I don't know when I stopped being creative for my own growth and pleasure. I've never quite considered myself a writer or artist by trade, but I did care and enjoy it enough to try to improve, to expose myself to different styles and mediums, and to try different methods of execution and improve upon what little technical prowess I do have.
I certainly know why. I am aware that I've always been a little sensitive to critique; after all, its more for me than it is for anyone else, but I do take some pride in what I do. It's a very private thing for me to show my work to others, especially those who know anything about what I'm doing. The works are a tiny peek into my mind, and an extension of my personality.
When you start spending a lot of time with someone who has impeccable taste, and who has been exposed to various art mediums and has very high standards, it's both enlightening and intimidating.
Whatever I showed him at first he seemed to just shrug at. I couldn't blame him, partly because he had no special love for the visual arts(or so he claimed at the time). Same went for my photography, and whatever commentary I got from him on my writing seemed minimally interested as well, though I do think that at least on one occasion he told me my poetry was bad. Other than that he just didn't seem interested. I think I took it as a personal affront. And since I like to share with my loved ones what I create, I think at some point I just didn't want to make anything for him to look at. I didn't dare bare my soul in front of him anymore.
Even now, I feel a burning shame for some reason any time I'm expressing my thoughts, whether in a journal or making a drawing, and he asks me what I'm doing. I won't lie to him, but if he has to see my stuff then I don't want to be around to see his reaction. I don't want to hear how stupid, how silly or how artless I am. Because that's not why I do it. I'm not trying to be some highfalutin artiste, but I do hope that everyone sees something beautiful in my work. Because it's me. And maybe I put his thoughts on a pedestal still. And its only because his opinion still holds too much value to me. All I can do is try to be more open.