A Publication of WTVP

I draw stick people-primitive stick people at that-and have been asked not to sing a solo part, but to blend in with the chorus. I also have difficulty physically putting a puzzle together, arranging flowers, etc. I can’t remember the name of the process, artist, style of music, sculpture, painting, or architectural design I prefer. I do, however, have ideas, concepts, songs, and mental pictures of art, and I usually know exactly what I want when I see it.

Redecorating our new home this summer has been fun, but it emphasized to me time and again my right brain dominance. The right side is more visual and processes intuitively, holistically, and randomly. While I "eyeball" the space needs and color choices, my husband painstakingly measures and calculates for accurate placement.

Fortunately, however, I was able to express my creativity through an experienced interpreter-a professional interior designer. I flipped through pages of decorating books and magazines, marking what appealed to me. I presented the torn-out pictures and asked him to find about three options-be it colors, fabric, furniture, etc. I really don’t have the patience to peruse wallpaper books or color swatches, but it’s usually easy for me to make a decision.

Once he understood the mental picture I had for the "feel" of the house-and some definite likes and dislikes-his selections based on his professional expertise were all winners. He carefully made sure the fabrics and maintenance capabilities matched the usage of the room. "I won’t let you make a mistake" was his promise.

I’ve learned that being a creative thinker isn’t only about what’s in your head; it’s also about how to establish an environment around you to unleash your creativity. Color definitely affects your creativity. Experts say blue, white, yellow, or green promote creativity, but individuals should just pick the color that makes them feel good. Most Americans say they feel more creative at home than at work, but I would suggest you make your work environment as comfortable as possible with art, flowers, pictures, the correct chair, and work space-even the correct temperature to suit your individuality.

Water fountains and green plants are found in many offices to promote a sense of calm and to energize creative feelings. Space stimulates creativity, as well, especially for those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Cramped cubicles may benefit the corporate budget, but not the creative energies.

Seven out of 10 Americans feel more creative alone than with other people. When serious thinking or concepting needs to be done, I usually shut my door, turn on the "do not disturb" option on the telephone, resist checking e-mail, and focus on the task at hand. While some do their best work at night, others, like myself, are much more productive early in the day. Many times a solution to a problem or a creative idea that had stumped me the night before became clear while I was getting ready for work at 5:30 a.m.

I’m convinced we’re all born with our own creativity. The catalyst for stimulating our creativity is individual, however. Take note of your individual style, and learn how to work with it. Saying you’re "creatively challenged" isn’t an option. AA!