Creativity for introverts can have different meanings. In fact, not all introverts are creative. However, I bet the title has sparked your interest. Even if you don’t make a living as a full time artist, the term ‘creativity’ speaks to your Heart and Soul. And serves your mental health.
Table of Contents
Creativity for introverts: like the air we breathe and the words we don’t speak
Consider it as self-care for introverts (rather than a digital contest)
-Studies show you should create for your sanity as an introvert
Affirmations for creativity
Embracing it to become a more confident introvert
Creativity for introverts: like the air we breathe and the words we don’t speak.
Let me guess…
- You have an interest for the arts: perhaps you write in your journal or experiment with poetry.
- You’re into graphics, digital or old school with pencil and watercolors.
- Maybe you’re fascinated by the nearly limitless possibilities offered by social media and digital applications: video making, video editing, photography, collages, reels, you name it…
- You enjoy one or more of the activities above, like to play around with them but you don’t just dare call yourself a creative.
Well, my friend, there are good chances you are one. Those are some of the faces shown by creativity for introverts!
Creativity is a trait shared by many fellow introverts, along with some other common signs that help better understand introversion.
You may already have a great time experimenting with this side of you, whether you’re aware of it or not.
The way many people see it — and I agree with them — creativity for introverts is a form of self-care, both in general and for their mental health.
Considering the astounding number of thoughts we process constantly, along with emotions attached to them, it’s no wonder that we prefer reverting to creation mode rather than spoken words to express ourselves.
There’s just so much going on inside that talking to someone ‘random’ just isn’t an option. We need a way bigger outlet. We need whole Universes for it.
“We have things to say. We have thoughts and feelings that need to be let out, just like anyone else. But whereas extroverts can seemingly interact with other people with ease, have effortless conversations about anything and everything, us creative introverts are most comfortable in our creative element” Medium.com
The role of creativity for introverts? To offer a unique opportunity to express ourselves more authentically – without uttering a single word.
By making art, we’re including a substantial part of our internal world by exposing ourselves although in a much more acceptable manner (which often doesn’t entail showing our faces, goes without saying!).
It can be viewed as a fully legitimate answer to a dreaded question like: “Tell me a little bit about yourself”.
Of course, explaining it through art is ten thousand times more rewarding than having to engage in a conversation. In which case, by the way, we wouldn’t even know where to begin, were we actually asked to talk about ourselves.
OK. So… How do we define it?
Let’s have a look at a general explanation. I have selected an interesting definition offered by Richard Foster, a lecturer in management at Yale SOM and emeritus director of McKinsey & Company.
“A key to being creative, as Foster sees it, is the ability to find associations between different fields of knowledge, especially ones that appear radically different at first. The process is iterative rather than linear and requires people with curiosity, energy, and the openness to see connections where others cannot. “New solutions are often the combination of two or more existing concepts. If you had a videotape store and combine it with Amazon and Priority Mail, you get Netflix,” he says. “It’s all about constructing associative networks of ideas. That’s what you’re doing when you’re creating a business. A business is not one idea; it’s many, many ideas.”
While the scope is clearly quite ample, a few of those traits stand out as the essence of creativity for introverts: curiosity, energy, an openness to see connections. Which allows the concept to include potentially any field.
Creativity for introverts: consider it self-care a form of self care (rather than a digital contest).
While it’s exciting that it can be fuel for an entrepreneurial endeavor, creativity for introverts or anyone else shouldn’t also be necessarily associated with a financial outcome.
“Creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our ‘inner’ pool of resources – knowledge, insight, information, inspiration and all the fragments populating our minds – that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world and to combine them in extraordinary new ways.” — Maria Popova, Brainpickings
Creativity for introverts should be viewed first and foremost as a necessary outlet, a form of self-expression. A vital one, no less, since much of what introverts hold inside won’t be verbalized but more likely ‘said’ in alternative, creative ways.
Nowadays, many of us use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc… Cool ways to meet new people who share our same interests and, at the same time, digital places ruled by numbers.
We’re talking likes, follows, comments, shares, engagement. The higher your numbers, the higher your popularity. And your income, in many cases!
This is where we stumble upon and might fall prey to the concept of vanity numbers. A criterion that can make us feel loved, seen, appreciated as quickly as anxious, unworthy, not good enough. Both in digital and in real life.
If our numbers are low or struggle to go up, we wonder if our creativity is worth anything at all. Should we decide not to share it online, would it even exist? It could ruin the magic of creativity for introverts, indeed.
Admit it: have you ever told yourself any of the following? I know I have, and it’s exhausting!
“I should improve my creative game.
