When did you first discover your creativity?
I discovered my creativity when I was 5 years old. My kindergarten class made enameled and kiln-fired clay projects—a pretty complicated undertaking for 5-year-olds, now that I consider it.
I decided to make an elephant and how I labored and loved my elephant. It took a tremendous amount of painstaking time, and I wonder now at the patience I brought to the task.
I had learned that I could MAKE things, and it was the discovery of a lifetime.
I remember clearly how my elephant was shipped off to the kiln, and I waited forever, it seemed, for the it to return. When we each were given our creations, we were warned not to touch them for a couple of days as they were still fragile from the kiln.
I couldn’t resist. I gently touched a fanned ear, and it broke, along with my heart. There was no fixing it, but when I took the elephant as a gift to my mother, she exclaimed at my talent, and I could tell that she really meant it. I swelled with pride. Suddenly, the bad ear seemed more like a badge of courage than a defect.
The elephant went wherever all children’s gifts to their mothers go. I thought of it often over the years, and it became a touchstone for my faith in my creativity. But I assumed it had broken or been lost in one of our many moves, and would live on only in my memory.
Fast forward four decades: My mother, who really could have been a museum curator with the exquisite care she has taken of memorabilia, visited, carrying one of her annual packages. Each year, she would unearth some treasure from my childhood and ceremoniously hand it over to me.
That year, it was–you guessed–my elephant. I can’t tell you the surge of emotion I felt as I held a prized elephant that I had thought long gone from my life.
I had just finished organizing my first dedicated sewing space, and the elephant took a watchful, safe, and secure place on a shelf—a constant reminder that I am a creative person at heart. That little elephant is my most precious sewing supply.
For plenty of projects and products to ignite your creativity, check out the Thanksgiving sale in the Sew Daily Shop.
When and how did you discover your creativity? I would love to hear your story.