Cracking the Myths of Creativity

There are a lot of myths related to creativity. You don’t need to be a musician or an artist to be creative. Creativity is much broader than that. Creativity can be expressed with different forms of art but creativity is not art – it’s a mindset. Creativity is especially impactful in surroundings that are not naturally seen as creative because the impact of finding your kind of creativity is even more significant when it adds on a particular unexpected layer.

You might feel that creating change isn’t possible for you, but that’s not true. A lot of people are held back and not bringing the creative spark into their lives because of more or less imaginary obstacles. I want to help you to see that all of this is possible. Ignoring or overcoming the barriers will help you to not only change your life but impact the lives of many others.

 

Myth 1. This is only possible for people with special creative skills, and I am not creative.

 

There is no such thing as creative or non-creative people,
only people who use their creativity and people who don’t.

Brené Brown

You might not score high in creativity and imagination in a personality test like WorkplaceBig Five / Big Five or Enneagram but be able to be creative despite of that. When you are curious and operate through your strengths with ease, believing that you can do it, a change is possible. Start by seeing the possibilities instead of the obstacles and feel the bubbly energy of creativity. It is in you. It may require some digging to truly feel it and make it real, but it is in you.

Myth 2. It requires a lot of money to create inspiring events and creative things.

Many of the biggest projects I did had zero budget. The key is to find collaboration partners who are willing to give their expertise or to sponsor or sell their services or products. It is interesting what you can receive by just bravely asking. If you can paint a vivid picture of something that is about to take place, many people will want to be involved. If you have a great cause or purpose for your actions, you will be surprised at how easy it is to involve people. 

When organising Children’s Dream events in my neighbourhood, I got everyone involved when I asked. I even got someone to compose a song for the event just by asking if he would like to do it. 

When organising fascinating events in my violin shop gallery, I have brought together interesting people in a unique space. I didn’t need to pay for food for the event because we had a pop-up restaurant each time, and the pop-up restaurant sold the food there. It brought a special extra element to the event, but it didn’t require any investment on my part. We have also brought in a pop-up flower shop, jewellery shop, barbershop, fashion show etc. and all of these elements brought excitement to the events but didn’t cost us any money.

At a big IT company where I worked, we gathered together a network of internal coaches and created a massive coaching program that had a big impact, also without hiring external coaches. The price was the time put in, but bringing together coaches from Finland, Sweden, The Czech Republic, Latvia and India created a big impact on the organisation. With the leadership teams, we utilised also external coaches.

A lot of marketing can today be done for free on social media platforms. We have new tools to use that helped us do marketing for the right target groups, either for free or at a low cost. And utilising AI tools can give a significant help in generating ads or other marketing content.

When thinking out of the box, a lot can be done, either totally without cost or with low cost.

 

Myth 3. It requires a special time and place to be creative and I don’t have the time.

One of the biggest myths related to creativity is that everything creative requires a special calm time and place for it. That can feel depressing if you are not in a state of mind or place in your life where you have time for calm creating either because of too much work, small children, worries or something else that is distracting your peace. 

Actually creativity thrives many times in pressure and in difficult situations. My publisher Leila Green, who eventually wasn’t part of the publishing process as she gave birth to triplets (!), wrote one year after the birth of her triplets that the first year as a triplet mum made her more creative. Hell yes! You have to. My husband upgraded his stringed instrument rental business to cover up for the black hole he got on his shoulders when he lost his house to mould. Under pressure, he just had to do it.

Many of the creative things I have done, either within my official work platform or in my spare time, were done in collaboration with other parties. When everyone brings their expertise to the table, you can share the time used.

When I was involved in neighbourhood activism, the founder of the network said that he used to say that if you gave a task to a busy man then it got done, but after having worked with me, he says, ‘Give the task to the mother of small children and it gets done.’ 

I organised events during the nap times of my children. I contacted people when it was suitable for me and wrote a message now and then, sometimes in the evening before going to bed, sometimes first thing in the morning. I do not suggest that you should work night and day. What I am saying is that part of the ease comes from doing your things at times that suit you. Bit by bit, junction by junction. Don’t expect it all to be done at once, instead break it down into pieces. 

