How to be Creative Without Having to be Artistic

By: Madeleine Morren

Communications Intern

Growing up, I was always the butt of the joke in my family because I would rather go see a play, watch a movie or tour a museum than watch a football game. I come from a sports family. Three generations of quarterbacks, my mom ran marathons and my sister was a competitive cheerleader. Unfortunately I was not blessed with an athletic talent. My interests were geared more towards the arts.

Don’t get me wrong–I am no artist. Any painting or drawing of mine rivals the work of a toddler. I can’t play an instrument and the only time you will ever catch me singing is when I’m in the shower. I have two left feet so dancing is out of the question. But despite my lack of artistic talent, I still find incredible joy and influence from the creative work of others.

My greatest inspiration comes from my favorite artist and best friend, Mary Catherine Davis. I have fifteen years worth of doodles, hand-painted birthday cards, and other artistic knick-knacks she probably doesn’t even remember giving me. I have been to every dance recital, every art show and every artistic function she was featured in. She took me to my first Broadway show. She introduced me to the Dallas Museum of Art. It’s safe to say she left a lasting impact.

My form of creative expression is writing and I hope to make a career out of it someday. Although there is almost a formulaic way to write anything in the business world, what sets apart a good writer from a great writer is how well they are able to tell a story. In order to tell a good story, you need a certain level of creativity. 

Mary Catherine taught me at a very young age that creative and artistic are not synonymous. You don’t need to be an artistic prodigy to find value and meaning in art forms. I found that creativity comes through whatever inspires you. My creative inspiration came through my friend’s artwork, and through her I have found inspiration in numerous other artists, songs, paintings, dances and movements. Creative inspiration is all around us, we just have to look up every once and a while to see it.  

Now a senior art major at Ole Miss, Mary Catherine plans to attend graduate school and specialize in art therapy. She is taking her beautiful gift and using it to heal the pain of others. What could be more inspirational than that?