We all have the power to create! Today’s first creative prompt is: follow a child’s example. Invent a new world using markers and colored paper. Turn your handprint into a work of art. Make a book out of pictures you’ve torn out of magazines. Transform trash into a treasure. Take your imagination out for a ‘play date.’ Invent something fun and functional (like lizard sandals – my newest fashion statement!) The only limits are in your mind…and I invite you to practice ignoring them;)
“When we live our life as art we make room for creativity, flow, connection, synchronicity, and magic.”
Heather Ash Amara
The 2011 International Children’s Art Festival held June 17-19th on The National Mall in Washington D.C. brought together children, parents, teachers and performers from around the globe to join in a transformational celebration of creativity. I was there presenting along with 9 other students from the International Center for Studies in Creativity - under the guidance of Dr. Cyndi Burnett. Together we created opportunities for children to exercise their creative spirits and play with possibilities.
“Creativity is a characteristic given to all human beings at birth.”
Witnessing spontaneous bursts of creative inspiration can be contageous! A young girl named Dilnoza came half way around the world (look up Tajikistan on the map and you’ll see just how far she traveled to get to Washington DC) to share her talents at my table by creating the flower-filled lizard land shown above. It was fun watching many new worlds being created out of the fertile imaginations of children from 2 to 12 who spoke different languages, yet shared a universal appreciation for different forms of creative expression. I noticed adults looking longingly at the art supplies – and in some cases – taking the markers out of their children’s hands and taking over the creative process. This is a big ‘creativity craving’ clue. Adults: if you get the urge to take over/improve(?)/direct/guide a child’s art, it’s time to give yourself free access to the same supplies, as well as your own ‘creative play time.’ When children visited my presentation table, they were invited to select and ‘adopt’ a (rubber) lizard. Their creative ‘task’ was to create a ‘world’ the lizard would love to live in. It could take any form – from something on the moon or in the desert or anywhere in a child’s imagination. The most wonderful part was hearing the children’s ‘lizard land’ stories! Magical! You ARE encouraged to try this at home!
“Moment after moment we are creating something, and this is the joy of our life.”
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to play with your creativity? ‘Everyday creativity’ researcher, Dr. Ruth Richards reminds us this type of creating is , “…one of the most powerful capacities we have, bringing us alive in each moment, affecting our health and well being, offering richness and alternatives in what we do, and helping us move further in our creative and personal development.” (From Everyday Creativity and New Views of Human Nature , 2007, page 25).
“The creative process includes exploring, experimenting, messing around with materials, being playful, entering into the unknown.”
Currently, my favorite forms of creative self-expression are collage, photography, and Latin dancing. I also have a dream to create an Art Play House in Sarasota, Florida, based on the work of Shona Hammond Boys, an art educator/advocate extraordinaire who lives in New Zealand. We connected at the International Children’s Art Festival and discovered we share a passion for promoting creativity worldwide. She showed an amazing video which I highly recommend viewing, which tells the story of the Opotiki, New Zealand Children’s Mural Project (and the coolest view of a whale tail as well as children catching big fish with their bare hands). When you have a half hour to get inspired, click the link above. About 15 minutes into the movie, Shona speaks to the dramatic, positive outcomes of this project. It is nothing less than transformational. To learn more about Shona’s Art Houses in New Zealand, visit: www.arthouse.org.nz . I love the simple truth of this child’s view of creativity. View the video by clicking here.
“One of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is listen to each other’s stories.”
Fun creative inspiration comes from trying new things, playing with materials,being around children creating, and sharing stories. Creativity lessons are all round us. Listen for laughter. Follow your joy. Be curious and take some risks. It’s the recipe for making magical moments. The photo of my friend Carol (in blue) and I in front of a wrought iron re-creation of Cinderella’s carriage demonstrates the creative result of acting on inspiration. I saw the carriage and, like a couple of kids, we decided to sneak over and capture the moment, just for the fun of it! Creativity prompt #2 is to do something just a little bit daring (or ‘out of character’)…and take a picture! I recruited a ‘partner in crime’ to catch me in a few fun poses and discovered I enjoy being a ‘creative director’ in photo sessions! Both photos were taken at The Art Center in Sarasota, Florida. They have a great exhibit of scanned objects from nature which is jaw-droppingly beautiful which will be showing until the end of July. It’s a great place to visit!
I hope you enjoyed this ‘fun creative inspiration’ blog. As always, you’re invited to visit www.JoyofQuotes.com daily for positive, encouraging quotes and inspiration. We’ve added some new subject categories – including a page of quotes to use on Twitter. I’ll be adding ‘tweetable’ quotes weekly, so keep stopping by. You can also help support our website by clicking on the ads posted by our advertisers. Even if you don’t make a purchase, your click helps offset the costs of keeping our site up and growing. Thanks, in advance, for your help! I also love hearing from visitors to this blog and hope you will feel inspired to share your comments.
July is ‘birthday month’ for three of my very dear friends: Tamara on the 22nd, Carol on the 25th, and Janus on the 26th. I hope this is the year each of your happiest dreams come true!
Thank you for all the ways you bless my life! And if your birthday is in July, too, I wish you nothing but wonderfulness;)
With peace, joy and smiles….Marta Davidovich Ockuly
Photo Credit: A special thank you to Tamara Williams who treated me to a fabulous photo session which resulted in many new ‘favorite photos’ – including this professional ‘head shot.’
She made it fun being photographed. If you are ever in Sarasota and need a wonderful photographer, Tamara comes highly recommended! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.