In my 2004 e-book, the Creativity Interviews, I asked 7 questions about the creative process to 19 creative artists from a variety of disciplines.

One of these questions was "what does creativity bring to your life?"

As I'm looking through the answers with new eyes, themes start to pop up in front of me. As you read through these broad themes, and the actual phrases spoken by the artists in the book, consider which ones you identify with most.

Creativity brings adventure, affects my whole life and what's "out there"

Artist spoke of a sense of "exploration", "spontaneity" and "adventure", and that their creativity "brings life to whatever I'm doing". They felt the effects of their creativity on other parts of their life, giving them "unique problem solving opportunities" and "energizing my relationships".

Creativity brings opportunities for self-discovery of what's "in here"

Artists appreciated the "heightened awareness" and increased ability to "understand myself".

Creativity brings connections to people, both in and out of my "tribe"

"I feel I’m part of a tribe of free people" was how one artist expressed this sense of connection and of being understood when they're around other artists. Another artist recognized their creativity as a "gift I can share with others" – fulfilling the desire for connection in a way that's natural and enjoyable for the artist.

These are hopeful points, considering how isolated and misunderstood many artists feel.

Creativity brings a spiritual connection

Themes of spirituality such as "gratitude", "purity" and "essence" could be heard in some of the answers from artists. One claimed creativity gives them "a glimpse of the spiritual realm", and another described creativity as "a soulful experience".

There was also the idea that creativity brings "a connection to something larger than myself", and "the feeling that I'm 'in the zone', in the flow of life". Many of us connect to our spirituality most easily through being in nature. One artist found that creativity brings a "freedom to recreate what I see in nature".

I think one artist summed up the link between creativity and spirituality by answering with one word: "wonder".

Creativity brings an awakening, a jarring, a sense of delicious discomfort

Though I only heard one answer that fit into this theme – one artist felt that creativity brought a "discontinuity" to their life – I included it because it really interested me.

What about those moments of torment – before the dissonant chord resolves itself, before the elements and colours of a painting "come together", before the ideas for a story or article make any sense.

And what about the plain fact that there is ALWAYS something we won't know how to do, always something more to learn, always a creative idea who's execution is out of our reach because our skills haven't caught up to it yet. Is that partly what keeps us going?

Creativity brings a return to home, a "normalcy"

"Creativity IS my life" and "creativity is unavoidable". For one artist, creativity is "a reason to live", and for another "it helps me live". Creativity is what we know, and when we're expressing it our TRUE selves are shining through. As one artist commented, it's a "relief".

Another artist noted that creativity often brings "more creativity". Which make perfect sense when you apply the law of attraction – the principle that states that whatever you focus on is what you'll attract into your life.

Creativity brings a sense of self-worth and identity

For the artists I spoke to, creativity brings a "reward", "satisfaction", "pride" and "accomplishment" It contributes to their "self-esteem" and "sense of self and identity".

For artists, who often feel so misunderstood and different from other people, creativity provides "a way of explaining myself to the world". Creativity celebrates the fact that we're different, by showing us "a sense of purpose" and "a sense of my uniqueness".

One artist said that creativity "puts me in touch with the core and essence of my being".

Creativity heals me

As a music therapist, this theme was not surprising to me. Not only are the arts amazing therapeutic tools to use in treatment, creativity can be extremely therapeutic for the person expressing it.

Some of the therapeutic benefits of creativity that the artists shared with me were "relaxation", "centeredness", "possibility", "hope" and "connection with self". Creativity "lifts me from my sorrows" and is "a way to translate my hopes & feelings."

Creativity brings happiness, energy and power

The "endorphin rush" that one artist described was echoed by many as "joy", "energy, vitality – it’s a rush", "pleasure", "magic", "fullness", "happiness", "passion" and "a high". Creativity is "uplifting & motivating" and gives "the impetus to push further" and "a sense of power".

What does creativity bring to YOUR life? What do you miss the most when you're not actively expressing your creative ideas? What's the first thing you notice that changes in your life when you're in the "creative flow"?

Naming the gifts of your creativity can help to re-ignite your passion for your creative work and can excite you into courageous action. Thinking about these gifts can also put a mysterious smile on your face while you're traveling through the other parts of your life.

Whatever you're doing – whether it's taking care of life's little details and obligations or taking care of other people's needs – you can remind yourself that you're one of the lucky ones with access to creativity. You have this incredible source of adventure, self-discovery, connection, spirituality, awakening, normalcy, self-worth, identity, healing, happiness, energy and power.

This article originally appeared on the Creativity Portal website in August 2005.

© Linda Dessau, 2005.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for your complimentary copy of the popular e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting