We pulled out the paints yesterday. Started with watercolors but Kestan wanted something messier – so finger paints were a must. We get messy a lot together but for some reason this day was a little different. I was totally relaxed with him. I put out a variety of paints and supplies (per his request). I put white butcher paper down on two different tables and let him move between the two.
I was fascinated watching him become fully engaged in the process of painting. He swayed to the classical music, he used his hands, he tried a variety of brushes and colors, he poured the water directly on his paper, he splashed it around and he even used the opposite end of his brush to draw in the paint.
He experimented, explored, and discovered – without limitations. I didn’t tell him “no.” I didn’t freak out about spilt water. I didn’t care that he got paint on his face (chin, ears, elbows, and knees). I simply let him be in a place to be guided by his innate creativity.
I’ve given myself permission to take my e-course alongside the other fabulous explorers in class, so I have my art journaling supplies and special space set up. I’ve been creating more this week – and I feel blessed that I get to do a lot of this playing alongside my little boy.
And what I hope for you is that you give yourself permission to play, too! We are ALL born creative – yes, even YOU! I’m reading this fabulous book, Ignore Everybody – and 39 other Keys to Creativity, by Hugh MacLeod, and he puts this point very simply. He says, “Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the “creative bug” is just a wee voice telling you, “I’d like my crayons back, please.”
That is what I hear time and time again from people searching for their artist within. We all have that inner voice that whispers and gently guides us towards creative expression, and it’s usually our adult, linear, critical voice that points us to the rational, “do it right,” be responsible, “you aren’t creative,” place that keeps us from ever returning to our crayons.
Here’s what I want you to do: Take out some paper, crayons, paints and simply allow yourself to play. Set the timer for 15 minutes, turn on your favorite music and cover your page with color. Feel like a beginner, just like Kestan, and get your hands messy, paint with two brushes at once, close your eyes while painting, and let the movement of the music guide you. Have fun and remember this – YOU ARE CREATIVE!
Your Personal Reflection: If playing with paint feels intimidating and you don’t feel creative (like most of us) then take some time to get crayons and paints back into your hands. Only YOU can decide when it’s finally time to let your innate creativity shine. Life is short – do it today!