Creative Spotlight: Amanda
Meet Amanda (she/her), our the seventh entry in our Creative Spotlight series. Amanda is an avid photographer, Certified Life Coach and the bass player for Mustard Tyger, a Toronto-based rock band.
What does creativity mean to you?
To me, creativity is a way of thinking more than a particular output. It's an approach to any given task. We have this preconceived notion of what "creative" is - drawing, writing, dancing, music etc. And, all of those things are absolutely creative...but those are creative outputs. It's the input that I find particularly interesting and curious. Some of the most creative people on this planet have been scientists or people in STEM. I mean, you don't get a COVID vaccine in less than a year without a little creativity!
This concept grew in my mind over time, as I watched series like Abstract, listened to podcasts like Song Exploder, and got really interested in understanding creative process. From there, I saw that there is a way of seeing things - both problems and solutions - that is what makes creativity so compelling. It can be applied to anything. I fundamentally believe every single one of us is creative, and it's about how we nurture that in ourselves and in each other.
"Self-doubt, self-judgement, and fear are part of [the creative] process but ultimately it's about which voice is louder: the doubting voice, or the creative voice."
What is the most difficult part of being creative? How do you work around those challenges?
The creative process is unique for every single person, and I think it depends on how comfortable and confident you are in your own creative abilities & skill. Self-doubt, self-judgement, and fear are part of that process but ultimately it's about which voice is louder: the doubting voice, or the creative voice. So, for me the most difficult part is answering the call. I have ideas all the time, often little bits in my mind that I feel this urge to get out. It's really easy to ignore that voice. So I think that working through that is about simply acknowledging that call to create or that call to let out that little voice somehow. Easier said than done.
How does creativity affect your brain health?
Our brains require all different sorts of stimuli and engagement to work at its best. The concept of neuroplasticity is really interesting to me - that the brain is malleable. So, the more we dream, create, brainstorm, share, witness and explore creativity the more our brain evolves and changes. It affects everything in our body - all of our systems are connected.
If these questions sparked any other thoughts, please share!
We all have the capacity to be creative. It is not something reserved for those who are quirky, or artsy, or have hard creative skills. Creativity is a way of seeing and being in the world - it has many interpretations and presents itself in different ways.
Amanda is a Certified Life Coach, photographer and runs a weekly newsletter called Hot Take.