I should try out more tricks,
make better videos,
have clearer sound quality,
think of more engaging graphics”
These expectations shift the focus from the fire inside to what will supposedly work best. In a vain attempt to finally – hopefully! — receive the glory of being recognized and valued.
Creativity for introverts, especially sensitive ones, in the era of digital contests, could potentially be more nerve wracking than freeing. It becomes a constant race where we demand more of ourselves, in an effort to conform and be appreciated, while our originality inevitably shrinks.
Studies show you should create for your sanity as an introvert.
“Corresponding with psychology’s consensus that introverts turn inwards toward themselves in response to external stimuli, Eysenck (1994) defines creativity as “an individual cognitive process in which events occur within the person.” Additional research corroborates the link between creativity and having a strong sense of “self” and introspective behavior; West and Farr (1990) listed introversion specifically as a characteristic of creative persons.”Scholar Commons
I believe creativity for introverts is innate — at least in most of us — and must be let out somehow. It doesn’t really matter whether we admit to being creative or not. Nor does this part of our life have to be / become a job, a ‘side hustle’.
You are creative
You don’t need to monetize your creations
You don’t have to share your art in order for it to be real
Your art is deeply rewarding even if you keep it to yourself
Your art is the voice of your heart and soul
Don’t sabotage yourself
By diving deeper into the meaning and implications of creativity for introverts like you, you will slowly figure out if you are going to prefer to foster this magical side privately or share it online just for fun
or turn it into something ‘more’.
Shedding light on the subject will contribute to your mental health as well as becoming a confident introvert.
So, please don’t compromise or underestimate the power held by creativity for introverts. Outside validation can wait; also, it will never be thoroughly satisfying unless you already feel whole.
“Through the years, I have learned I am the happiest creating for myself and following my own artistic standards by exploring my own interests. If someone else along the way likes what I have created, wants to purchase my art, or is inspired by my work (and I hope they are — from afar, of course), it’s an added bonus!” Writes Jennifer Manfre on Introvert, Dear .
Affirmations for creativity.
Here are a few thoughts that might be used as affirmations, ones that support the role played by creativity for introverts. Feel free to use them if they resonate; otherwise, don’t force it.
Being creative brings me deep joy and fulfillment
I need creativity in addition to my alone time
I don’t have to label my creations
I am free to play around with different types of art
I don’t have to be the best at all/any of them
My time and efforts are valid even if I don’t make any money off them
My time and efforts are valid regardless of what I create
My time and efforts are valid for me, and that’s freaking perfect
I don’t share anything I don’t feel comfortable talking about (partners, parents, siblings, best friends included!)
When I make time for creativity I am a better person
Take a minute and observe your thoughts in reaction to the statements regarding creativity for introverts. Try and explore what comes up, see if there’s anything asking for acceptance or further investigation.
Whichever ‘make the final cut’ as your affirmations for creativity, they will contribute to living in alignment with who you are. Part of which includes being a confident introvert.
One who thrives on seconding their inclinations, the voice in the Heart, whisper of their Soul.
Creativity for introverts to become more confident.
Looking at the importance of creativity for introverts, and the many ways in which it is expressed, I realize I have always been a creative person. As a little girl, I used to spend hours drawing people (particularly my beloved, diva grandmother in a number of unflattering poses!) or sketching clothes.
Unfortunately, going to school progressively took up most of my time and energy. I gave up drawing completely, read less and less for pleasure, never wrote except for homework.
When I gained some free time back, I used it to write, take pictures while walking in nature, or do ‘nothing’.
Sadly, I was never completely OK with it; I thought I was supposed to be doing something else, something ‘real’.
Looking back, all the time I spent creating or doing nothing was like therapy. Like I said, an act of self-love. Creativity for introverts can be just that: a moment of relief and pure self-expression.
Make no mistake, though: creativity is separate from quiet time! I crave both, although I’d say that alone time cannot be negotiated because creating can be moved around or skipped without any immediate consequences.
It took more than 30 years to accept all of this. I started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel thanks to a mental/life coach.
Although she didn’t bring up introversion (I actually found out much later, thanks to online resources and a free test), she offered some of the most life-changing advice. Something that has certainly impacted my journey towards becoming a confident introvert. She told me:
“Protect and cultivate the time you spend alone, apparently doing ‘nothing’, even if you’re not ‘producing’ or ‘creating’ anything tangible. It makes you feel good and that’s what you want to do. So, why stop?”
I hope you recognize the immense power held by creativity for introverts and their mental health. I hope you are able to embrace it, especially if your relationship with it hasn’t always been smooth.
There are no perfect timelines for discovering more and more essential pieces of ourselves. It took me a lonnng time, I had to question much of who I was and had been doing, at 30+ years old!
Had I never done it, I don’t think I’d be here, quietly + proudly writing these words for you.