As children our creativity is without limits. If you watch children surrounded by stacks of white paper and crayons in every color of the rainbow, they will pick up a color at random and start drawing right away. And then proudly display their drawing prominently.
But give most 16-year-olds a blank piece of paper and a box of crayons and they’ll sit there for several minutes trying to think of what to draw. And if you post that picture on Instagram and tag them, they’ll be horrified.
As we grow up, we are trained out of freely expressing ourselves. Our paper gains lines and we’re told to color within them. Our rainbow crayons are replaced with blue and black pens and #2 pencils. And everything we create gets marked up in red, outlining where we went wrong. Even though we may still take pleasure in making things, we become shy about sharing our creations with others.
I think Seth Godin has a profound insight into why we don’t share our creativity or ideas in general:
“One reason we often find ourselves with nothing much to say is that we’ve already decided that it’s safer and easier to say nothing…. If you’ve fallen into that trap, then committing to having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory.”
This is the same with sharing what we create. There’s value to it, for ourselves and others.
It keeps us thinking for ourselves.
It keeps us brave. As children we are quick to take risks because we have no fear. No fear of failure, no fear of rejection. It brings us back to this fearlessness.
It keeps us humble because we are making ourselves vulnerable to feedback or even criticism, and to learn from it.
It encourages us to create and share more when someone likes or even buys our ideas.
It inspires others to be creative.
At Shapeways, we believe in supporting your ability to be creative and share with others. We invite you to share your ideas and projects with us on Twitter or Instagram. Be sure to tag us @shapeways so we don’t miss your posts. Follow us on social media and join our email list to see our favorite posts on creativity!
We are always innovating and building features to support sharing your creative gifts. So be yourself, be brave and inspire someone new.