Creativity is like a puppy

Creativity is like a puppy | rhianna olivia

I distinctively remember my GCSE Art classes. One in particular. I told my art teacher I was struggling. I couldn’t think of anything. My imagination had run out. I thought it made me a failure.

He told me two things. First of all, he told me I was a creative person and every creative person in the entire Universe doubts their creativity sometimes.

Secondly, he told me that I had to think of creativity as something I had to nurture.

He said creativity is like a puppy.

He said if I had a puppy, I wouldn’t just ignore it and leave it to fend for itself – I’d look after it, feed it, walk it, nurture it. He told me to always compare my creativity to a puppy.

If I wanted to be a creative person, if I wanted my imagination to soar, I had to nurture it. Look after it. As if it were something in my care. He said if I wanted to be a creative person, I’d need to train my creativity like I’d train a puppy. It would take practice, it would take frustration and it would take a lot of treats. But, the more I trained it, the better a companion it would be.

I’ll never forget that advice.

I’ve been neglecting my creativity. I’ve been leaving it in a corner to fend for itself, not walking it, not feeding it and certainly not training it. I’ve been blaming things both that deserve blaming and that don’t.

I mean god, I’ve only “properly” picked up a pencil once since long before I graduated. (See the, admittedly kind of crappy quality, Instagram screenshot above.) Other than that – nothing since University. And even at University, that wasn’t me nurturing my creativity. That was me knocking out a quick sketch to meet a deadline in the hopes of not failing. I haven’t “properly” picked up a pencil or a paintbrush more than once since A Level Art and man, I miss it.

I get this creative itch sometimes.

Sat at my desk at work, listening to the tip-tap-tap of keyboards, the buzz of people on the phones and the faint sound of a kettle boiling through the door to the kitchen next to my desk, I get an itch.

Sometimes, the itch is gone as quickly as it appeared. Sometimes, it lasts until lunchtime when I can write. Sometimes, writing isn’t enough and I want to order a truck filled with paint, paper and brushes, sit on the floor, creating anything with a fresh pot of tea at my side and my hands covered in every colour paint imaginable.

At this moment in time, I can’t fully satisfy the last itch. I live in someone else’s house with very little space, so painting/creating on a large scale currently isn’t an option. Though I can doodle, I can sketch, I can write. I think it’s time for me to stop saying “I can’t”, just because one outlet isn’t available, and start nurturing my creativity again in ways that are possible.

Then, in the new year, when we move, I can break out the big guns. I can buy watercolours and oil paints and sketchbooks and canvases and I can find time to rediscover my creativity. I will be able to find time to lure it out of the corner it’s been shoved in, stroke it’s hair, feed it something hearty, take it on a long walk and nurture it the way it deserves to be nurtured.

Heck, if I create something I deem worthwhile then who knows, I may even start selling some of it.

The world will be my oyster.

And I can’t wait.



  1. Beauty and the Ballroom
    7th January 2018 / 4:19 pm

    I love the link to a puppy, its so true! Creativity in all forms needs nurturing like that I guess whether its painting, drawing, photography or blogging, well, anything really!! I hope you get back to it fully xx

  2. Ellie Miller
    17th October 2017 / 10:14 am

    I hate that- it is like writing block for artists. I love being creative but i do 100% have to be in the right mood.
    elle x

  3. Jess Acorn
    23rd August 2017 / 2:23 pm

    I’ve never heard any advice like this before but it makes perfect sense and you’ve just inspired a creative itch in me, I’ll be making a conscious effort to nurture my creativity from now on!

    Jess x

  4. 23rd August 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I totally agree. The same goes for writing. I find if I don’t read a lot, it really reflects in my writing – so I make sure I’m consuming a lot of high quality literature at all times and it totally reflects in ALL of my writing – fiction, non-fiction and academic.

    Sharni xo
    A Girl & Grey

  5. Yasmin
    21st August 2017 / 5:14 pm

    Great advice from your art teacher, it’s always great to nurture your creativity – stops you from feeling drained from life. sounds like a good plan for you!

