening, building decks, running a business, exploring, or writing stories.

What “world” do you love to explore or create?

I’d love to hear from you!

Ever musing,


P.S. Watch for future blog guests, coming soon: teachers, authors, interior designers, cooks, hospitality experts, engineers, and more!

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11 thoughts on “Creativity is not just for Artists

  1. Growing up, even though I spent every recess writing Wonder Woman episodes for my friends and me to act out, I never thought I was creative. I thought only people who could draw or paint were creative, and I couldn’t make a cow look like a cow. If I created an art project for a gift, I generally found it in the garbage later.

    It took my running a creative arts competition for students to realize I was defining creativity all wrong. I wanted to run that program to help kids find themselves in their unique creative expressions, and so many parents have come up to tell me it worked.

    But I already knew that. Because it helped me find my own inspiration.

    Would I like to draw a cow that looks like a cow? Sure. It would help me be my own illustrator for one of my stories. But there’s so much more to creativity than that!

    Thank you for highlighting these unexpected artists. I look forward to reading about the other ones…

    1. I think a lot of people believe the misconception that if they can’t draw, they’re not creative or artistic. I’d love to know more about your creative arts program that encouraged kids to express themselves.

  2. As educators it is important for us to train our students to be thinkers in their own right, rather than mere reflectors of other people’s thoughts. It is through this exploration that creativity finds it birth. That is why for 36 years in education I have continually supported courses that “tickled” students’ imagination, particularly the fine arts. Your musings, however, open up that possibility across the curriculum. That is pretty cool!

    1. I have to admire other people’s creativity, especially in realms I’m not as knowledgable or comfortable in myself. Imagination certainly covers the gamut of subjects.

  3. I’m afraid that I have way too many ways I like to be creative…. just look at my far from neat and tidy house and you will know that to be true. Winter was a time for sewing and baking , but with spring just around the corner I dream of digging my fingers into the soil and seeing new green leaves of flowers and veggies popping out. I love making my small corner of the world colorful and inviting, but what I enjoy most is having someone else give me an idea and ask me to run with it. Signage, curtains, a celebratory meal or dessert, woodworking , etc, etc, etc. …. my creativity joining with someone else’s is the best.

    1. With all those activities going on, who has time to clean the house? Sounds like you brighten it up with all your baking, sewing, and gardening. With all that, nobody will notice the dirt anyhow.

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