Sunday, February 27, 2011

Forging Your Own Path

Where and why do we lose the freedom to create? The freedom to defy expectations, to choose our own path?  Maybe this is too grand of a generalization.  I teach three monthly scrapbook clubs, one for adults, one for kids, and one for card making.  

I have noticed that generally the adults in my classes are quite content to make my project exactly as I have designed it.  Sometimes they are excruciatingly careful to copy every detail in my example precisely.  I'm used to teaching and taking classes where this is normal.

My observations when working with kids are very different.  Most of the kids try purposefully to make the project different.  They take joy in creating their own unique outcome.  Most of the kids go home with a project inspired by mine, but completely their own.

So I'll ask again.  Where and why do we lose the freedom to create? The freedom to defy expectations, to choose our own path?  Are we programmed to just accept what is placed before us?  Do we not think we have our own excellent ideas to improve the project? 

Perhaps I have it wrong.  Often when I take a class I simply copy the project solely for the purpose of learning something new, or to try out another person's style.  Sometimes a lack of extra time does not permit me to be my most creative.  Sometimes I'm happy just to let someone else be the creative one.  Maybe copying a project isn't an indicator of loss of creativity or freedom of expression.

As a child I was great at following the rules.  I would do projects exactly the way a teacher expected.  But now... I question... was this REALLY good for me?  I think perhaps it is better to find your own way.

I'm inspired when my path is crossed by someone who lives their own life, forges their own path, and defies expectations.  Are these people more in touch with their inner child?  Have they managed to retain something that children naturally seem to have?

My goal for this week is to search out my inner child, to defy expectations and to find my creativity.  Would you like to join me?

Have a whimsically wonderful day!

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