This Fall Quarter, students enrolled in Courtney Putnam’s HUMAN 210 course (part one in the year-long series to produce Cascadia’s creative arts magazine Yours Truly) are reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and debunking common myths about creativity, myths that Gilbert addresses in her book. In the following post, Cascadia students Kyleigh and Emily address the myth that you can be “too old” to start a creative endeavor.
by Kyleigh Magness and Emily Nina
Have you ever said you can’t do something because you’re too old? Or that you can’t follow your dreams because it’s too late in your life to change it? Creativity and age don’t have much in common to me. If anything, I believe as you get older and see the world more, your creativity grows as you do. Age doesn’t define your passions or abilities.
Elizabeth Gilbert said in her book Big Magic that “if you’re alive, you’re a creative person.” If you’re nine or 49 your creativity is always a part of you. Your creativity doesn’t vanish just because your age does. I still find myself at age 20 drawing, coloring, and painting, just like I did when I was little. Keep the creativity in your soul alive, and find time to let it breathe. There is always time to do or think about art, and there is always time to start something new. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you should stop creating. No matter what age you are, don’t stop. Don’t shut down your creative mind for a 9:00 to 5:00. That urge to be creative never wants to leave you, so don’t show it the door.
Gilbert writes, “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” Let this idea serve as your mission: look for the passions you possess. Look for that thing that makes your heart skip a beat and your mind buzz with enchantment. Allow yourself to accept the fact that following your heart will not always mean you give up everything. You have a job, bills, a family, a whole life that requires time and attention. Allow yourself to work your passions into your schedule. Give yourself that time to paint, draw, photograph, make jewelry, sculpt, design, simply contemplate; whatever it may be, let it into your life, but recognize that it does not have to become your life. The thing that sparks your inner creator is living inside your soul, and it is not too late to draw it out and bring it to life.
We are all capable of accessing it, and weaving it into our lives. There is always a way to be creative, from painting to drawing, from dancing and writing. Right now, you can be creative. Pick up a brush and paint the night sky. Or write poetry. Gilbert brilliantly expressed to “do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” So start that revolution, and be revived, no matter your age. Your age doesn’t decide how creative you are. Always keep your mind open to creativity, and keep creating.