Some time management or structuring tools may be helpful. Some people like an Excel spreadsheet, others like Asana or the Kanban board to be on top of things. It is good to know what you have going on and what needs to be taken care of. A structured approach doesn’t kill creativity but gives space and time for it. 

I highly recommend everyone to take time for creating and to leave some time for leisure and for being bored in their calendar. When you get bored creativity fires up. But creativity can as well thrive under pressure or in any collaboration. You can also have amazing creative ideas while being busy with something else. You just have to get open to seeing the creative possibilities placed in front of you on a silver plate.

 

Myth 4. I need a big network to bring people together.

A big network helps in getting your message out through different channels, but what is most important is curiosity, an open mindset and bravely in contacting people.

I have contacted people that I have never met, having only read about them in articles or seen them on the socials, and just reached out to them to bring in their art to my gallery or for other expertise. People are, in general, very taken to be noticed and invited to interesting events. If you present your offering in an interesting way, most people want to hear more about it, and many say ‘yes’ right away. My perspective is always that it needs to feel right and light for every party. It needs to feel that it gives more than it takes, and I am vocal about that. It is in general something that speaks to people. They know that I am not there to exploit them, but instead to give them a new experience or a platform for creativity.

You don’t need to count the hours you have worked but the impact you made. How you make people feel is what matters.

Maija Fast - CREATE

Myth 5. It cannot be done with ease, anything proper requires hard work.

Hard work is relative. You have a lot of expertise in your repertory, that has been developed throughout the years. You did not receive your expertise for free but have worked to come to the point where you are. However, being impactful doesn’t always require hard work or even long training. You don’t need to count the hours you worked, but the impact you made. How you make people feel is what matters. If you can change how someone feels, it is hugely impactful. If you can change the path an organisation is taking it’s impactful. It may be a long journey, but small insights may take people and organisations to new spheres.

That’s why coaching is so impactful; any small insight can grow into a huge change in a human being’s life.

Start taking the steps and you will notice that you have it all in you. Sometimes I feel with coaching clients that they do not need me; they have it all in them already. Eventually, that is all that I have to do: remind them of their worth. Sometimes small things done with ease are very significant and sometimes you can move mountains with ease. With the right attitude.

 

This blog post is modified on the basis of the chapter 3. Cracking the Myths in CREATE Crack the Cast – Become the Creative Leader You Want to Be.

Maija Fast is an author, speaker and certified business coach (ACC, ICF) who is on a mission to give creativity and creative people the value they deserve in working life.

CREATE book launch by Maija Fast

CREATE book launch by Maija Fast

  The book launch event of Maija Fast's CREATE Crack the Cast - Become the Creative Leader You Want to Be took place in the violin shop gallery on January 27th 2023. The event was a huge success with the art exhibition opening of Jenni Emilia, music by Nana Yhtye...

read more
Imagine Music by Dasha Pears

Imagine Music by Dasha Pears

The Imagine Music art exhibition by Dasha Pears opened with a very special event. We had the pleasure to enjoy probably the first ever catwalk fashion show in a violin shop by the very talented Juulia Peuhkuri. Juulia's dresses were featured in Dasha's Imagine...

read more
Creatures of Nature exhibition

Creatures of Nature exhibition

The beautiful Creatures of Nature art exhibition was opened with a warm event Friday 16th August. Creatures of Nature is collaboration between two artists: international award winning photographer Mikaela Holmberg and award winning floral artist Päivi Lehti. They work...

read more

Crack the Cast and Unleash Your Creativity

  • Do you feel that you have more to give than your organisation is ready for?
  • Are you frustrated that day-to-day creativity and innovation are not championed even though they are touted as strategic objectives?
  • Do you want to be your authentic self at work and embrace your strengths?

I have a passion for helping you, your team and your organisation to find your kind of creativity. I have noticed while working in many different fields internationally that the people who were the most creative were greeted with open arms into organisations. Everybody wanted to have their share of the sparkly, creative energy that they brought in. But when there starts to be a possibility for change happening, influenced by their creative energy, the resistance begins. I have seen as a leader and coach so many creative people being first very excited, then feeling defeated, and then moving on – only to find the same pattern being repeated in the new organisation.

