Twyla Tharp, in her book The Creative Habit, includes a questionnaire as a tool for self-discovery.

‘Most people… take their urges, their biases, their work habits for granted. …If you understand the strands of your creative DNA you begin to see how they mutate into common threads in your work.’

I encourage you to take the questionnaire with me. Here are my first two answers.

  1. What is the first creative moment you remember?

I sat at me desk with my back to the window in my third grade classroom. That year we wrote a lot of autobiographical stories on specially-lined paper, the kind with the wide lines that have a dotted line in the middle to guide you with the line height of your letters. We were making little booklets of our writing to take home to our parents. I only vaguely remember writing. What I do remember is sitting at my desk, in full concentration making the covers for the booklets. For one, I painstakingly wrapped little individual squares of tissue paper around the eraser-end of my pencil to glue them on a piece of construction paper to make a red tulip that I had drawn in pencil. I loved how I could piece together little pieces of color to make an image that was raised from the surface of the paper. I loved the texture it created and the contrast of the rich colors of the tissue paper against the dull construction paper.

  1. Was anyone there to witness it or appreciate it?

My mom bought cardboard display boxes that had clear plastic lids in which she placed some of the booklets. They hung in the hallway on the wall outside my bedroom. My tulip’s tissue paper was crushed by the plastic lid making the colored pieces look more like little knots than the fluffy tufts that I liked, but I was ok with that. My booklets were hanging on the wall in their own frames with the covers under clear protective covering. This made them special and important. They hung there for years and I loved seeing them as I walked to and from my room.

What is your first creative memory? Please tell me in a comment.

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