My four years in art school were some of the most introspective and intensely creative times of my life. My professors pushed me further and further out of my comfort zone, encouraging me to draw with my left hand and experiment with materials I had never used before. I made bigger and bigger paintings, which stretched further and further away from realism. This time in art school taught me that creativity is actually just a combination of curiosity, courage and a paint brush.
These days, I work more often with a sharp knife and cutting board than I do with paint and a canvas. However, I believe that creativity in the kitchen is built with the same combination as creativity in the studio, just using different tools.
Curiosity is the first step to growing in your own creativity, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. Start wondering about anything and everything! There are infinite possibilities in every situation; you can do whatever you want with any of them.
I wonder what radish greens would taste like in pesto? I wonder what purple would look like in the shadow of that water glass? I wonder how my body would feel if I drank more water? I wonder if I could add every color of the rainbow to my salad today?
Asking these questions are small ways in which you can experiment with building your creativity. When you intentionally create a meal for yourself, you are proclaiming your creative power. You are showing your body and the universe that your choices and actions matter, and that you can create change in your own life. It’s important to practice creativity in small ways, because you will eventually get creative in big ways!
I wonder if I could go back to school for library sciences? I wonder what it would be like if I started dancing professionally? I wonder how it would feel to be in an honest, authentic relationship? I wonder what’s possible if I asked my boss for a raise?
The next step towards creativity is courage. Courage is about going for you dream, and being willing to fail. It’s one thing to daydream about asking for a raise. It’s another thing to stand up, walk into your boss’s office and ask if they have a moment to talk.
Build your courage in small ways. Say ‘yes’ when you’re invited to dinner with friends you don’t know very well. Chat with the local celebrity when you spot her at the bookstore. Experiment with making pesto out of those radish greens. Practice having courage in these low-risk ways and watch your courage grow.
The final step is to choose your paint brush. Infinite tools are available to help you express yourself. You can exercise your creativity on a canvas, a dinner plate, a stage or the sidewalk. You can be creative and courageous with the way you eat, the way you interact with others, the way you present yourself to the world. Experiment with consciously creating your meals, and imagine what is possible for the rest of your life!