 

How can you play with your strengths and be the best, creative version of yourself?

 

The Leading Creativity blog is written based on my book CREATE Crack the Cast – Become the Creative Leader You Want to Be. My target is to take creative people and leaders from feeling inadequate and wrong to the point where they can see their strengths and worth through self-knowledge and respect, whilst keeping an open mindset. 

This blog series and my book can also lure out your creativity if you are fighting against it, thinking that you are not creative. Find your creativity. When you are there, you are ready to enable and lead others creatively by respecting the strengths of others and seeing endless opportunities. I am on this journey, and I am happy to guide you along your way too.

Creativity is mentioned in all lists of most important future working skills and yet it is, in my experience, undervalued in business organisations. Every organisation claims to be innovative, but are the organisation cultures supporting innovation? A lot of knowledge and skills are underused when people try to be something they are not. When you get the real strengths of people being used, both people and organisations thrive. 

Creativity is not something soft and fluffy, but a hardcore skill that provides organisations with innovative solutions. Creativity can be expressed through painting or music or in other artistic ways, but creativity is not art – it is a mindset. It is also not something that you have or don’t have. You can practice using your creativity and become the spark that your surroundings or organisation needs to blossom and succeed.

There is no such thing as creative or non-creative people,
only people who use their creativity and people who don’t.

Brené Brown

 

I want to show you the value of embracing your creativity. You can have a huge impact on your surrounding when you know yourself and your strengths and utilise them creatively. The impact is even bigger when you inspire and enable others to create too.

How do you start to embrace your creativity?

I have crafted the CREATE model to help you lead creatively in all spheres of life. You don’t need to have a leader title to lead creatively in your surrounding. When you unleash the CREATE energy and mindset you will be guaranteed to have a lot of fun. And that is infectious. You will get your team and surroundings to work with you.

Are you ready to join me?

To become a creative leader you have to take the six steps to creative leadership:
1. C – curiosity
2. R – respect yourself and others (will too)
3. E – ease and effortlessness
4. A – attitude and acceptance
5. T – take opportunities
6. E – enable

The steps to becoming a creative leader are not necessarily taken in chronological order step-by-step linearly. Many of the steps are advancing in parallel and the progress can be seen before you are “ready” with all these steps. Creativity and innovation are complex and I am saying that you have it in you. With this model, I am helping you to find your way of creativity.

In the following blog posts, I will guide and support you on your way to becoming a creative leader. 

The main points are:

  1. You have creativity in you.
  2. You have something special to give your community and organisation.
  3. You can control the telling of the story of your life.

Are you ready to join me on the joyride of creativity?

 

When life doesn’t go according to your plans, it might end up becoming something far more interesting than you knew was possible.

Maija Fast - CREATE

Thank you for being on this journey with me.

With creative greetings,

Maija

Maija Fast is an author, speaker and certified business coach (ACC, ICF) who is on a mission to give creativity and creative people the value they deserve in working life.

CREATE book launch by Maija Fast

CREATE book launch by Maija Fast

  The book launch event of Maija Fast's CREATE Crack the Cast - Become the Creative Leader You Want to Be took place in the violin shop gallery on January 27th 2023. The event was a huge success with the art exhibition opening of Jenni Emilia, music by Nana Yhtye...

read more
Imagine Music by Dasha Pears

Imagine Music by Dasha Pears

The Imagine Music art exhibition by Dasha Pears opened with a very special event. We had the pleasure to enjoy probably the first ever catwalk fashion show in a violin shop by the very talented Juulia Peuhkuri. Juulia's dresses were featured in Dasha's Imagine...

read more
Creatures of Nature exhibition

Creatures of Nature exhibition

The beautiful Creatures of Nature art exhibition was opened with a warm event Friday 16th August. Creatures of Nature is collaboration between two artists: international award winning photographer Mikaela Holmberg and award winning floral artist Päivi Lehti. They work...

read more

CREATE book launch by Maija Fast

 

The book launch event of Maija Fast’s CREATE Crack the Cast – Become the Creative Leader You Want to Be took place in the violin shop gallery on January 27th 2023. The event was a huge success with the art exhibition opening of Jenni Emilia, music by Nana Yhtye and improvisation theatre by Salaiset ansiot and a lot of guests.

