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Why the inner tube of a loo roll is good for you.

I have always regarded myself as being creative and have enjoyed making things from when I was small. My childhood materials of choice included shampoo bottles, match boxes and the inner tubes of loo rolls to make furniture and accessories for my dolls’ house. As I grew up I was drawn to cooking and sewing to express my creativity and eventually clay and glass. However, as an adult I know that in regarding myself as creative I am an exception to the rule.

If you ask a group of adults whether they regard themselves to be creative the overwhelming majority will say, “No”. A typical response would be, “I’m no good at art”. However, in my mind even though being artistic and being creative are inextricably linked they are not the same thing. I would argue that everyone is creative – every time you combine ingredients to make a meal,  find a solution to a problem or just think on your feet you are being creative. So the big question is why do so few adults choose to describe themselves as creative?

As children we have no problem with being openly creative. In a previous life I owned a paint your own pottery studio and would do clay sessions with local schools. The children couldn’t wait to get started and even though they would all receive the same amount of clay and the same instruction by the end of the session there would be 30 different pots, all reflecting the personality of their maker. Over the years I noticed this eagerness to create would begin to tail off by the time the children were leaving primary school. Some children would start saying how their work was rubbish and rather than enjoy the process of creating they were more concerned with how it would be perceived by others. It seems the door puberty opens to self consciousness and self awareness closes the door on our creative awareness.

Creativity, in all its forms is so important. Research shows academic achievement is linked to creativity, as is our sense of well being but very little weight is given to creativity in our education system.  Being creative and thinking creatively can save us time and money, which is why you will still find me looking at the inner tube from a loo roll and thinking, “What could I do with that?”