Young People & Creativity

– Lauryn

I define creativity as the belief in something which does not yet exist.

An old friend of mine studying Biomedical Sciences took up painting while at university. She said it was the outlet she felt she needed but other commitments (namely, her degree) saw her unable to attend more than a few initial sessions. When we were young, we both took music lessons; piano for me, violin for her. As the years went by, I picked up new instruments and crafts while she dropped music lessons for other pursuits. This is something that, in my experience, is viewed as normal with only a select ‘gifted’ few continuing and honing their artistic skills into young adulthood.

So many young people (well, people in general) don’t see themselves as ‘creative’ (whatever that means…), segregating themselves into categories of possessing either a scientific or artistic mind. The two are not mutually exclusive. Even the so-called ‘artistic-encephalon-havers’ can find themselves lost in a sea of people who are ‘better than’ them and a box of expectations. This isn’t helped by an uninspired curriculum where performing and visual arts are watered down into learning outcomes and teachers who use suppletive adjectives (good and bad) to describe the work of students. Art by its very nature is subjective and no education system that judges solely based on these cucumber-like syllabuses and puts pressure on teachers by pushing for good stats in ‘soft subjects’ can adequately serve and nurture the creativity within all young people.

While the value of artistic skills shouldn’t be measured on their capacity for monetisation, today, there are increasingly creative jobs across all sectors – the arts are the future in so many industries! We all deserve an outlet for expression and should be allowed (whether by others or ourselves) the time and space to explore our innate creativity, independent of making money from it.