February 1, 2022
February 16, 2022


You are creative. Everyone is.   

How do you create?  

During middle school art class, I was not at all good at drawing bowls of fruit. From this I deduced that I was not creative. I hope that was not the message my art teacher was trying to convey. I have since learned I am creative in other ways: connecting with children, using metaphors, building PowerPoint decks. These are all part of my work. These forms of creation all have a purpose. 

Sometimes I create “purposeless” art. I refer to this as ‘art for the recycling bin.’ 

How do you feel about creating a temporary work of art? Start with various kinds of paper, add color (pens, markers, paint, etc) and ways to connect (tape, glue, stapler). Build something. Decorate it. When you are done take a little time to admire your creation. Then put it in recycling.  

“What if the process is the point?”

We tend to focus on the product of our creation. But what if the thing is not the goal? What if the process is the point? These shade huts all over the beach in Ventura CA are temporary. In time, the wind and water will scatter the bamboo. For a while, they are pretty to look at and make a fun place to hide from the sun. I imagine getting them to stand up takes a fair amount of ingenuity and experimentation.  

During the act of creating, you stretch your mind, and sometimes your muscles. You play with the materials you have on hand. You solve problems of the unusual sort. Creating for the sake of creating also allows you to be yourself. No one else will see this so you can express all of how you are in any way that feels good in the moment.  


I often crochet simple baby blankets. Sometimes I take yarn or string and crochet little baskets or bags with no pattern or purpose in mind. I pull it apart and try again. Sometimes the yarn gets wound back into a ball with nothing to show for my time. Nothing to show. My result is a moving meditation, a chance to get out of my head, the relaxation of soft yarn and pretty colors. 


How do you create? What do you get out of creating for the recycling bin? How does this sort of creation increase your resilience?  

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Laura A. Gaines