Creativity Series: Paula Rainha


Photo: Janet Echelman’s “1:26”, photo taken by Paula Rainha

I’m so happy to share what Paula Rainha, my long time friend, current studio mate, and lighting designer extraordinaire has to say about creativity.

Paula has many talents: she’s a dancer, a traveler, an architect and also a story-teller. Paula has an eye to spot the story where no one else would see it, and the blog she kept while living in London, a few years ago, is a great example.

In 2011, Paula won a worldwide competition that took her around the globe, blogging about light. You can read her articles here.

Paula, thank you for being part of the Creativity Series!


I’m an architect by profession, a dancer by heart and a lighting designer by addiction. Does that make me a creative person? According to most of you, yes, but before becoming a ‘professional creative’ I have the impression I was always attracted to the feeling of creating something and becoming satisfied seeing things happen through me.

I lost track of moments I thought I wasn’t creative and looking at the amount of people that have told me they weren’t creative, I’m probably not the only one.

But I was wrong, looking back I realised that there were many little creative moments that lead to what I am today: imagining stories with my dolls, building up cities with legos, playing in the sand with buckets and scoops, baking cakes, dancing, drawing, cooking or travelling.

I came to the conclusion that each one of us has an inner creativity. The moment you step out of the door in the morning, you were already creative. You had to choose what to wear or you had to decide what to have for breakfast, amongst the infinite possibilities of cereals and toasts. And what is most surprising is that just this small inspired moment can actually make your day different.

Creativity can be found in the most unexpected daily details but can also be found on the way each one of us faces life: the way you deal and connect with people, how do you address and solve your daily problems, how open you can be to new and different points of view and how do you tell your life story.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that what makes someone creative is not the ability to draw or to design but the capacity of making each day different. And now my question is, have you made your day different today?


Thank you, Paula!

Paula is a lighting designer working globally from her hometown of Lisbon, Portugal. You can find her online on her portfolio site or connect with her via Twitter.

This post is part of my Creativity Series project, where I ask friends, on and offline, how they define creativity. Would you like to receive these posts in your inbox? Sign up for email updates. And let me know if you want to participate!