Before I had children I used to stay up and paint all night, usually with Scarface playing in the background or another long movie. I had no distractions, nothing to break the focus on my own ideas, so I could throw myself completely into whatever creation I was working on. Then our children arrived, first one and then another one. Their arrival put a stop to all of that. I stayed up all night breastfeeding or checking in to see if they were breathing. Everything changed and I loved those moments because that was my choice, my life, my love. My life’s purpose had finally been revealed to me. I wouldn’t give that time up for anything. B and R are my two greatest creations. Then when I started to teach art I found my creativity again. Even if I was “just” creating children’s art projects, I was creating. I had no idea how much I had been missing that! It was something that had always fueled me, and now I discovered I had lost my charge. Creating art turned out to be the other part of my life’s purpose. Art is a love that I can share with my children and with others. I didn’t even know how much I had been missing that creative outlet I needed.
Creativity is manifesting ideas into reality. We make things happen. We create. I love coming up with ideas that I can share with my students. A lot of the time I supply them with an idea or just the materials to invent their own ideas. I love watching them work. Their results are often way different from what I (or they) would have expected. Pablo Picasso said, ” Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” We start to second guess ourselves. We wonder what someone else will think. We weigh the “right” and the “wrong”. Children create to create. They have no fear, since they have not been told yet that it can’t be done…and they never should be told.
I wish I were so brave. When I draw I stop, compare, analyze, work on the shading to make it look real. My son creates the most amazingly absurd creations that he has lengthy explanations for. He creates back-stories, villains, mystical creatures. He dreams.
I am inspired by my students. Their colors are vivid and their thoughts are revealed. There are no boundaries, they just soar. The point is that creativity surrounds us. Take time to make time for you. Planning a project with your children can bring things out in yourself and also energize them. I have found that when I work on a project side-by-side with my children they stay more focused. Don’t ever let your own creativity fade away.