During lockdown people were trapped inside their houses with not that many choices in doing activities. Facebook started to get filled with people cooking, making bread, cutting their own hair, reading, painting, growing plants, doing puzzles, playing with their kids in ingenious ways or discovering they had long lost hobbies that they postponed or forgotten due to lack of time - or maybe misuse of time. People started rediscovering their creativity and now they had a safe space to play with it - their own home.
On the other side of Facebook, people were bored out of their mind - they couldn’t imagine their new life without social gatherings, going to the gym, having drinks with friends, spending long hours at the office, or other activities that would involve more than one person.
I found myself a bit intrigued by these situations - I had friends that never cooked in their lives and now discovered that they were extremely good at it and spent their evenings having fun in their kitchens and posting photos of incredible meals, as I had friends that couldn’t bare doing anything remotely creative as they “never had any hobbies, never had the time for them” or “were never good enough” or “why bother, can’t you see the world is coming to an end?"
We are all born widely creative, some of us just forget.
This is a quote from James Victore that I love so much because it speaks of a truth that many of us choose to ignore: there are no creative or noncreative people - we all have the gift of creativity inside, but some of us just get convinced that it’s not worth using it.
I can’t help but wonder, when did the simple act of making things, random things - just for the joy of making them - became obsolete? When did creativity become a luxury that only some gifted or lucky people can benefit from? When did we go from making our own clothes as a need but also as a pleasure, to dreading even cooking for ourselves?
Using our hands and our creativity is a way of expressing ourselves to the world, of leaving something behind or sharing a small part of our soul. Being creative doesn’t mean quitting you job or dedicating your life to the creative field, as it definitely doesn’t mean that you have to write a Nobel Prize winning novel in order to have the chance to write a novel. Buying some paints and playing with colours on a piece of paper and then showing your friends what you made can happen without you aspiring to be Picasso.
The word itself, “creativity” has lost all meaning and it is used to describe mostly people that earn their living (or at least try to) with their talents or passions. Actually, creativity is "the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.” - which by all means, can be done by anyone, from a 3 year old kid playing in the sand and making castles to a 90 year old grandfather playing dress-up with his nephew.
I have lived my life creatively.
I was lucky enough to be born in a family that encouraged me to follow my passions. I was lucky enough that my kindergarden teacher told my mom I should take drawing lessons and I am even more lucky that my mother followed her advice and I ended up doing art classes for 12 years. I was lucky enough that my teacher signed me up for competitions and that I won a lot of them - it gave me (and mostly my parents) the validation that I am good enough to deserve to follow this passion, and it’s not just a waste of time.
I loved painting with all my heart and I spend hours and hours every week working on different drawings - it was my time with my thoughts and it was my way of sharing my imagination with the people around. I was never so good at talking - especially in school - but drawing gave me the possibility to express myself in front of others.
But even with all this work and all the time I invested in this - I always knew it was just a hobby. It was never something that I wanted to transform into a job, it felt too personal to go in that direction. But it didn’t mean I would let go.
University ruined drawing for me - I entered a world (architecture) in which drawing was standardised, in which my imagination had little to do with what I had to draw. I had to look at pictures and accurately reproduce what I see - that wasn’t really something I was ever good at. Not because I could’t draw the reality in front of me - I had enough training so that my hands could work wonders on the drawing board - but because I always had such a vivid imagination and that was what I wanted to draw - not what everyone else was already seeing.
After a few attempts at doing my own thing and after a few horrible reviews on my “naive” drawings I just stopped drawing altogether. After 12 years of looking at a piece of paper and waiting for the inspiration to come and then just start drawing, I entered a world of perfectionism.
Perfectionism is the biggest enemy of creativity.
But still, I was lucky - I was lucky because I had 12 years of creative freedom. Some of us don’t get any. I have a friend that went to piano lessons when he was 7 and the teacher told him and his parents that he will never be a great pianist. He never practiced any instruments in his life, until lockdown, when he bought a second hand drum set and rediscovered his joy in playing with music.
I think we all know someone that was dismissed before even trying, told off by a frustrated artist or teacher and ruining the simple act of doing something just for fun for them. Brené Brown studied shame in one of her books and discovered that 85% of the people she interviewed remembered a shaming event in school that changed what they thought of themselves, and 50% of them had the shame around creativity - events like a teacher saying to a 7 year old boy that wanted to play the piano that he’s not good enough to be a pianist.
I asked my friend: "Why did you stop? So what if you were not going to be a great pianist? You could have just been a mediocre one that sometimes sings carols at Christmas for his family, or maybe join a jazz band in University and have fun playing in bars or parties. Would that be so horrible? Or maybe you would have actually became an incredible pianist, it is not fair that one person’s opinion should influence your whole life."
The answer is simple actually, and it’s the same reason I stopped drawing in University: we are taught that if we are not the best at doing something, it’s not worth doing it. If we’re not going to be famous musicians, or famous cooks, or famous writers or famous painters we are going to be failed artists.
Well, I beg to differ. And this is why our main new mission with Atelier Tron is to inspire you to regain your creativity.
We are the inspiration that reminds you of your creativity.
Creativity is inside you, you just need to be in the right state of mind to receive it. That’s why we want to be a safe place where you can discover new things, books, podcasts, movies or other ideas that are floating around. We want to gather a community of people around creativity and start discussions about our deepest fears or the craziest ideas we have. We will share our experiences in the studio and post tutorials and workshops on natural dyeing, sewing and other crafts, and will encourage you to do the same. We will continue to tell you stories on our blog about ourselves or other beautiful creatives we have access to.
Sharing knowledge is one of our main goals and we decided to make it a daily commitment to you.