Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. -Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)
After 5 years of being home with my 2 favorite children, I am back to work for the company I love. But don’t think I have been out of practice for 5 years. My son who is now 7 and my 4 year old daughter are constantly pushing my creativity.
For example, with the several inches of snow on the ground, I spent a couple hours yesterday building a fort with my children. When we were finished, my daughter decided we needed to decorate it. She found a mirror and placed it at the entrance. The purpose: so that it could scan a visitor’s eyes to detect if they were aliens or not. I was amazed and amused that from a child’s perspective, our simple fort wasn’t just a place to hide out in the snow, but also a high-tech fortress to protect us from alien life forms.
From playing make-believe to finger-painting, children find new ways to be artistic daily.
The best way to become creative adults is to tap into the child inside all of us. Try these easy and fast exercises to get your brain in the right framework to be its most creative:
- Look around the room and find an object that has a specific use – such as a plate. What other ways could you use the object that normally you would not think of? A Frisbee that shatters on impact. Use a dry erase marker to draw a face on it. Balance it on your head.
- Go an entire evening talking in a foreign accent – mine always end up sounding like a pirate. And while you are at it, rename yourself to match your new accent.
- Dream up a BETTER electronic (for example an iPhone). I am truly addicted to my iPhone and honestly don’t know if it could be any better at keeping me organized. But what if it actually had wings and a way to fly out of hiding when you were looking for it? And what if it had an alarm so that when a person other than you (with finger print technology of course) grabbed the phone, it would play Gangnam Style at a very loud volume to let you know? Who would run away with a phone playing that song extremely loud?
- Something less silly? Sit down for a half hour and color/draw – with crayons. Try different techniques, such as coloring and then scraping it off, or coloring with 3 crayons at the same time.
Adults take life way too seriously, that is why we find ourselves stuck on a project. So relax a bit – take 10 minutes to be a kid – and you will be amazed at the ideas that you can come up with.
Need more wacky creative ideas to “wake up your brain”? Option 1: One of my favorite resources is “Caffeine for the Creative Mind” by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield. Or, Option 2, just spend the day with a toddler!