In my mind - nothing is ever finished. I literally consider everything I create a work in progress that I can edit, revise, rework, redesign, or delete and begin again - still after being published and sent into the world. Yet I go a little crazy every time I walk into the DRC art room. Where I find not only the detritus from multiple kids and their many projects covering the table and spilling onto the floor - but also the abandoned projects left in varying levels of completion littering every surface.
I obviously understand on a deep level that the process is the principal component of imagination and creativity. And the finished piece is the least important. It is our culture - and the adults within who insist that a project's natural conclusion is - acceptable completion.
I have observed so many parents, teachers, and grandparents hover over a child, making suggestions and sometimes even taking over the entire project. Or, the "art" assignment may consist of pre-drawn, cut, and even colored components meant to be assembled the way the lesson plan shows. And if the child has not "followed directions" and created something completely unique, they are admonished and punished.
In those moments, these important people in the child's life have taught them three things. a) That a perfectly finished project is the desired end product, b) they (that child) are not creative or imaginative, or even good at art, and c) they are simply not good enough (at anything).
As a result of this never-ending reach for perfection, we have a world filled with people who believe that creativity is an unreachable aspiration. And they have no earthly idea how to begin.
Imaginative out-there ideas and people who are willing to see everything as a work in progress, including themselves, are the ones who will ultimately be the ones to save us all (from ourselves).
Therefore, I refuse to be complicit in the destruction of creative thought and processes - even if my blood pressure spikes every (damn) time I enter the chaos - that is the DRC art room.
Weekly Creative Meditation
DRC Imagination Station Summer Programs will be back for the last three weeks of August. Find more information and the link to the registration page on the DRC website. Space is limited to 12 participants each week.
We are still seeking vendors, musicians, and food trucks for the May 21st Party in the Park fundraiser. And be sure to let your creative, business-owning, musical friends know about this opportunity. Register here today. If you have additional ideas or would like to help plan this important event, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
The bottle drive will continue as well. Bring clean refundable bottles and cans in plastic garbage bags to 48 Riverside Dr. in Canton and drop them next to the garage door. E enjoys the responsibility of helping to bring them to the redemption center.