Minerva's Path

Seeking wisdom, meaning and balance through creativity.

Just say no to coloring books

Be prepared to see changes to the appearance of this blog. I’m still not quite happy with its appearance, and I’ve been frustrated by the process of working within somebody else’s rigid structure. I could find a different platform that gives me more flexibility, but the cheapskate in me chafes at paying more to do the work myself.

It all makes me reflect on my disdain for formula. I’ve really never liked coloring books all that much; I must have passed on that disdain to my kids. Our coloring and activity books remain blank, while the boys fill up little notebooks that they carry in their pockets with drawings, notes and plans to conquer the world, or at least me. I’m also not that great at following recipes, but years of practice (with many misteps along the way) have made me a pretty good cook.

I feel sad when I visit places like ceramics studios and see how many people go straight for the stencils. I wonder what they could come up with if they gave themselves a chance. They might end up with ugly plates, but what if they ended up with something unexpected and wonderful.

I love “The Dot,” a picture book written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. In it, a girl who claims she can’t draw is challenged by her teacher to take a single dot and see where it and her imagination lead her.

I worry that our society’s obsession with perfection and a “vote ’em off” culture have made people afraid to experiment and see what their brains, hearts and hands can create.

I don’t want to preach. But I’m here because I want to take advantage of every opportunity to be more creative. And I want my kids to grow up in a world where they feel free to experiment, draw studies, use their eraser or rip out their knitting, and maybe when they get going they’ll end up with something unexpected and wonderful.

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November 20, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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