Nate Mell, Felt and Fat’s CEO, Discusses Creativity and Happiness and How the Two Are Different Sides of the Same Coin

Rohan Mathew

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When creativity strikes, it comes with a familiar feeling that resembles a spark of joy that draws people to find their creative notion repeatedly. Psychologists have studied this happiness that comes with a creative flow. Researchers say that creativity fuels happiness, and happiness fuels creativity. Unfortunately, there are a lot of adults who think that they were not born with a creative side. However, these same adults agree that their creativity probably reached its peak as a child. 

Felt and Fat’s CEO, Nate Mell, agrees with the specialists who say that most people can rekindle that early creativity they had as children to obtain happiness from even humdrum activities. Mell can attest, as he renewed his inner creativity through his Philadelphia ceramic design and manufacturing studio, Felt and Fat. Before his career in ceramic design, Mell gained experience and found enjoyment in working with various media, including glass, metal, wood, and mold-making. Below, Mell dives deeper into the psychology behind how creativity and happiness can bloom at any age to make life that much more enjoyable. 

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Positivity and Well-Being

Some people might look at the great artists of the world and question whether creativity is an escape or a cage. In this instance, think of Kurt Cobain, Vincent Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath. However, Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter, gave wonderers an answer when she said, “I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.” The painter made this statement after completing her work titled “My Birth.” This specific painting resulted from her darker times with multiple miscarriages, her mother’s passing, facing polio, and her near-death experience when in a car crash. 

Many studies have reflected the impacts of creativity regarding happiness, and overall, creativity has more association with positivity and well-being. During such studies, researchers found that people reported being happier and more energized when partaking in creativity on a daily basis. Thus, a positive mood coincides with creative thinking. When people experience a positive mindset daily, it usually results in more happiness. 

The Benefits of Art

Engaging in art has multiple benefits, and the mental boosts art triggers are why even the adults who claim to lack creativity should never stop trying. Art is an open platform that allows humans to not only express but also process emotions. This benefit was found during research on art in chronic illness. People with this type of illness were able to analyze their feelings about who they were and what they were dealing with through expression, as well as generate clarity about their lives. Feeling and processing emotions is a way to embrace healthy mental practices that heighten self-awareness and our perspective on ourselves and the world around us. Other benefits that come with creating are that it generates the feeling of reward, which is a good feeling and helps people stay present and focus on the moment rather than pondering on the past or future. Practicing a present mental mindset also is healthy for mental clarity. 

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About Nathaniel Mell

Nathaniel Mell is the founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, a ceramic design, and manufacturing studio serving both professional and at-home chefs. Nate Mell started the Philadelphia-based company in 2014 after graduating from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and working at the world-renown Philadelphia Clay Studio.