This I Believe

Tracy - Madison, Wisconsin
Entered on August 11, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: creativity

I believe that within every human being is an artist waiting to get out.

I think that every person on the face of this planet has some kind of creative spirit, and satisfying that spirit can make a person truly and personally happy. Everybody has a need to make things — look at little children with sandcastles and alphabet blocks. They might not be able to talk yet, but they know the fun of taking some raw material and turning it into something else.

I’ve always been a maker of things. Some of my tendencies come from within me — as soon as I could write, I wrote down stories about princesses and poems about ducks. Some of them come from my mother, who taught me to sew and knit and embroider. Some come from education I’ve pursued, trying to achieve a vision in stained glass or dyed silk. I don’t do any of these things at a masterful level. I just like them! Do I consider myself an artist? Maybe not a capital-A artist like Monet or Rodin, but my satisfaction comes from having made something.

I was at a friend’s house one day, admiring her garden. She had been so careful, putting the tall plants here and the short plants there, the purple flowers next to the white. It was beautiful. I told her about my latest project, which involved plastic clay I was turning into fake chunks of turquoise, and she sighed a little. “I wish I was creative like you!” she said, as we stood there inside her work of art.

If you give it any kind of a chance, that artist, that maker of things, it’ll get out of you. Maybe your art is made out of food, or drywall, or the refrigerator boxes you turn into a maze for your kids; maybe your art is made out of words, or musical notes, or your smoothest rumba steps. It might not make you famous. It might not make you rich. But it just might make you very, very happy.