Creativity – Nature versus Nurture?

I come from two very artistically creative parents. My dad is very talented with woodwork; he not only designed, but also built, just about every piece of furniture in my parent’s house, including the kitchen and all the bathrooms.

My mom on the other hand can knit and sew like it’s no one’s business! She grew up making a lot of her own clothes (by necessity more so than by choice) and still makes us curtains, throw pillows, and Halloween costumes, among other things. She openly does not enjoy doing these things, but she does them anyways and we love her for it!

A few months back, I came across a pattern on Pinterest for a very cute, girly, ruffly, apron. I e-mailed it to my mom, knowing she could easily make it. I never heard back so I assumed she simply didn’t want to make it. Understandable, since I am well aware of how much she dislikes sewing. My heart just about melted when I opened this on Christmas Eve (yes, we open presents on Christmas Eve here, not Christmas morning…).

Beautiful apron that my mom made for me.
Beautiful apron that my mom made for me.

I was beyond excited! I mean, how cute is it! And it’s purple too. Bonus. I think it’s too cute to wear cooking and risk getting dirty, so right now it is hanging on the wall in my kitchen.

She also made this one that was initially going to be a gift for someone else, but she didn’t think it looked good enough to gift, so she kept it for herself instead.

Here's my mom doing her second favorite thing other than sewing. Just kidding.
Here’s my mom doing her second favorite thing other than sewing. […sarcasm]
Pretty talented, no?! I will eventually show you some of the incredible things she has knit me over the years too.

Since I know how much my mom dislikes sewing (and cooking!) and yet she put in all that effort for Christmas, I gladly did another painting for her when she requested it. This one was for my parent’s bedroom, to hang over their bed. Like I’ve mentioned before in this post, my mom likes much different paintings than me. Knowing this, she was very clear what she wanted me to paint for her. Based on her instructions, this is what I came up with.

The finished product on five 10x30" canvases
The finished product on five 10×30″ canvases
Panel 1
Panel 1
Panel 2
Panel 2
Panel 3
Panel 3
Panel 4
Panel 4
Panel 5
Panel 5
The painting hung up in their bedroom.
The painting hung up in their bedroom.

Now back to the title of this post, do you believe that artistic creativity stems from our nature or nurture? I believe that nature has a lot to do with it. Before I could even understand the difference between the two, I know that I liked to create things. Because of this, I was always doing just that. This innate desire caused me to practice this skill over the years, which I am sure helped improve my creativity, however, had I not had that initial interest ingrained in me, I don’t think I would have ever practiced in the first place. So basically, our nature will often predict what we nurture.

On the other hand, I think if I didn’t have this interest and my parents tried to force me to do artistic things growing up, I would have only resented it. For example, I tried karate and I absolutely hated it. I’m athletic enough that I believe I could have gotten decent at it if I stayed in it, but I don’t think I ever would have grown to actually enjoy it and intrinsically want to pursue it.

What do you think on the nature versus nurture debate? What is something you always knew you enjoyed doing and thus pursued (or didn’t enjoy but did anyways) growing up?

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10 thoughts on “Creativity – Nature versus Nurture?

  • January 14, 2013 at 5:51 pm
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    Thank you honey for your kind words

    Reply
  • January 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm
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    I think It’s a balance between the two, You need to nurture your nature. Like a plant, the seed is your nature, water and sunlight is your nurture. You cant’ have one with out the other.

    this link on Ted talks totally changed my perception of the creative process. check it out!

    http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

    P.S. Amazing as always Agata!

    Reply
    • January 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm
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      Thanks for posting that link Darren. That was a great Ted talk. I had no idea she would be such a good speaker and so interesting! Now I’m super excited for the follow up to Eat, Pray, Love. Pressure is on Elizabeth! hahaha

      I don’t assume you’ve read the book, but you should watch the movie (if you haven’t already). I’m a big fan.

      Reply
  • January 14, 2013 at 7:27 pm
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    another artist!! =) love that and think its so sweet your mom surprised you with an apron. I’ve always wanted to bust one out as I love cooking but I haven’t found the PERFECT one ha! maybe soon

    Reply
    • January 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm
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      Thanks! I was pretty excited too:) I also love cooking and was never able to find the perfect one. Even the pattern I found on Pinterest wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but my mom somehow read my mind and came up with this beauty! Good luck in your search =)

      Reply
  • January 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm
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    wow! amazing! both of my parents are artists as well, mom is a graphic design artist and dad is an illustrator. but growing up i never really created with them.. to this day we have only ever had TWO art days together as a family that didn’t even really go very well as we all migrated away from painting and into our social media devices out of boredom. So, I would say I think it comes from nature. i know a lot of others who dont have creative parents and use art as a way to escape. that also in mind, yeah, definitely would say nature.
    great post.

    Reply
    • January 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm
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      That’s really cute that you guys tried to have a family art day. Even though we’re all very creative, we all like completely different forms of art so I can’t ever see that working out for us either. We would definitely resort to our social media devices too hahah

      I never thought of those who use art as a way to escape…good point.

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Reply

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