On Being A Creative

I realized this week, I haven’t written much on my blog since moving to St. George. Maybe it’s because I’ve started my taxi service, a.k.a. Kids n’ Carpool. Or maybe it’s because I’m working on other writing projects, and channeling my creative energies toward making STUFF. Stuff like oil paintings, building furniture, crocheting dish clothes, growing succulents, crafting bath bombs—it’s a thing. Stuff that I can point to and say, “See, I made THAT.” Because being able to point to something YOU make is incredibly rewarding. In fact, I really can’t overstate how important it is to CREATE. It’s life giving.

I say life-giving because there have been moments, patches of time in my 20 year career as a mother, where I’ve felt “less than,” where I’ve even felt…I don’t have a life. It’s scary, in a soul wrenching kind of way, to suddenly wonder what you’ve been doing with the last decade or two of your life, you know, besides cooking dinner and cleaning laundry. But if you can glance over at the windowsill and see your succulents growing, or admire the frame on your nightstand (the one where you collected shells and hot glued them together), or look up on the wall and see the shelf you mounted, using a level! It’s something! It’s evidence! You are quietly creating spaces that reflect joy and bring harmony to your home.

Being a Creative means being present and witnessing lives in action. You are the catalyst. That takes energy. And it’s not just about artwork and being crafty; you’re approaching life with a level of awareness and thought that brings meaning. You foster connections, not only between materials (i.e. blue and white pillows go good together), but with people too. Friendships bloom in your surroundings and you create flow in your family life.


Being a Creative might not be what you set out to do. No one tells their parents, while they’re forking over funds for college, “I’m going to get this degree and then go be a Creative.” The Creative’s life journey is for the uninitiated, schooled and unschooled, mother, teacher, lawyer, doctor or otherwise, the only passage necessary to board this ship is that you begin—you begin to find a life through creating.

How do you know if you’re a Creative? You might be a “Creative” if…

  • If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What am I doing with my life?”
  • If you’ve told people, “I need to find my purpose.”
  • If you’ve put your dreams on hold to make sure others live theirs.
  • If you take joy in creating spaces that nurture conversation and bring friends together.
  • If you love colors.
  • If you go to Farmer’s Markets.
  • If you treasure an antique of your grandmother’s.
  • If you like to crochet.
  • If you keep a journal.
  • If you think homemade is better than store bought.
  • If you post as many photos of food and décor as you do people.


    Table stained with Minwax in Gettysburg, Chairs painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint Barcelona Orange


What is a Creative?

It’s someone who loves to do sooooo many different things that they can’t decide what they love most, (FYI if you’re a Creative you don’t have to choose). It’s someone who creates things, little or big, out of seemingly nothing. (Dinner in a pinch, I’ll make a frittata. And if you know what a frittata is, then yes, you are a Creative!) A Creative loves to watch the sunset, but loves it even more with family and friends. A Creative might be 70, but she’s still not sure what she wants to do when she grows up *wink*. A Creative loves people. Van Gogh said, “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” (Van Gogh was a Creative).

In writing to his brother Theo, Van Gogh remarked, “I must continue to follow the path I take now. If I do nothing, if I study nothing, if I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it — keep going, keep going come what may.”

A Creative must keep going, keep nurturing, keep building. Do you want to be a Creative? Then you already are one. Keep creating, putting a life together, one day, one project, one meal on the table at a time.

With Cooper in Iraq this year, creativity has taken on new meaning for me. Living in a new city, transitioning my world, I’ve found immense comfort in working on tangible projects that bring me joy. Sure I’m busy with the kids and doing the heavy lifting of being the sole parent, even more reason to get my hands busy on some projects that enlarge my mind and feed my soul. How do I find time?

I steal it. Here a little; there a little. Time barely notices. 


I crocheted that scarf!

I strive for increments of time, not whole chunks of it. I wrote this blog on and off over the course of three days. A thought here, a quote there; I let the ether talk to me and I talked back—that’s how it works. If you have only 10 minutes you can write some thoughts, paint a board, prep veggies for dinner, redo a table setting, read some pages of a book, light candles and breathe. In 15 minutes, well, the universe can be yours.

But what is your final goal, you may ask. That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely… right now it seems that things are going very badly for me…and may continue to do so well into the future. But it is possible that everything will get better after it has all seemed to go wrong. I am not counting on it, it may never happen, but if there should be a change for the better I should regard that as a gain, I should rejoice, I should say, at last! So there was something after all!” –Van Gogh

There is something to life, something to think deeply about, wonder about, search for…there is meaning in walking the creative path, seeing more deeply the beauty of nature, family, connections. Foster it, grow it, breath it.


Arrangement and photo credit Kim Pauling, my sister in law is a Creative too.

The next time someone wants to know who I am, what I do, what’s my job title, I will say, “I am a Creative.” If they ask what that is, I’ll say, someone who specializes in creative living, designing spaces for life flow and connection. If they look puzzled, I’ll smile wide and let them know if they’re interested, they should Google it. (They might just find this blog.)


9 Comments on “On Being A Creative

  1. I got all of the criteria except two–I don’t keep a journal and I don’t post food pictures. As a writer, my drawings are with words and my goal is still unclear. No worries. I have lots of time!

  2. Lana my friend!!! You know I love this, and yes I am a creative. I have found so much freedom in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic and her Facebook posts (funnily enough). I think you were the first one who told me about her.. and I am so thankful. So glad to read this update about you, I have thought often about you, the kids and Cooper. I LOVE the table!!!

    • Thanks Devi! I’m so glad you found Big Magic to be as freeing as I did. That was a turning point for me. I’ve since been able to allow myself the joy of creativity and to embrace my messy and spontaneous life. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Lana, I love this entry! It’s so “you”–creative, colorful, inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and talent and family and life in St. George. I think of you often–and with great warmth. Polly

    • Thank you Polly!! As I approach a move this summer to Oman I’m embracing my creative self, accepting life as adventures come:) I hope to stop by and see you this summer before our move!

  4. Ahhh- I am basking in this beautiful breath of fresh air! Your uplifting and motivating writings is exactly the boost I needed today, as I feel a tinge of the “where-is-my-place?”-blues. I crave speaking and exploring and designing all things creative with you, Lana, and you have sparked many new ideas within my soul. The fact that you fit these tangible expressions – even minutes at a time – into your life is so motivating to me!
    Once, when I was struggling, feeling I had nothing new to add to the burgeoning world of design, you gave me wise counsel (that has resonated long since) (but probably said in a much more literate and poetic way) (or rather most definitely). You expressed that EVERYone has something original to offer the world. We are each unique and special in our divine makeup, as literal children of God (the ultimate Creator of the vast heavens and our precious earth). If we are creative, or artistic (or musical or talented or a baker or can keep plants from dying an untimely death) we have a duty to share these gifts with each other. I mean, where would WE all be without our Creative Soul Leader Lana? Keep sharing, Lana! (especially that oil painting of the trail behind your house…hint hint…my birthday is coming up…not really, but I’d still love a LKW Original…)

    • Thank you Jenn. Your words always bring me clarity and insight. You are the Creative Whisperer:) Count on an LKW original!!

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