Miss Mahaney had just finished distributing the new boxes of Crayola Crayons to her grade two students. I was mesmerized by the saturation of the colours and the fresh, unused sharply pointed tips which hinted of glorious masterpieces yet to be made. The rest of that year I pulled out that box from my desk, ran my fingers over the tips marvelling over the rich colours, then carefully put them away. I loved that sense of how perfect they were, how something great could be just around the corner, and that they were just waiting for me to use them.
With more research these past decades making its way into our daily lives, most of us know that fear of failure, or that the drive to be perfect, can contribute to self-sabotage. "Oh, I'm not creative, I can't draw, I’d never be able to do that!"
We also know that exploring, practice, and learning new techniques can offer immense benefits to young and old alike. Being absorbed and caught up in an expressive activity such as visual arts, music, design or photography can lead to a cognitive state called "flow". With the challenge of creating also comes the exercise of problem solving.
Well, Visual Arts Brampton is ready to help all types and ages of learners take the plunge into or continue exploring their creative expressive selves.
The transferable skills and benefits from including creative activities and expression in our lives is immense for people of all ages. From the deep satisfaction and thrill of creating something yourself to the honing of skills with its subsequent boost to self-esteem, learning to focus and be in the present moment are healthy mental and emotional states.
Taking classes with friends or family also can ensure time together. Later, as interest and skills with certain activities increase, such as sketching or painting, people might find that these have become hobbies or important areas of talent to develop.
This more active engagement as compared to passive activities, such as many hours spent playing computer games or watching videos or television, leaves people more relaxed, emotionally available to each other, and energized.
For those of us headed back to a fall routine, there are lots of new things to discover and potential areas of interest to explore. Whether it is relaxation, the thrill of honing skills, or that creative drive to express oneself, live large, step out into your creative potential, and open up and use that box of Crayola Crayons!
Article by: E. Connie Munson