Monday, June 6, 2011

Between Crayons and Cheap Pens

My shoulder isn't any better.  UGH! I was up most of the night last night because of the pain, and I ended up on the couch reading.  What was I reading?  I'm glad you asked.  I started reading AHA! Ten Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas. 

That's really just entirely too long of a title.  

Anyway, I've had this book for a few years now, and decided that it was finally time that I read it.  All 288 pages of it.  

One of the first things the author talks about is how we all lose our creativity as we age.  Actually, it's taught and molded out of us.  He gave the analogy of how we start kindergarten with a box of crayons with a myriad of colors. 

We had all these colors to choose from and we could create whatever we wanted with them.  Creatures with three heads and pink eyes.  Houses that floated in the sky on clouds.   Rocket ships that would take us to the moon.

By the time we graduated from High School, we'd long since put away our crayons and our fantastic creations, and instead walked out with a cheap, standardized ink pen.  

Somewhere in between the crayons and the pen, we gained a lot of cynicism and lost a lot of our natural creativity.  We quit thinking of fantastical ideas because they weren't logical. We were told how to create. 

"Don't paint the grass purple, it's supposed to be green". "Stay inside the lines". "People don't have four arms". 

We lost so much in between that box of crayons and the pen.

I'd really like it if we could all regain the magic that happened when we opened up that box of crayons, and the smell of the wax that only crayons have, would smack us in the face.  We'd grab a crayon (or 2 or 8) and get busy making page after page of inventions and stories and art and anything else we could think up, and not once did we care if we were creating the way we were "supposed" to. We knew that however and whatever we were creating, at that very moment, it was perfect.    

How about this? How about you don't follow the rules that some stick in the mud made up when it comes to creating.  Make the grass orange.  Give someone 15 arms and 2 heads.  Don't just color outside the lines, but all over the page and the inside, back and front cover of the coloring book.  Be messy! Color on the walls if you want!

Reclaim your creativity.  It's yours.  You've owned it since birth.  It's time to take it back. 

Be happy,

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good read, I'll have to pick it up sometime! I'm currently Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Art Making.