Sure, I used to draw...when I was a kid.

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Yes, we used to draw when we were kids, and we typically drew quite a bit. In fact, for most of us, it was one of the first things we figured out how to do. It's fairly common to encourage that youthful free expression by putting crayon to paper, coloring books, or walls. And maybe fingers in paint, then to paper, table tops, or faces. There's some simple joy in the creation of something from nothing, that is amazingly, totally unique to you! 

The key words here are simple and unique. Simple, because there is really no initial training or study required to scribble some color on something, and unique because it's new every time. And that experience is more often than not, delightful on a personal level. Even if the scribble isn't great, or special, the process is always a good time. We feel free to let our minds wonder in an imaginary place, designing as we go, and sometimes we're completely surprised by where we went. That's delightful.

Drawing is also our first method of communication, not only with pictures, but as we learn our language and alphabet. We don't actually start by writing our letters. Remember? You drew them, one portion of the character at a time, learning to stop, and turn, and reverse. It was often a tracing process so we could develop a sense of control and structure with drawing. It was common for us to include letters and numbers into our drawings, and making them elements in our imaginary place. This too was delightful, because it was fun and creative!

It's difficult to put any real metric on what creativity feels like, especially when we're very young. It isn't a foreign feeling, but it does make us feel different, or changed, with each creative moment. It could be seen as our earliest efforts at problem solving, in a very basic sense. We ask ourselves, "what if..." and then we try something. And with the luxury of time in our youth, we keep trying and learning from each moment of imagination and creativity. Again, a delightful process. 

Excerpt from Runaway Species; "Our ability to remake our world is unique among all living things. But where does our creativity come from, how does it work, and how can we harness it to improve our lives, schools, businesses, and institutions?" ~ David Eagleman & Anthony Brandt 

I've included this prior thought as a reference to a wide-ranging exploration of human creativity, and why we draw. In our youth, many of us imagined wild and strange things, which we were free to explore, write stories and draw the resulting creation. Most of my generation imagined a voyage to the moon, long before we had any means of making that trip. This creativity comes from our desire to innovate and improve our lives. We imagine ourselves capable of doing whatever it takes, to achieve anything!

We drew every imaginable type of craft that would take us to the moon. We designed engines, helmets, wardrobes, weapons, and technology for the amazing journey into outer space. A place that was totally in our imagination - not unlike the early explorers that sailed the oceans. Many of us dreamed of being astronauts and exploring the universe. Our ability to draw and create this imaginary future, resulted in, not only taking the extraordinary risks of launching rockets into space, walking in space, landing on the moon, walking on the moon, but ultimately driving a car on the moon! Someone had to draw that - now that is delightful.

We should all inspire imagination and creativity in children of all ages to push beyond their barriers. If you want more information about our nonprofit and how we help inspire, engage, and promote these initiatives, please read more about the REASON WE DO THIS!  

Written by George Vroustouris

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Compare You to You...

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…and not the person next to you.

This is something I teach my students related to their progress as artists.

There is a tendency we have as we create to compare our progress to others we see as better. “I wish I could draw like (insert name here) “. Finding inspiration in others work is one thing, but lamenting on how not good you are does quite the opposite. Recently I had one of my students who is now in Art School for a graduate degree text me with that very issue. She was getting down on herself because a couple other students in one of her drawing classes were more advanced. The question she asked me was “How do I deal with that?”.

My response was compare you to you. The progress you have made from 6 months ago and one year ago. Look at how far you have come. You’re attending a top 10 art school in the nation and that took talent.

Growth for everyone is different. Its one thing to use someones work you admire as inspiration, but don’t let it turn negative and diminish the progress you have made. Some times its easier said then done.

Me on the left (Thor) and who inspires me as an artist on the right, Kenneth (Star Wars).

Me on the left (Thor) and who inspires me as an artist on the right, Kenneth (Star Wars).

Compare You…to You. Make sure you date your work so you can see your progress. You’ve got this!

But I'm not creative.

But I'm not creative.

I believe the difference between exceptional creativity and everyday creativity is an imaginary barrier. In some cases, it is clearly a matter of substantial devotion to a craft or skill, but is often just realizing, “there is no box.” There are no lines to draw inside of, no wall too high to scale (or go around), no problem without an answer, and no reason to think you’re not creative. You’ve been imagining things your whole life and you may be one of the fortunate who have experienced an ability to create. I challenge you to pass that forward to everyone you know and meet, with your own creative expression, and watch the magic happen…

"You're not doing it right!"

"You're not doing it right!"

Have you ever been told “You’re not doing it right” when you were using your imagination or being creative? What effect did that have on you?

Let’s start with the fact that I have known since I was 10 years old that I wanted to be in the creative field. But it all really started before that…