I am always surprised when people tell me they are “not creative at all.” I noticed this especially when talking to people at my solo show events; someone would ask me about the process of making my art, listen with interest, then respond in an almost sheepish manner, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body.”

I’m here to tell you, that’s just not true.

When people announce to me that they’re not creative, I think what they’re really saying is, “I don’t have the drawing or art making skills to make fine art like you did.” And that’s okay. Creativity is more than just making marks on paper or shaping clay into a sculpture. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines being creative as “having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas.”

And don’t we all do that on an everyday basis? From figuring out a smart new way to streamline an old work routine to spontaneously making up a fun game that calms a child’s temper tantrum, we’re all flexing our brains everyday to dream up new workarounds to everyday dilemmas.

So the next time you think of yourself as “not creative,” I challenge you to recall a recent time when you had a problem and found a solution that was unusual, innovative, or just a little crazy. I bet you can think of at least one example from the past week, if not more.

For those who want to learn a little more about everyday creativity, here are some good articles exploring the topic:

Five Creative Myths You Probably Believe
“These misconceptions cloak creativity in mystique and they foster elitism—the idea that the potential for innovation and imagination is a rare gift enjoyed by only a select few ‘creative types.'”

You’re Got to Have the “Can Try” Attitude
“What sets these people apart from everyone else is not their innate abilities, or necessarily their intelligence. What matters is that they approach their creative endeavours with the menality of ‘what if I tried this…” as opposed to “I could never do that.’”

Unlock Your Inner Creative Genius in 5 Simple Steps
“Creativity isn’t limited to left-leaning designers, artists, and architects alone. Ideas and inspiration can (and should) come from everyone, regardless of their background.”