I’d like to share an excerpt from a great book, “The Creative License” by Danny Gregory. This is a book about giving yourself permission to be creative, recommended to me by my friend, cartoonist Bridgett Spicer, one of the most creative people I know! I first read this book about two years ago (I underlined about half of it!) and I keep going back to it and finding more and more truth in it each time. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!
It begins, “Too many people seem to feel they are not and cannot ever be creative.” The author goes on to discuss the analogy of how as an adult, you were not born knowing how to drive a car, but with instruction and practice, you learned and can now do it intuitively. He compares this process with the “creative education” you may have received growing up… “You probably never studied creativity in school. You never learned the basic principles of creativity. You never worked consistently at a creative discipline until you mastered it, probably because the initial learning curve was so steep. When you encountered an obstacle you probably gave up, blaming a lack of talent.”
“What if we treated driving like we treat the Arts? We’d assume that people were either born to drive or not. We’d wait and see if, as children, they started driving on their own, if they had talent and a calling. If they did, we would be careful not to interfere with their talent and possibly suppress it. We would make sure to encourage only those who seemed they’d be able to drive professionally. We’d pay some of them millions of dollars to drive and lavish them with fame; others we would refuse to support, encouraging them to do something more useful for society. Everyone else would assume they would never be able to drive and would just stand on the sidewalks and watch the traffic. At least the ozone layer would be in better shape.”
Okay, he exaggerates to make his point, but it’s a point well taken! Sadly, many schools today, both public and private, have dropped Art education altogether due to budget constraints. Education in the Arts is a vital component to any well-rounded education and we need to find ways to continue to offer it no matter what the ups and downs of the economic climate.
To this end, I’m inspired to use this blog to share my favorite K-6 Art lessons and tips for teaching Art to kids. My hope is that classroom teachers, home school teachers, and parents will feel inspired and equipped to do Art with the kids in their life, even if they themselves have no previous Art experience. So, peruse my lesson ideas and other links, grab a copy of The Creative License for a “creativity booster shot”, and just for fun check out Bridgett Spicer’s daily comic strip, “Squid Row.”