creativity and an assignment

April 14th, 2014


I’ve been thinking of writing more about creativity on the blog. I’m not quite sure how to start. Even though (god help me) I have a degree in philosophy, I feel rather silly saying, “And now we will discuss the nature of creativity!” But at the same time, that is what I need–someone telling me what to do, a place to start. There is so much to talk about and creativity is so hard to pin down.

People think creativity is a thing you have or your don’t have, like blue eyes or curly hair. There is even this trend to say you are part of the creative class or that you are “a creative.” Oh barf. I think simply being a human being means you have to be creative: to stay alive, to raise your kids, to like your job, to get dinner on the table every night. But recognizing your creativity, understanding how it works, and accessing it is difficult. It’s like a muscle and muscles get weak when we don’t use them. 

creative assignment: egg

So I might wax poetic (ha!) about creativity in a few posts, but I’d also like to hand out creative assignments, to get your creative muscles working. Think of me as your creative trainer. We’re not going to do the equivalent of some hard-core, sweaty workout. We’re just going to remind ourselves we still have the [creative] muscles. Ok enough of the gym metaphor, it’s making me feeling guilty for not working out.


The assignment is pretty simple: we are going to turn a picture into an egg. Go to your pinterest page and click on your pins (if you don’t have an account you can use mine). You shouldn’t be on a specific board, just the place where all your most recent pins are. Mine is pictured below. Now go to the 12th pin.

creative assignment: egg

It’s not super clear what order the photos are in but it doesn’t matter, just count to 12 however and stop. My 12th pin was this one:

carnival outfit by eva maria

An awesome carnival outfit made by Eva Maria. Now take the photo you got and decorate an egg inspired by it. You can decorate an actual egg or drawn one or sew one or… Whatever! Be creative! Now this is an assignment, so it has to have a due date. Let’s say Thursday (April 17th). Let’s give it a hashtag too:


Post a picture of your egg on Instagram, on the Elsie Marley Facebook page, on your Facebook page, your blog. Whatever. The point of these exercises is to do a little something and then  put it out there.  Got it? Okay, go!


Posted in creativity.

18 Responses to creativity and an assignment

  1. Tara says:

    I don’t know how you thought this up, but it’s fun! Nice thoughts on creativity too. I think humans are inherently creative. In the literal sense of the word….we are driven to create and make order of things.

  2. Becky M says:

    I love this! What a great idea. I may have to send this idea to all those people who always say to me, “oh, i’m so not creative”. lol

  3. christina says:

    “People think creativity is a thing you have or your don’t have, like blue eyes or curly hair. There is even this trend to say you are part of the creative class or that you are “a creative.” Oh barf. I think simply being a human being means you have to be creative.” Yes! Yesyesyes! I’m so excited about this series!

  4. annri says:

    this is going to be great! thanks for the initiative.

  5. Janome Gnome says:

    *Raises hand in front row of class*
    I think you should watch this:
    (I know it’s a TED talk and I’m slightly (probable overly cynically) suspicious of them because I have a feeling we all have the same feeling when we watch them, which makes me … suspicious… but…. anyway….).
    I heard it ages ago, and Benjamin Zander is wonderful as a creator and a communicator.. and it just popped into my head when I read your post. What he says about the process of learning classical music just seemed to apply to what you were saying about creativity in general. The section about how nobody is tone deaf really struck a chord. And the implications and the mindsets and the options… all very relevant in a way. And he’s terribly practical and tuned in.
    I hope it contributes to this discussion and, even if it doesn’t, that you enjoy it anyway. It’s a wonderful few minutes to add to a day. He’s funny too.
    Thanks. JG

  6. Michele says:

    So fun!

  7. Dear Meg, yay! I have long wished that you could mentor me. And, so, now you are. I will be traveling this week but will still attempt an egg project AND I look forward to your next assignment. Be it pushups or something different. Also, please continue the use of the words barf and the f word in your posts. It makes me laugh.

  8. Bérangère says:

    I would like to hug you for that second paragraph! Well said!! I’m not struggling with my sense of creativity. I might have more issues with how to channel it though. It’s sometimes dominating my mind and I feel like my brain can’t keep up with what I think about, see or do. I know too many people who complain that they aren’t creative or creative enough and I would like to tell them what you just wrote.

  9. Katie says:

    If I remember my college philosophy accurately, philosophers like definitions. I do, too, as they get my mind, and creative juices flowing. (Sometimes you just need a place to start.) So, here’s a pretty great definition of creativity. And in case anyone out there thinks she’s not creative, this definition should put that wet blanket to rest. (sorry for the mixed metaphor…)

    Creativity: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.

  10. Therese says:

    Just subscribed. Love being creative. When I looked at your photo, I saw a quilt which is a rut for me sometimes. I like thinking egg instead.

  11. Courtney says:

    This is such a fun idea. I’m not sure I can squeeze it in, but I did check my 12th pin. It sure would be fun!!

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