Creativity sometimes feels completely enigmatic. Is it something you try? Is it something you practice? Is it something you become?

These questions felt like a bit of an impromptu theme this month…

November 2019 featured:

Lately, I’ve especially been thinking about what Chef Nick had to say. He believes that one’s creative skill (whatever medium you choose) stops being actively *creative* unless it’s being applied to new projects. In other words, if you’re performing a song you’ve already written, making a recipe you’ve previously developed, writing with a structure you’ve fully absorbed . . . You’re not in active creativity.

I think I tend to agree. I feel my creativity most energized when I’m stretching my comfort zone. I feel, at least, that the fullest flavor of creativity manifests itself in what’s new.

Jessica (New York Times Best Selling Author) expanded on this idea by questioning how we interact with creative authority figures.

There’s something interesting about finding a balance between stretching toward the advice of our creative teachers, mentors, and heroes . . . and testing our own creative instincts and authority. If we’re always creating along the paths of those we admire, how much are we actually contributing to the conversation? When is it time to start a new conversation? Is it possible to remain creative without eventually starting a new conversation? Are we ever creative at all, prior to beginning a new conversation? Of course, there’s no perfect answer.

Mindy (guys, she’s Justin Timberlake’s voice coach) and I got into the idea of technique vs. artistry.

I think a lot of us get stuck on technique—really mastering the execution of a skill—and forget to spend time on artistry, especially in developing our own artistic voices. Mastering a technical skill (in any medium) is certainly in the atmosphere of creativity, but is left incomplete without an artful outlet.

And finally, Heidi (Art Meets Fashion director) wrapped this all back up into my favorite Artifice question by wondering whether we often confuse authenticity with comfort/familiarity.

This is definitely something I’ll be thinking and talking about more in the coming months. It’s an idea I find so intriguing.

I think sometimes we can get a little stuck in our comfort zones by telling ourselves that what’s comfortable is “who we are.” And therefore, what’s uncomfortable isn’t any of our business. But of course, most growth requires some discomfort.

Does creativity demand discomfort?

I would LOVE to know what you think. And I would love to know what’s taking you out of your comfort zone, lately.

Here’s to a creatively uncomfortable December!