What is creativity? And how does it feel?

Moji Salehi Lampshade Making Academy

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

-Thomas Merton

What is creativity? And how does it feel? 

It’s hard to put into words what creativity is like. Artists have described the creative process as like being on an island in the storm, or like hearing music in the silence. For me, it’s a place of sanctuary and peace where the real world doesn’t touch me. It doesn’t even have to be a certain type of creativity – we might think of painting, poetry, music or writing – but the world has as many creative pursuits as there are stars in the sky.

Creativity doesn’t have to happen in my studio. I can be tinkering with jewellery in my home studio or walking through a home visualising a new interior design look for a client, and it strikes. All I know is that when I allow the part of me that wants to create, be free, magic happens. 

Yes, it’s hard to put creativity into words. But we’re all humans, and we all have it – that desire to make, to create, and to leave something of ourselves behind in the world. It’s not exclusive to artists, writers, poets and musicians. We have it inside us. In childhood, we connect very deeply to our creative selves. Think about children in a nursery class – if they’re given a palette of paint, will any of them push it away? Or will they be irresistibly drawn to the potential the squishy colourful stuff offers? 

Sometimes we can feel like that part of us gets lost. Life throws so many things at us that can make finding time and space for creating difficult. In non-pandemic times when you’re spending your days at an office job, making a long commute, looking after children or caring for others, it can be so hard to make space for your creative side to flourish. Since Covid-19 brought endless lockdowns and challenges, it has been even harder! But for us to be at our most balanced and happy, the creative side of our brain needs some form of nourishment – whether that’s getting on the floor to draw with your children, writing short stories on your lunch break, or attending an evening zoom floristry class with friends!

It’s the reason why art therapy is so popular and important. Why children undergoing difficult experiences are encouraged to draw, and adults undergoing therapy are given journals. Creativity plays a profound role in stabilising our mental health. But it isn’t all about making difficult times better. I love my making equally when it comes from a place of joy. Those rare days when I can stand in front of my canvas, paintbrush in hand and let everything flow from my brush…there’s no other feeling like it. It’s magic and peace all wrapped into one. 

I started Moji Designs because I am passionate about bringing that feeling to others through workshops and classes. I teach lampshade making because it offers so much – a chance to work creatively, to learn new skills, and make something beautiful to enrich your life and home. There are so many chances in the classes to use your inspiration in your making. You can use an old frame, giving it new fabric and bringing it back to life. Or choose a vintage fabric – perhaps from an old dress or curtains – and repurpose them. And though the final product is certain to be beautiful, it’s about more than that – it’s about the journey you take to get there. 

In Covid-19 we are committed to making creativity accessible for everyone – no matter where you are. We are now offering virtual classes, and we are soon going to be releasing an online course, making it possible to join in from the comfort and safety of your own home. 

As Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of Eat Pray Love) says: ‘Art doesn’t have to be amazing, it just has to be authentic.’ Finding happiness and peace through creativity is our goal at Moji Designs and my own personal goal in my everyday life!

Join us, and find your joy too.