Human beings are all creative. We tend to think the children at school who are great at drawing or who can write a good story are the creative ones but research shows that we are all creative. It is a key characteristic of being human and helps us to be successful and fulfilled as individuals.
Being creative means thinking about things in a different or new way; be it problem solving, experiences or the more obvious skills such as design, painting or writing.
With children, encouraging them to use their imagination and think about things in a new way is so important for their mental development. It frees the mind, helps them to problem solve, gives them confidence in their own abilities and increases their self-esteem. Helping them to believe that they can do anything is a key early lesson. Creative outlets can also help to overcome anxiety and enable children to express their thoughts and emotions more easily.
Whatever your child is passionate about, they will spend hours happily engaged in that activity and that is when creativity flows. The challenge in today’s world of tablets and phones is balancing different pursuits that engage young minds and flex all their creative muscles.
I was fortunate to live in various countries as a child and to travel with my family and these experiences, along with what I read, visit and see have helped to hone my creativity. I am hugely interested in the arts and I interned for Andy Warhol, a very long time ago! As a Trustee of the Royal Academy, I am able to indulge my love of art through the ages and have taken time with my own children to help them appreciate art from a young age. Critical thinking and close observation are not only helpful in the arts but are skills that can be applied to most other subjects too, becoming life-long skills.
My creativity also finds its outlet in my childrenswear company Marie-Chantal. Each season we create new collections that are inspired by my life and travels.
I have books across many genres from art and fashion design to favourite children’s novels. For our Autumn Winter collection, memories of reading the tales of Narnia took me back to the far off world of hidden forests and woodlands and inspired a print collection drawn from flora and fauna. I have always loved drawing and enjoy sketching our print designs before seeing them translated on to the fabrics. I love all the details – from the cut to the trims, the photography and how the collection is merchandised in our store.
I was very involved in the design of our flagship store on Motcomb Street, Belgravia and we have recently opened a showroom in New York. Designing is a constant process and one that gives me such a buzz. Let me know what fuels your creativity.