I don't know if I've told you or not, but I'm learning how to play the guitar. I took two semesters of group lessons, and then I've been taking private lessons for about 4 months now. It's been going well, and I've been steadily improving. I bring my guitar to school every week for "Music Mondays", and it's been a lot of fun.
One thing my teacher has been trying to get me to do is solo, or improvise a tune while another guitar plays chords. I'm really uncomfortable with this, and really no good at it either. It's made me think about my type of creativity, and improvising really isn't the way for me to do it.
I'm a learner and a planner. When I started quilting, I spent probably a couple of years quilting from patterns before I started making up my own stuff. And when I did, I drew it and charted it and figured out how to make what was in my head. There are quilters who are awesome at improvising and making up things as they go along (hi chawne!), but I'm not one of them. But when I plan, I'm really proud of the stuff I come up with.
The same has gone for knitting and sewing. I knitted from patterns for a long time, and now I make up my own thing when I see the need. I'm still learning how to sew clothing, and I suppose I'll make up my own patterns when I'm ready. Maybe. But I can guarantee that it won't be something that I just cut out and stitched up without a real plan in mind.
I'm not saying that there cannot be creativity within following a pattern. I do consider myself to be a creative person, and I particularly love matching a pattern with yarn or fabric and having it come out to be just as cool as I imagined it would.
I also have to say I take great pleasure in following a good pattern and figuring out how it works as I go. It's soothing and satisfying to have it work out like I hoped it would. I love honing my skills and executing them simply because it is fun to do so. My fingers and brain have learned to do something that they didn't know how to do yesterday. I've recently been learning how to play "Blackbird" on the guitar, which has been a personal goal obsession of mine ever since I heard Kurt sing it on Glee. This isn't really a creative endeavour per se; I don't want to do something new with this song. But wow I really enjoyed figuring how that one of the chords I was using wasn't quite right and this is the right way to play it.
I think I'm most often creative when I'm by myself. Knitting, sewing, and quilting can be social, but for the most part they're an individual pursuit for me. And I sometimes have trouble figuring out how to be and what to say when I'm with other people. Really, I know I'm getting better at this but it's still something I have to work on. If I've ever met you at a fiber festival and I smile but don't say very much, it's because I don't really know WHAT to say and I'm probably a little panicky about it. (As a side note, I don't have to figure out how to be around children. They're much easier to talk to.) So as for guitar, improvising at a new skill while trying to be in time with another person I don't know all that well is VERY HARD for me. But I bet you would be impressed with my scales because I worked on them a lot. And maybe someday I'll be bursting out with a tune I made up, but it's probably something I wrote at home when David wasn't around to hear me figuring it out. I'm just saying.
So that's my type of creativity as best as I can understand it. I'm not saying that I'm not open to new things, but I also know how I work best. How about you? How are you creative? And what types of creativity make you so excited you'll wake up early on a Saturday morning just to GET STARTED?