Having written a book about creative leadership Maija wanted the book launch to be creative too. We had about 150 guests who were both old and new friends and people whom we had never met before but who were excited about the topic and the interesting event. The atmosphere was warm and inviting and we enjoyed pink bubbles and beautiful cupcakes by Anni Fast that were colour coded with the book cover and the CREATE formula. 

Imagine Music by Dasha Pears

The Imagine Music art exhibition by Dasha Pears opened with a very special event. We had the pleasure to enjoy probably the first ever catwalk fashion show in a violin shop by the very talented Juulia Peuhkuri. Juulia’s dresses were featured in Dasha’s Imagine Music photos. The fashion show was accompanied by live classical violin music by Nana yhtye. 

The talented Greek couple Chrysa Panayiotopoulou and Thanasis Gotsopoulou opened the evening with their own greek influenced music. We also has Nana yhtye perform their original compositions for voice and violin. Pavluu pop-up restaurant brought colourful vegan food on the table and Salama Brewing company provided interesting Finnish micro brewery white and black stout to the event.

The surreal music inspired images by Dasha Pears will be on the walls of Gallery Fast Creative until 15.5.2020.

The pieces of art are available through Gallery Fast Creative art shop.

Creatures of Nature exhibition

The beautiful Creatures of Nature art exhibition was opened with a warm event Friday 16th August. Creatures of Nature is collaboration between two artists: international award winning photographer Mikaela Holmberg and award winning floral artist Päivi Lehti. They work in seamless cooperation creating fine art photography with a deep message. They are drawing a story of the future; they want to draw attention to a sustainable future where our children play the key role. The models are girls in the ages of 9 to 11. They are our future.

At the opening event we had the tasty Urban Bakery Helsinki; Create Your Own Sandwich pop-up café created by Kirsi Asposalo and Taidetöölö music teacher Milla Mäkinen played guitar and sang bossanova. 

These fairytale like portraits will be on the walls of  Gallery Fast Creative until 30.1.2020.

The pieces of art are available through Gallery Fast Creative art shop.

Flower Power by Johanna Souru

We had a warm, flowery event in How Violins and Gallery Fast Creative during the Meklu street party, which was celebrated to finalize the roadworks on Mechelininkatu. The heart of our involvement in the event was the Johanna Souru art exhibition, Flower Power, which will be in the gallery from  May 11th to August 15th. The light flowery watercolours were accompanied by Wild Things pop-up flower shop and the delicious pop-up café with flowery tastes by Sanna Autere author of the cook book: "Vege Sato! Maailman parhaat maut satokauden kasviksista."

We had the pleasure to have the music teachers of Taidetöölö Music School play for us. Meklun katubileet brought us the lovely Horse & Carriage outside our shop and gallery. 

 

Animal Power by Krista Marleena and Rasaliina Seppälä

Krista Marleena’s characteristic ceramic Power Animals are accompanied by Rasaliina Seppälä’s forest animal paintings in Gallery Fast Creative in How Violins 18th January to 10th May 2019. 

January 18th we had a wonderful event with art, music, delicious food and loving atmosphere. We had about 300 people joining us for the beautiful art exhibition opening of Krista Marleena and Rasaliina, concert by Nana yhtye with Milena Törmi and Tina Nikku and a delicious pop-up restaurant by Urban Bakery Helsinki run by Kirsi and Niko Asposalo. 

Thank you to everyone for participating! 

Lifting Female Leaders! Energetic Influencing! April 2018

Friday April 13th we had our latest event for female leaders and influencers.

 

50 influencial women came together to participate in an interesting event focusing on creating and sustaining positive energy. This was the opening of the photo exhibition: Naisjohtajat esiin! Keksi Agency’s campaign for lifting the profile of female leaders in Finland.

Deputy Major of Helsinki Sanna Vesikansa opened the event with a presentation about inspirational influencing. Creative Director Natalia Baer from Keksi Agency told about the routs of the campaign where 365 female leaders where photographed. 

Heli Backman and Nina Karlsson from Energy coaching took us on a journey of energy leadership in an activating and inspirational workshop. 

