This got me thinking about how small children can paint without a care in the world, and the older we get, the less we paint, the more critical we get, and the less confident we are at doing anything creative. Violet is slowly getting better at just going with the flow and making her 'mistakes' into part of the art.
But why does she need it to be perfect? Let's be honest, 'what's makes perfect art'? and Does perfect even exist?
Small children love getting the paints, playdough, crayons etc out and making a mess through playing. They don't need to be creating anything, they just enjoy the feel of the paints, the sounds of the brush and experimenting with different colours.
They love getting dressed up and using their imagination to become pirates or princesses. They use the creativity of their imagination to fill in the gaps of learning that they haven't yet had.
As Adults do we help creativity?
I know I am guilty of trying to control the mess, and input into what they are trying to do. I clean up as they go along and suggest ways to do things. I ask questions like, what have you made? And the reality was they weren't specifically making anything, they were just going with the flow. But they will feel they need to answer the question anyway, so they will just say something to put a label on it.
I will pull a funny face when they mix all the colours together and everything is brown. But they don't care, they are learning about what happens when they mix them and how much fun it was.
Teachers in schools are amazing and have a great skills to feed hungry minds but they are ruled by a system which is preparing children for test taking, structure and fitting into one box. The educational systems have put an importance on knowledge over imagination. And as the years go on we have a lot less free creative time and more structure.
Is creativity something that we lose as we get older?
We don't lose it, it just gets buried deep in our busy lives.
How many times have you seen a piece of art work and said ' I could never create something like that'. Why do we doubt our abilities? What does it matter if we don't create the same? Have a go and every piece made will be unique and personal to you.
Lessons we have learnt in life have made us believe we have to do everything right and there is no 'right' to art. We can make a mess, have fun, and it doesn't actually have to have an end result. We almost need to go back to being toddlers and free our mind of responsibilities and allow our creativity to flow.
Research has shown us that children have 98% creativity but adults average out at 2%.
Just go for
We are doing lots of art with her since she left school as she really enjoys it. With the help of a lovely friend, she is learning to just enjoy art, try new techniques and not to worry if it doesn't quite look like she thought it would. We are tapping into that natural creativity that she was beginning to lose. If she makes a mistake we just say its 'an opportunity to add a personal touch'.
In this world, now, to succeed you have to think outside the box, and being creative, and coming up with new ideas is an important part of being an adult.