The Imagination Of A Child
We are here to become creators and creators simply create, period. You can see this in the natural disposition of children.
Take my five year old, for example. He is rarely bored. Left to his own devices, he always finds his way back to his default - creativity.
So what does he create? It depends on the day, the moment and what his imagination has concocted. Truth is, it doesn't really matter. Creators simply create.
Some days he is creating Hollywood caliber action scenes where he is the superhero leaping off couches in hot pursuit of the bad guys. Other days he is out on the front rocks (much to his mother’s dismay) scaling Mt. Everest (really a 5 foot rock wall) as he forges up uncharted territory. And other days, like today when it is raining outside and his older siblings are complaining there’s nothing to do, he is down on the ground, tongue hanging out the side of his mouth, coloring his heart out as he transforms the rain into a sunny day.
To say my son draws is an understatement. With 50 different crayons spread all around him, ravenously pounding out something furious, ferocious and magical, he is far beyond a kid with some crayons. He's a creator creating.
And then came the moment of his art debut. He and his siblings gathered around and he held up his creation. It was some artistic interpretation of his family, but really all I saw was an explosion of colorful spirit on a canvas.
What The Hell Is That
It was a glorious moment for him as those colors on the page were no match for the colors beaming from his aura. And then, just like that it was over. One of his siblings destroyed his artwork. They didn’t actually touch it. Frankly they didn’t have to. Rather, all they had to say is, “what the hell is that!” with a cruelty which often only a sibling can achieve.
And in that moment you could see the glorious colors on the paper, and in my son’s soul, dissolve into gray, blah, nothingness as self-doubt replaced what was once unbridled creativity. His imagination was crushed. His art was destroyed. And no amount of consoling was able to help him find his way back to those colorful crayons.
After disappearing for a while he returned, totally deflated, having traded in those magical Crayons for a black un-magical marker. He had scribbled out the whole picture. Because of what "they" said, he choose to become an un-creator and un-create his art.
As I thought about it, I began to realize that my son is simply every one of us at some point in our lives. We have a spark within us, an idea longing to get out, a passion waiting to be expressed onto canvas. For some that art takes place on paper, for others the dance floor, our Start-up, our studies, our writing or a thousand other ways we individually, uniquely and fearlessly go about expressing our soul onto the canvas of our lives. It doesn’t matter what the medium is, all that matters is we channel those colors and share them with the world. We are creators and creators simply create - beautiful, bold and colorful art.
And then someone comes along as says,”what the hell is that!”
They may say it with words. They may say it with the absence of words. They may say it with action. They may say it with the absence of action. They may say it explicitly. They may say it implicitly. It doesn’t matter how they say it. All that matters is we hear it, feel it and accept it as truth.
“They are right. This is no good.”
“He is correct. It’s not worthy.”
“She is right. I’m not an artist.”
We allow it to squash our creative spirit. And we trade in that rainbow of colors within us, in exchange for a simple, colorless, and soulless palette of gray powerless pity.
Soulful Canvas Comeback
However, that’s not where my son’s story ends. After his failed art debut he disappeared for a while. Having worked through his self-pity, confronted his self-doubt and confronted his broken heart, he returned with a new and improved version of his old, colorful art. Although no one commented on his art this time, I’m not sure it would have mattered. He seemed to have grown through his grief and found resolve in his despair. It was as if he made some conscious choice that no matter what the world had to say about his art, it didn’t matter. It was his, was beautiful and what he had to create. He is a creator and he was gonna create anything he dam well wanted.
So, he traded in that un-magical marker and reclaimed the magic of his soul reflected in his colorful art.
My friends, whether you are five or 105, it is never too late to stop re-acting to others, stop letting what “they say” determine what you do. It is never too soon to stop allowing mean big brothers or nasty little bosses, thoughtless friends or judging colleagues, an unkind society or a uncaring community to crumple up your artwork with a disapproving look, unsupportive messages or harsh words or actions, no matter how cruel they might be.
Music Within You
You have music in you to express, art within you to create, and a palette of colors within you waiting to be shared with the world.
Don’t listen to them. Don't accept what they have to say or allow them to dictate whether or not you create.
It is your imagination.
They are your colors.
It is your canvas.
To hell with those black, un-magical markers.
Take hold of your colorful Crayons and unleash your imaginative, creative and soul-filled magical art.
Creators create so get out there and create your art!