Composer Cecilia Damström told about her breath taking piece “Sydänlaulu” Heart song and opened up the very personal and beautiful story behind it. Violinist Linda Hedlund played the piece as a an amazing violin solo. The participants had also a chance to familiarize with violin making and to try out stringed instruments guided by violin maker Guy How from How Violins.

Big thank you to all participants! You made the evening unforgettable!

The powerful and warm women are on the walls of  Gallery Fast Creative until 24.5.2018.

Following amazing women were on the walls of Gallery Fast Creative /
How Violinsin 13.4.-24.5.2018:

Emilia Mikkola 

Production Manager

Flow Festival Oy

Riikka Venäläinen 

Editor in Chief

YLE

Edem Agbekey-Taylor  

Wellbeing Entrepreneur

Inkuto Organics

Henrika Nybondas-Kangas 

Negotiations Manager

KT Kuntatyönantajat

Essi Kivitie 

CEO

Rähinä Records

Annika Sucksdorff  

Producer and CEO

Helsinki-filmi Oy

Tarja Paanola  

Sales Director

Workspace Oy

Sanna Marin  

Member of Parliament

Parliament of Finland

Yacine Samb 

Marketing Manager

Google

Yacine Samb, image credit Mikael Ahlfors.

Underwater Dreams Elina Manninen & Johanna Nordblad October 2017

The Underwater Dreams event and art exhibition opening was an amazing dive into the unknown.

We had 250 guests experiencing underwater dreams on canvas and a marvellous violin concert starring Linda Hedlund and Anne Somero. We enjoyed delicious mediterranean food from a pop-up restaurant by Kirsi Asposalo and had our hair beautifully mastered by Juha Tolonen in our pop-up barbershop. Guy How also introduced us to violin making.

Thank you to all participants!

The amazing art was on the walls of Gallery Fast Creative 13.10.2017-12.04.2018. The unique limited edition is still for sale in our art webshop.

Exotic concert and pop-up atelier December 2016

Liisa Rasinkangas was the first one to exhibit her art in Gallery Fast Creative. This time we brought in a vibrant set of dance and music to be accompanied with the beautiful stringed instruments. The dancing teachers Nadja and Daniel delighted us with tango with live violin and harp music played by Linda Hedlund (violin) and Lily-Marlene Puusepp (harp). The artist herself painted the dance performance live and made intuitive portraits of guests who wanted to be immortalised. We also enjoyed the performance of Antonio Alemanno (base and citra) and Peppe Frana (fram drum). Guy How added on the experience with a rehair show in his workshop and people had the chance to try instruments if they wished.  The event was very much appreciated by the audience and the experience was said to be “as it was in a movie”.

Gallery Fast Creative Opening December 2016

Gallery Fast Creative was established in the How Violins stringed instrument shop in 2016. It started an era of art and events with pleasures for all senses in the violin shop gallery. By bringing art into the beautiful boutique we bring a comprehensive experience to every customer who steps into the space. Art accompanies the beautiful hand made stringed instruments in a balanced way. 

Women’s Empowerment Session and Violin Making show September 2015

We had a women’s development event. We had coaching for empowering women and combined it with a violin show. Guy How talked about violin making and Linda Hedlund played different instruments and the participants guessed which instruments were the most expensive. Interestingly every instrument sounds great in the hands of a talented player and many evaluated the cheapest to be most expensive while hearing Linda play. The value of the instruments is, however, not measured by how the instrument sounds but by many different factors that a professional violin maker can see. 

Children’s Dream Event May 2014 & 2015

Maija Fast was the main organiser of two Children’s Dream events with thousands of participants in Kannelmäki in 2014 and 2015. Maija collaborated with Kanneltalo and plenty of individual citizens and local companies to organise these events. It was a flow of people who wanted to participate and we had plenty of workshops, music, play, popup restaurants and a lot of fun. The events were inspired by the Dream Statue which was moved from Kallio to Kannelmäki by HAM Helsinki Art Museum in 2013 at the instigation of Maija Fast. The Dream statue started to live its own life and we launched plenty of activities around the theme of Dreaming Big in Kannelmäki. The Children’s Dreams were one manifestation of it with dreams of children being asked and fulfilled without budget but with a lot of collaboration and sponsors.