For the longest time, creative pursuits has been something most people hid, at least where I grew up. They were not as celebrated in the same way what people consider ‘cerebral’ careers are. Throughout my childhood I remember having the same type of conversation in different variations with different people.
Cousin : What do you want to be?
Me: An Artist/writer..or whatever creative pursuit took my fancy
Cuz: Artists are poor
Art subjects in primary school did not carry the same amount of marks as Maths, Science and English and GHC. You probably would have to get top marks in three the arts subjects to pass in one math paper, which at the time seemed fair, but it sent a strong message to artistic children that their pursuits were not as important. In the CGI animated short below, Daniel Martinez captures how rigid school and work systems stifle creativity and imagination.
More often than not there was no room for the artsy child in Kenya’s school system and it’s always a wonder to me when I see someone survive it and making a living off it. As the saying goes, ‘the creative adult is the child who survived’.
I had always loved writing, perhaps more than art, as a child these two went together, I’d lose myself in the words just as much as I did in the illustrations, I still have a special place in my heart for children’s books illustrators.
I wrote poems, short stories, some of which I lost along the way. I found myself constantly getting next to the creative edge of the cliff but never jumping. Studying journalism helped me sit comfortably on this ledge, earn some money and watch firsthand as other people followed their creative pursuits, maybe it was research I don’t know. I still enjoy being a journalist but I wanted more.
So this post* is about rediscovery, what did you like doing as a child that you don’t do anymore, what creative dreams did you have? If you are lucky, you are one of those who knew their passion from day one or you may be like me, the proverbial Jill or Jack of all trades trying to find a way to make it all work and not be mediocre.
It’s time to rediscover and perhaps even have fun while doing it.
*Over the course of the next 12 weeks, I will be sharing a series of articles as a way to not only jolt my own creativity but also inspire others going through their own creative journeys. You are welcome to sign up and follow afrinado.com to receive the posts directly in your email. Already signed up? Keep reading 🙂