Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Childhood + Creativity = Endless Possibilities!

“Creativity lies in paradox: serious art is born from serious play." the Artists Way

"Creativity occurs in the moment, and in the moment we are timeless." {Julia Cameron}
A childs work is their play! 

I love the uninhibited creativity my young children have.  I hope they take their same creative freedom into their adulthood, into their careers, into all their responsibilities and grown-up duties. I hope they are never tainted or ruled by the dollar or measured up by unnatural standards. I watch them at work in their play and I am learning from them, they are creating from such pure motives, it is such a natural outflow of their every-day lives. Time, money, adequate materials is not a constraint, it is so fun to watch their ideas unfold. It is one of my favorite parts of being a mom, leaving them alone to create!

Yesterday I stepped outside to a T-pee made out of bamboo branches and covered in split trash bags. I didn’t ask, but I was told later that it was a “candy club” and that they are collecting candy for the club, so could we be sure to get some later :)

They were outside in their candy-club the second they woke up this morning!

Last week after I cooked eggs for breakfast I guess they conspired to “save” the rest of the eggs and let them hatch, I found them in the yard under a towel! 

I love to think about all the creative games I have walked in on, or watching my children get lost in their own world at the beach or an open space.  Even my oldest, who is a realist and very objective, would come up with the greatest imaginary games with her younger brother. They had a fort they made in a bush by our home when we lived in Alaska, it was decorated in ribbon tied around the measly branches and a few baskets they had hung from the twigs.  We were very poor then and lived in a single-wide trailer, but my older children only remember that fort and how awesome it was.  When we moved they were so sad to leave that ugly bush covered in weather-faded ribbon and sparse hanging baskets.  To them it was a multidimensional world they created together, my eyes couldn’t see all that is contained but it was their favorite place to play! They still talk about it till this day, their imagination and world they created bonded my two oldest in such a sweet way.

My seven year old, who is the leader of initiating creativity in our home, could be locked in a room with only two basic objects and after an hour she would construct something only original and unique, she wouldn’t complain about being bored as long as she was tapped into some creative juices. She has a creative determination running through her veins and will stop at nothing! She knows no boundaries and leaves me in awe at the mind and thought process that lead to such random, wonderful creations. we often say "Nova I wish I could get inside your head!"  When Nova was three she begged me to teach her to sew,  I insisted that she was to young and that she should wait till she was a bit older. That didn’t stop her!  The next day I had discovered an unraveled shawl and paper that she had poked holes in to sew with the unraveled string from the shawl. She had sewn together a three-dimensional paper house for her Pet-pals.  Shortly after she used the same shawl thread to sew a paper lamp shade, decorated with intricate designs drawn in pen, she rummaged through the
Junk drawer and retrieved a light bulb which she taped to a battery and waited in anticipation for her lamp creation to light up! Although it never lit up, I was sure to encourage her in her ideas.  I saved her little lamp in my keep-sakes, it marks one of Novas many brilliant creations.
I am constantly finding a rummaged through, disorganized junk drawer, wads of tape, wire, string, paper cuttings, and random materials scattered all over Novas daily path.  While it pains me to have a little mess, I politely ask her to clean up after herself but I make sure I let her have as much creative freedom as I can.  My mother was so good about letting me and my siblings make creative messes in our house. I remember having free reign over the glitter and paint, I am so grateful for her willingness to work around our messes.  A clean organized house is important for peace and a sense or order, but the home that is to meticulously clean that never allows for the occasional creative mess is sad in my opinion.

I love the sort of creativity the supersedes boredom, circumstance and mundane duties, just the thought of creative inspiration gets me excited, I wish I was always available to tap into that “flow of energy”, if you have felt that at one time you will know what I mean.

I would like to find more children, who are uninhibited in their schedules, with plenty of time to just BE!  It is unimpressive to find a five year old who can tell you the names of every president that ever lived or explain in detail the theory of relativity ( well, not totally unimpressive) but my point is, kids are becoming to controlled, scheduled in to many organized lessons and activities with less and less time to get lost in their play. So many little kids seem motivated by performance and the alter-egos of their parents. I am impressed and inspired when I watch my children lost in their play and imagination creating something that could never be duplicated in the adult world of responsibility.  I am not romantically suggesting that we just remove all education and character building disciplines from our children’s youth and provide them with a free-for-all environment to do whatever, but I would like to encourage more parents to allow for ample uninterrupted, unspoiled with distraction, free time to “get lost in the moment.”  It is in that place where childhood + creativity = endless possibilities!

Nova cutting away.
Shell necklace tied in seweed strands.

This looks pretty random, but this is a house my kids designed at the beach, the shells are furniture, flowers are beds ect...I remember making scenes like this when I was little.

sketching in the sand.

Good ol' gingerbread houses.

Jonas' lego photography, I have so many random lego and play mobile scenes that he took with my phone, I was tempted to erase them but I figured it would make a sweet memory some day.

Nova drew this with chalk in our driveway to demonstrate how she longed for a pet bird:)

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