It’s only human to be creative.

You don’t need to be an artist to create. 

Creativity doesn’t look like a person in an apron, holding a brush, standing in front of a blank canvas with a paint palate in his/her other hand. It could be a middle aged guy working a 9 to 5 job at a financial institute who dabbles in numbers all day. The only difference is, the first person has been given the opportunity and the tools to explore. The other one is perhaps too intimidated to even try. 

I never knew I was a creative soul until time and time again, I was reminded by my own curiosity. 

I grew up in a world very different from the one I live in today. My parents were from another one. My mom’s constant struggle was to get her kids educated in a school. This was a luxury denied to her due to war, broken promises, and refuged lives in three different countries, spanning two decades. She survived. She wanted me to thrive. However, I was never put into art or gym classes, as sitting at a bench in a class was seen to be more admirable. ‘Its simple choices that you make in your everyday life’ she said ‘first you survive, then you thrive’. Education for her was survival. Trying out arts or sports didn’t even make the list on thriving. 

Then, on a cold November day in 2007, I moved to Saskatchewan. Again as my mom did, first I survived. I was doing two jobs, volunteering at five different non-profits and working my butt off proving myself to this new world around me. When I finally cracked open the shell of survival, I realized this doesn’t make me happy. Off I went to buy a sewing machine. I started sewing as a hobby. Then I tried yoga as a practice. I combined the two things I thoroughly enjoyed and started the Yogi Crafts. Then I attended a Paint Nite class, then another and then a third one. Other opportunities that once seemed a dream (I was forbidden to even dream) came true. I started doing craft shows. I dabbled in the acrylic pouring medium technique. I took a few classes at Red Fox Creative Studio and met friends like Kayla.

Fast forward ten years, after the first time I was exposed to such an opportunity. I realized it is only human to be creative. 

You cannot ‘NOT’ be creative. You want to excel at a job - that requires creativity. You make life changing decisions - that craves creativity. You move to a new place - that demands creativity. 

First you survive, then you thrive but the path to thriving is paved with creativity.

By Guest Blogger: Jamal-e-Fatima Rafat