We live in a world where play is for kids and having time to ourselves is selfish.
Scary truth: research by Dr. Stuart Brown discovered that lack of play was an important predictor of criminal behavior.
Somewhere along the way we forgot what it means to have fun.
(The above photo is an example of me and my ARTPlay, a free creative playspace for Artist Strong subscribers.)
I’ve known myself to be an artist since I was little. It was always a popular activity for me at home. As I grew older the message was clear: Art play is for kids. If you want to be a “serious” artist, there are certain steps to take, and even then, you won’t make money. Besides, jobs aren’t places where you get to have fun. You have “responsibilities.”
I tried to ignore my interest in the arts. But any time something stressful or difficult came into my life, my art interest was always there for me, despite my neglect. We all have our battles, mine included health problems. And each time there was a surgery, a need for respite, or a new medicine to be mad about, I always had my art.
Did you know Creative play:
(1) Improves relationships as well as your connection to others;
(2) Relieves Stress; and
(3) Improves brain function?
“Did you know Creative play: (1) Improves relationships/ your connection to others; (2) Relieves Stress; & (3) Improves brain function?” (Click to Tweet)
How many of you have fought your inkling to engage with the arts? Perhaps you were a drama student who thinks about joining a community theatre. Or you loved that random art class in college but now you “just can’t make the time.”
Art is play. Somewhere along the way someone told you play isn’t important.
(In this photograph I’m playing around with ideas from my Lettering Class via Skillshare).
Lack of play in our lives may actually predict or encourage criminal behavior. You might want to reassess your stance on what exactly is worth your time.
I became an art teacher. I had countless people in my life tell me not to have a career in art; I wanted to be the adult on the other side of that coin. I want to encourage students that even if they don’t want art as a career, it can still be a part of their lives.
That doesn’t change in adulthood. If you have an interest in the arts, it can still be a wonderful and important part of your life. You not only have a responsibility to yourself, you have a responsibility to your family to engage in creative play. What are you modeling to your children or younger siblings if life is about “work” and “obligations?” It isn’t selfish to engage in play, it’s selfless. We need to take back our lives. And it can start with creative play.
“…you have a responsibility to your family to engage in creative play.” (Click to Tweet)
My sister just signed up for a glass blowing class; it’s something she always wanted to do. I’m so excited and proud of her, I’m hoping I can find another class that we can someday take together. Why? Because I embrace my desire to play.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: What can you do today to embrace your desire to play? I want to know! Tell me about it in the comments below.
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I love your reflections Carrie and totally agree!
Hi Amy!!! So glad to have you on Artist Think 🙂 Thank you for reading! (And agreeing 😉 ). I hope all is well with your whole family. Best wishes to all of you.
Hi Carrie: So true and thank you for sharing your own experience. I took the liberty to send you a photo via Twitter with images that hopefully convey an expression of having fun today!
Bruce I love that photo thanks for sharing it! 🙂 Glad to see the creative play you are sharing with loved ones. Best wishes to you.
Playfulness. Delight. Wonder. Try. Discover. Explore.
So needed in everyday life and somehow we’ve got to the point of thinking that it’s a luxury we can’t afford. I am determined to life my life under a playfulness state of mind. It’s the only way to feel joy, it’s the only way to be creative… It’s the only way worth living!
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
“It’s a luxury we can’t afford…” what is so interesting by this statement, which holds so much truth, is that people assume making art is expensive, or, that they don’t have the time (and thus luxury of creating). My argument, with a lot of research now to support it, is that art is NOT a luxury, creativity is integral to our lives as human beings. Thanks for sharing!
Creative play, what a great concept for adults. It is very true that in some way all of us find our way back to some form of creating. There must be a reason for this. I think one is that through creating we become more mindful and this is something that centers us and draws us in.
Thanks for your words.
In Love and Truth,
Rebecca I love that you associate mindfulness with creating. It’s absolutely true. Thanks for reading!
I agree whole-heartedly Carrie! Consciously deciding to bring play back to the center of my life in recent years has been such a (fun!) game changer. I find I’m so much more in the flow when I make sure I play — just do things for no purpose other than to enjoy doing them. Hanging with my little niece and nephew is my favorite way to do that these days 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!
My niece and nephew have also been a great way for me to engage in play! I still think that though they are 21 and 17 now 🙂
“If you want to be a “serious” artist, there are certain steps to take, and even then, you won’t make money. ”
Sadly this is still the attitude that prevails, at least around here.
I guess that makes it even more important to remember that no matter what you do, exercising our creativity feeds us in ways that we need, and so it’s something we should not neglect.
Allison I find that mindview SO FRUSTRATING but it is a common one the world over. And you’ve hit the nail on the head for me, say for whatever reason we decide NOT to pursue art as a career, it doesn’t make art any less valuable.
I had no idea lack of creative play was linked to criminal behavior. As parents, that’s pretty important to think about.
I had put my creative side on the back burner for years, and just last year I started sketching again. I really enjoy it.
I didn’t know that correlation either Allison until recently. But it’s as if that confirmed for me why my drive to encourage others to create is so important! I’m so glad to hear you are sketching, bravo! 🙂
What a helpful reminder for me – thank you! I tend to value work and productivity, and forget to play. But as a health coach, I know how it’s a HUGE element in any healthy life – real food, yes, but also joy and movement. I’m going to schedule some creative play time today!
I completely agree, a healthy life is more than real food, it’s how we treat ourselves as a whole: our body and spirits. The arts can be a wonderful part of a healthy life!