thoughts on creativity

Last Friday my bestest and I went to one of those painting classes where you sit in a room with 40 or so people and are led through painting a picture. I think this is the first time I’ve ever painted anything on a canvas. In the end it was liberating, but also stirred up a bunch of reflections on creativity.

a beginning: painting with a friend

My brother (who is a crazy talented photographer and video director) and I grew up in a rather “non-creative” house. Our parents, being from the generation they are from, are practical. While they never discouraged learning music, drawing or painting or playing with playdoh it was never a means to an end. It wasn’t practical. You could never make any money at it.
What I find humorous now is that we are both making money from very non-traditional means (he via photographer and me via sewing). But that wasn’t our first choice of careers in life. We both took a risk.

getting there: painting with a friend

Now, as a parent with young children who are extremely dramatic, love music and the arts I wonder how to not stifle that creativity that is growing in them? They see me making a living with my sewing, they see their uncle making a living with his photography and they see their father providing for us by drawing designs for engineers. We are by default a fairly creative household.

almost: painting with a friend

Enter websites like Pinterest and I question whether this is an avenue for fostering creativity? My sweet friend KMac commented “That place {pinterest} is a competitive/self confidence shaking zone if you aren’t balanced and rock solid on who you are and what you love.” So there it is. Am I, are they, are we confident in who we are as artists? Because we are all artists. We are all creative in some way. I have to remind myself of this every time I sit down to sew on velcro for hours on end!

I listened to a TED talk yesterday by Sir Ken Robinson on how schools kill creativity. Now, mind you, we are public school people. While we’ve home schooled in the past and won’t rule it out in the future, for the time being that is where my kids are. But there was so much in his talk that just resonated with me and where I am right now. He reminds us that we are responsible for preparing the current generation for a very unpredictable future and when we separate creativity from “academics” we are in many ways harming our children. We live in the midst of a technological revolution that never would have come about without creative people taking a risk with their ideas. So how do we, how do I, balance that in my children? Fostering their academics at school and figuring out how that meshes with their creative lives? Because creativity is in everything.

creativity shines in the house

And that is where I am at right now. Living in the midst of taking a risk with my heart and ideas. It was so funny this weekend when my kids saw the painting I had painted. The next thing I knew we were at the arts/crafts store spending birthday money buying a canvas and some paints. Sunday I found my painting flanked with theirs and questions as to where we would hang them all. And I guess that is where it starts. Reminding them always that school and home, learning and creativity are not separate things. They are in and of each other. Academics, learning, happens because people answered the call and risked. And it is in them.

done!: painting with a friend

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1 Comment

  1. Wonderful! We are all artists within. It’s thrusting that goodness out of us, of our children, of each other so to share with others and inspire. Creating is God’s greatest gift. He’s the best artist of all. God never replicated. He authenticated in each and everyone of His pieces. I think should be every artist’s heart song.

    Loved your artwork and your kiddos’ too!

    .mac 🙂

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