In preparation for my New Year's Day Personal Retreat I took myself to the local art store in Cambridge. I spent a couple of hours walking the aisles. I looked at and touched just about everything in that place. I doodled with the pens, peeked inside tins and imagined all the things I could create. I only had a small budget so I had to choose carefully. Part of my intention for this year is to step out of the box as an artist and to eliminate some self-limiting beliefs around my own creativity. Most of us have those thoughts that lurk in the shadows of our mind especially when it comes to self-expression. It's the thoughts that begin with "I am not," or "I could never." You know, the basic "I suck at..." kind of thoughts. Just simply looking at the art supplies the voices started to squeak and whine.
On New Year's Day I got all of my art supplies out and sat down to artfully record my intentions for 2011 in my brand new journal. I Immediately felt over-whelmed. The voices started. The blank page stared at me like a gremlin. Then I looked up at my altar and saw a quote I had tacked up a month ago: Repond non-habitually to what’s in front of you. Then I remembered something that changed the way I create art.
Years ago I worked at a day care. I was in charge of a dozen 3 - 5 year olds. Can you imagine? I could tell you many crazy stories. One day I was sitting with two boys and we were coloring with crayons. (The other 10 were running around screaming and doing what 3 - 5 years old do best: romp!)
The one boy, Jordon, asked me if I would draw him a mouse. It went something like this:
"Roger, will draw me a mouse," Jordon asked.
"I can't draw a mouse," I thought to myself, but I didn't want to admit it to him so I said, "You draw me a mouse."
"No, you draw me a mouse," Jordon replied.
It went on and on for a few rounds before the other boy spoke up, "I can draw a mouse!"
We both looked at him.
He grabbed his crayon and scribbled a few wild and irregular circles and lines. "See!," he pointed proudly.
"See, there's a mouse," Jordon responded satisfied.
Now let me tell you that not by any stretch of the imagination was that a mouse, but there wasn't any doubt in my mind or in Jordon's mind that what was on the paper was a mouse.
I walked out of the art store with:
~1 tin of 24 colored pencils
~a Winsor Newton watercolor starters kit
~12 colored sharpies
~2 fine tipped black pens
~2 watercolor paint brushes
~8.5 x 11 spiral bound art journal
~2 small containers of micro-fine art glitter