Saturday, May 03, 2008

Messy Hands, Big Smiles and Creative Play.
I absolutely love teaching mixed media! I gave an inservice on Friday afternoon for 28 teachers at Satoo School. I thought of an analogy last night —of myself as a lifeguard standing on the edge a "creativity" pool. When I teach mixed media and creative journaling its about jumping into the pool and playing, enjoying the refreshing, rejuevinating feeling of the water. I'm not there to teach them to draw or to convince them that anyone can actually learn to draw (which is true, but that's another post). It's not about swimming a hundred metres or holding our breath underwater. We're not trying to improve our stroke or race laps or competitively dive. We're just wading into the pool of creativity and opening ourselves up to something that's already inside. We just do whatever we each feel like doing there. I bring the toys to play with and the instruction (when needed) and what people do is up to them. Remarkably they also all produce some amazing pieces— surprising even themselves. (See the photos of some of their work at the end) For some people its been a long time since they swam there (or even put on a bathing suit), so its great to see the sparkle in their eyes when they realize how much fun they are having. All those admissions and confessions of "I'm not really artistic" to me at the beginning of the class seem to fall by the wayside as they see the difference between being artistic and just enjoying creativity for its own sake.

I believe everyone is inheritably creative, its just that sometimes people have shut that door (and locked it). Creativity is an important tool in life no matter where your talents lie— in art, drama, cooking, sewing, gardening, accounting, organization, athletics, music, biology etc. Every direction in life can benefit from a little bit (or a lot) of creative play.
...and I'm here to make sure that no one drowns.