Sure… Malu might not go down in history as this generation’s Picasso.  And Rob Nasty’s authorship may play out like Melville’s – a literary figure unrecognized during his lifetime.  My childhood friend Sound has been making music for over 10 years now, but still hasn’t received much attention, and Dreamer’s eclectic creations of music, writing, and art may never see the light of the outside world.  Yet, in each and every one of them, I find a sleeping giant…genius hidden away.  Regardless if they see what I see, I’m grateful to have each of these creative individuals in my life… and these are the traits they exhibit.

#1 Humor

Humor (at least to me) hinges on thorough observation.  It’s about noticing the little foibles of people (and life) and reshaping them to express deeper truths.  Truths that sometimes seem so ridiculous and strange you can’t help but laugh – even if it’s at your own expense.  And that’s one thing this group is great at… getting together on weekends for some barbeque, beers, and cracking on each other.  But the jokes are more than just mean. They’re honest and insightful, but most importantly – they’re creative.

#2 Insight

So in the midst of cut downs and burger burning (my fault), we still find time to support each other.  It’s true, we may not always have the manliest conversations around the pit, but they are at least interesting.  It’s been during some of these random all nighters that we’ve broken down personal problems and helped each other find solutions.  What I’ve become increasingly aware of during these heated conversations is that these friends of mine tend to have insightful (and differing) perspectives.  And I’m absolutely positive that comes in handy as they sit down at their own desks and canvases to create.  Because what’s the value of an artist that doesn’t have his or her own unique insight into creation?      

#3 Curiosity

Besides roasting each other, and solving questions of the universe (chuckle), we also find time to talk about anything and everything.  Best Hip Hop album. Kurt Vonnegut.  Jordan versus LeBron.  The theory of evolution.  Lucid dreams. Fights. Girls.  Nothing is off topic.  Yeah, we all have our own interests, but when we get together, the world is open for discussion.  And that’s important. All these men are curious about life and learning as much as possible.  I believe that translates to creativity.  As one begins to search and learn, you begin to find more channels of expressing and translating that curiosity into creative forms in the outside world.

#4 Guts

Walking hand-in-hand with curiosity is guts.  And I don’t mean recklessness (oh the stories we could tell…but that’s for another time).  I mean the willingness to go outside of your comfort zone and question your own creativity.  And when in the throws of self-pity, still be willing to hit the punching bag again, only to find yourself strengthened by what you saw as your weakness.  That’s the reason each one of these individuals is able to maintain their creativity.  It’s true – none of us have become world-renowned musicians, authors, or painters, but that hasn’t stopped any of us from loving to do what we do.  Creating.  Trying. Failing. But getting right back up.

#5 Human

This one might seem a bit odd.  And in all honestly, it is challenging to even fully understand what I’m aiming at.  But all I know about these various individuals of whom I have spoken of is that they are all very human.  They recognize their own flaws.  Perhaps are short sighted and judgmental.  Unsure. But they are giving and honest. Willing. Hungry. Paradoxically enough, it is in their personal creations that they express universal meanings and seem to go beyond themselves.  Perhaps it is that the most creative of us are really just the most human.

So there you have it.  My 5 traits of creativity.  I didn’t want to provide you with just another list borrowed from the Internet because creativity is personal (there’s a freebee).  And what’s personal if not real?

#RGVCreates #CreativeLife #RealLife #LifeCreates

1 Names used in this article have been changed to protect the identity of the individuals mentioned.