    Yasmin x
    The Sweet Seven Five

  6. 18th August 2017 / 2:51 pm

    I am so envious of people who can create gorgeous artwork! It’s a skill I definitely covet. Although I am creative, I am only creative when it comes to words and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough. I’m sure you can find time and space to let your creative side out, and I look forward to seeing your creations :) x x

  7. 17th August 2017 / 4:07 pm

    I love this. I sometimes feel as though I’m not very creative, as I really can;t draw for toffee. but then creativity comes in many forms – blogs, photography, interiors, style, food…the list goes on! Alice xxx

  8. 17th August 2017 / 1:58 pm

    I love this analogy! What a great way to look at it. :) you’re very creative and I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

    Sarah x

  9. 16th August 2017 / 5:09 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful teacher and what a lush way to look at creativity! I missed being creative – it’s so nice to get back into blogging finally! xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

  10. 16th August 2017 / 10:21 am

    What a lovely way to look at creativity. Hopefully moving into your own space will give you the freedom to paint and sketch to your hearts content!

    Amy x

  11. Steph Coulton
    16th August 2017 / 4:13 am

    Just imagining you at the biggest craft table, like Paris from Gilmore Girls, just crafting in the middle of the night.
    Of course, your craft table will feature everything from the Salts Mill Art shop, naturally.

    I love this advice, I think being more creative makes you happier too!

  12. Shannon Clark
    15th August 2017 / 8:51 pm

    That is such a lovely way to think of creativity! I’m definitely going to keep that in mind. Good luck with the move too!

  13. Chloe
    15th August 2017 / 8:00 pm

    What a lovely way to think of creativity, after reading this I’m going to make sure to take more care of my creativity :) x

  14. 15th August 2017 / 7:02 pm

    This is one of the best analogies i’ve ever heard! Creativity is like a puppy :) I especially love the part about “walking it”, as they do say creativity can spark when you get outdoors – why i love dog walks so much, if i need to clear my mind.

    Creativity for me has been a godsend for my wellbeing and sense of self. I know that, if i go just a few days without drawing or crochet i miss it so much. I took my yarn on holiday and knitted by the pool! I got a couple of stares, but why should that matter? Creativity is THERE TO BE SPARKED. Can’t wait to see you share more of your creative work :)

    Bumble and Be

  15. Courtney Hardy
    15th August 2017 / 6:29 pm

    That advice is really awesome. It is like a puppy if you think about it, I’ve never thought about it in that perspective before. But I really hope you can gain your creativity back!

  16. Abi Street
    15th August 2017 / 5:22 pm

    Love the advice he gave you. I have never thought of it like that but it makes perfect sense x

    Abi | abistreetx

  17. 15th August 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Such a great piece of advice and something I really needed to hear. For so long I’ve been feeling lost, with my writing, my creativity and I still haven’t figured how to get back to the old me who LOVED being creative who loved to write. I think I’m going to need to start doing this to! training myself, feeding my creativity again!

  18. 15th August 2017 / 10:20 am

    What a great piece of advice – your GCSE art teacher sounds wonderful! Loved this post, I feel like I’m failing at being creative recently but this made me feel all positive about nurturing that side of myself. Can’t wait to see what you create! xxx

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

  19. Natasha Nuttall
    15th August 2017 / 9:48 am

    I feel you girl! I constantly feel like I’m not being creative enough – I need more hours in the day so that the pressure is off & I can just do it for fun. Good luck lady :)

  20. 15th August 2017 / 7:11 am

    I loved my GCSE art classes – the only subject where I could lose myself in the homework for hours and hours in the evening! Before university I was at my happiest surrounded by my colouring pencils and sketchbooks. At university other things took over and I definitely feel like I lost my creativity. Nowadays even when I want to get sketching again, I’m lost and don’t know where to begin. I think that like a puppy, I need to just give my creativity a chance to play!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog